HelTec - Helmholtz Laboratory for Tectonic Modelling


Simulating geodynamic processes is a challenging task because of the non-linearity and scale dependence of most associated processes. A great challenge is the multispectral character of lithosphere deformation ranging from earthquake rupture (seconds) to fault zone evolution (Millions of years).

Recent advances in experimental techniques like high resolution monitoring and complex analogue rheologies made it possible to develop models simulating deformation on all relevant timescales with high spatial resolution. We follow an integrated modelling approach involving structural-kinematic modelling, analogue experiments and numerical simulations.

We are a member of the European Plate Observing System EPOS, the European Training Networks TOPOMOD and SUBITOP, the Helmholtz Graduate School GEOSIM and the DFG-Collaborative Research Center SFB1114 “Scaling Cascades in Complex Systems”.

In the year 2014 we hosted the GEOMOD conference at GFZ Potsdam and edited the corresponding Tectonophysics special issue.

Please find an introductory text to our lab here.


 Infrastructure & Software:


  • Analog rock mechanics & rheology
  • Benchmarks & validation
  • Continental collision
  • Subduction zones
  • Strike-slip zones & transpression
  • Rifting
  • Earthquakes & seismic cycles
  • Hydraulic fracturing
  • Transient & multispectral deformation
  • Gravitational mass movements
  • Meteoritic impact
  • Tsunami
  • Open access data repository
  • Free visualization & analysis software


Profile photo of  Dr. Matthias Rosenau

Dr. Matthias Rosenau
Lithosphere Dynamics

Building C, room 228
14473 Potsdam
tel. +49 331 288-1395

New publications

Corbi F., F. Funiciello, S. Brizzi, S. Lallemand, and M. Rosenau (2017), Control of asperities size and spacing on seismic behavior of subduction megathrusts, Geophys. Res. Lett., 44, doi:10.1002/2017GL074182.

Rosenau, M., F. Corbi, S. Dominguez (2017): Analogue earthquakes and seismic cycles: Experimental modelling across timescales, Solid Earth, doi:10.5194/se-2016-165

Li, S., M. Moreno, J. Bedford, M. Rosenau et al. (2017): Postseismic uplift of the Andes following the 2010 Maule earthquake: Implications for mantle rheology, Geophys. Res. Lett., doi.: 10.1002/2016GL071995

List of all lab publications