Earth Surface and Climate Interactions: Probing records to constrain mechanisms and sensitivities

A challenge for geoscientists is to distinguish changes of the Earth surface driven by natural forces from changes induced by global warming and population growth. We use information provided by the past and present to explore how climate change affects the Earth surface and how surface processes, in turn, feed back into atmospheric composition and climate. We investigate weathering and erosion, hydrologic and green house gas cycles, the transport of solid and dissolved matter from the continents to the oceans, and how living organisms modulate these interactions.

The interaction between the Earth’s climate and its surface is a two-way process that we address in two subtopics:

1. Regional climate change: Impact on Earth’s surface
2. Earth’s surface: Influencing atmosphere and climate

These two subtopics are coupled through the global transmission of feedbacks via Earth’s atmosphere: global teleconnections broadcast atmospheric signals to every single point on Earth without significant delay but their local expressions are damped, delayed, and convolved with the effects of other influences. At any given location, individual weather events or their long-term mean govern Earth surface processes including their abiotic (water flow, weathering, erosion) and biotic (vegetation, microbial life) components. These events are superimposed on long-term trends, governed by tectonics or mineral dissolution kinetics, amongst others.

We develop methods that allow us to monitor and model these processes, from the present through the geological past. We use and develop novel environmental sensors, new geochemical proxy methods, microbiological tools, remote sensing methods and other innovative tools to explore the surface and shallow subsurface of our planet.

 

Latest publications:

Zeeden, C., Dietze, M., Kreutzer, S. (2018): Discriminating luminescence age uncertainty composition for a robust Bayesian modelling. - Quaternary Geochronology, 43, pp. 30—39.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.quageo.2017.10.001

Ott, F., Kramkowski, M., Wulf, S., Plessen, B., Serb, J., Tjallingii, R., Schwab, M. J., Slowinski, M., Brykala, D., Tyszkowski, S., Putyrskaya, V., Appelt, O., Błaszkiewicz, M., Brauer, A. (2017 online): Site-specific sediment responses to climate change during the last 140 years in three varved lakes in Northern Poland. - Holocene.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.1177/0959683617729448

Balanzategui, D., Knorr, A., Heussner, K.-U., Wazny, T., Beck, W., Slowinski, M., Helle, G., Buras, A., Wilmking, M., Van Der Maaten, E., Scharnweber, T., Dorado-Liñán, I., Heinrich, I. (2017 online): An 810-year history of cold season temperature variability for northern Poland. - Boreas.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.1111/bor.12274

Wang, W., Godard, V., Liu-Zeng, J., Scherler, D., Xu, C., Zhang, J., Xie, K., Bellier, O., Ansberque, C., de Sigoyer, J., Team, A. (2017 online): Perturbation of fluvial sediment fluxes following the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. - Earth Surface Processes and Landforms.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.1002/esp.4210

Jones, G., Lane, C. S., Brauer, A., Davies, S. M., de Bruijn, R., Engels, S., Haliuc, A., Hoek, W. Z., Merkt, J., Sachse, D., Turner, F., Wagner-Cremer, F. (2017 online): The Lateglacial to early Holocene tephrochronological record from Lake Hämelsee, Germany: a key site within the European tephra framework. - Boreas.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.1111/bor.12250

Braun, J. (2017 online): A review of numerical modeling studies of passive margin escarpments leading to a new analytical expression for the rate of escarpment migration velocity. - Gondwana Research.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.gr.2017.04.012

Hassler, S. K., Weiler, M., Blume, T. (2017 online): Tree-, stand- and site-specific controls on landscape-scale patterns of transpiration. - Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions: HESSD, pp. 1—18.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2017-47

Herbrich, M., Gerke, H. H., Bens, O., Sommer, M. (2017): Water balance and leaching of dissolved organic and inorganic carbon of eroded Luvisols using high precision weighing lysimeters. - Soil and Tillage Research, 165, pp. 144—160.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.still.2016.08.003

Witt, G. B., English, N. B., Balanzategui, D., Hua, Q., Gadd, P., Heijnis, H., Bird, M. I. (2017): The climate reconstruction potential of Acacia cambagei (gidgee) for semi-arid regions of Australia using stable isotopes and elemental abundances. - Journal of Arid Environments, 136, pp. 19—27.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaridenv.2016.10.002

Miebach, A., Chen, C., Schwab, M. J., Stein, M., Litt, T. (2017): Vegetation and climate during the Last Glacial high stand (ca. 28–22 ka BP) of the Sea of Galilee, northern Israel. - Quaternary Science Reviews, 156, pp. 47—56.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2016.11.013

Zielhofer, C., Fletcher, W. J., Mischke, S., De Batist, M., Campbell, J. F. E., Joannin, S., Tjallingii, R., El Hamouti, N., Junginger, A., Stele, A., Bussmann, J., Schneider, B., Lauer, T., Spitzer, K., Strupler, M., Brachert, T., Mikdad, A. (2017): Atlantic forcing of Western Mediterranean winter rain minima during the last 12,000 years. - Quaternary Science Reviews, 157, pp. 29—51.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2016.11.037

Wolff, C., Plessen, B., Dudashvilli, A. S., Breitenbach, S. F., Cheng, H., Edwards, L. R., Strecker, M. R. (2017): Precipitation evolution of Central Asia during the last 5000 years. - Holocene, 27, 1, pp. 142—154.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.1177/0959683616652711

Heine, I., Brauer, A., Heim, B., Itzerott, S., Kasprzak, P., Kienel, U., Kleinschmit, B. (2017): Monitoring of Calcite Precipitation in Hardwater Lakes with Multi-Spectral Remote Sensing Archives. - Water, 9, 1, pp. 1—31.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.3390/w9010015

Kienel, U., Kirillin, G., Brademann, B., Plessen, B., Lampe, R., Brauer, A. (2017): Effects of spring warming and mixing duration on diatom deposition in deep Tiefer See, NE Germany. - Journal of Paleolimnology, 57, 1, pp. 37—49.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.1007/s10933-016-9925-z

Hoffmann, M., Schulz-Hanke, M., Garcia Alba, J., Jurisch, N., Hagemann, U., Sachs, T., Sommer, M., Augustin, J. (2017): A simple calculation algorithm to separate high-resolution CH4 flux measurements into ebullition- and diffusion-derived components. - Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 10, pp. 109—118.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.5194/amt-10-109-2017

Spokesperson

Profile photo of  Prof. Dr. Niels Hovius

Prof. Dr. Niels Hovius
Geomorphology

Telegrafenberg
Building F, room 420
14473 Potsdam
tel. +49 331 288-28810

Deputy

Profile photo of  Prof. Dr. Achim Brauer

Prof. Dr. Achim Brauer
Climate Dynamics and Landscape Evolution

Telegrafenberg
Building C, room 324
14473 Potsdam
tel. +49 331 288-1330

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