Section 3.1: Inorganic and Isotope Geochemistry

Head of Section Prof. Dr. Sarah Gleeson

What we do...

We study the distribution of elements and their isotopes in the Earth system in order to understand how they are cycled through the geological reservoirs of the Earth, from the surface to the crust and mantle, and back again, and on what time scales. We combine field, experimental and modelling studies with advanced laboratory techniques for rock, fluid and mineral analyses.

Our research addresses fundamental questions of Earth evolution as well as the societal challenges of sustainable natural resources and clean energy. The main research topics, described below, contribute substantially to the GFZ research topics  "Plate Boundary Systems" and "Georesources", and they are also linked to the topics "Earth Surface and Climate Interactions"as well as to "Natural Hazards" and "Marine Geological Resources and Storage Potentials".

Geofluids, material transport and element cycling – To trace the sources, sinks and transport mechanisms of elements among the major Earth reservoirs via magmas, fluids and gases, in deep- and shallow-level systems.

Timing, rates and mechanisms of Earth processes –To develop and apply isotopic dating and tracer techniques for determining the rates and understanding the mechanisms of geological processes ranging from global tectonics to surface weathering and ore formation.

Mineral and gas hydrate resources – To characterize and understand the origin of metallic ore deposits and gas hydrate resources, exploitation strategies, from case studies,  experiments and modeling.

All of our research, including modelling studies, is data-driven and we understand that delivering first-class science in geochemistry depends on first-class laboratories. Therefore we are committed to maintaining state-of-the-art infrastructure and to methods improvement and innovation.

Head of Section

Profile photo of  Prof. Dr. Sarah Gleeson

Prof. Dr. Sarah Gleeson
Inorganic and Isotope Geochemistry

Building B, room 324
14473 Potsdam
tel. +49 331 288-27503


Profile photo of   Julia Fechner

Julia Fechner
Assistance of Inorganic and Isotope Geochemistry

Building B, room 325
14473 Potsdam
tel. +49 331 288-1421