Section 2.7: Near-surface Geophysics

The outermost solid shell of the Earth, the Earth’s crust, is regarded by human beings as their foundation.  To understand and survey this anthroposphere, as well as to make predictions about its evolution and use is the task of near-surface and applied geophysics. In doing so, it is equally important to understand the global processes of plate tectonics and what drives geodynamics, as well as it is to study small-scale phenomena that, for instance, may influence the decision how to utilize the subsurface (e.g., exploration, water, infrastructure).  Equally, imaging, quantification, and assessment of geohazards at an early stage (e.g., mass movements, sinkholes, environmental changes) are challenging, the more if they occur in urban areas.

For the exploration of the subsurface we use different geophysical methods that address different physical properties of the subsurface.  We focus in four working groups on electromagnetic and seismic methods.  These are further developed in field experiments and in the computer, are supplemented by innovative instrument developments, and are finally brought to predicition by simulation.

Our aims and tasks

  • Carry out basic and applied research as entity.
  • Foster prediction capabilities with non-invasive measurements.
  • Enhance exploration and monitoring for and during subsurface use.
  • Aid assessment of natural hazards and georesources.
  • Develop quantitative methods especially for urban areas and related to hazards.


Profile photo of  Prof. Dr. Charlotte Krawczyk

Prof. Dr. Charlotte Krawczyk
Near-surface Geophysics

Building E, room 326
14473 Potsdam
tel. +49 331 288-1281

Profile photo of   Anke Lerch

Anke Lerch
Assistance of Geophysical Deep Sounding

Building E, room 324
14473 Potsdam
tel. +49 331 288-1251