Department 5: Earth Surface Processes
Director: Prof. Dr. Bruno Merz
The Earth's surface is the interface at which the solid Earth, the atmosphere, the biosphere and the hydrosphere meet and interact. This surface, with its georesources soil and water, forms the space we live in. Thus, understanding the processes that take place there and in its immediate vicinity is especially important. Natural variation and human intervention in the landscape and in material cycles lead to changes on the skin of the Earth and feed back into the overall system. Scarcity of usable soil, as well as landform and climate change have direct effects on the human environment. Measuring and modelling these processes and interactions on current and geologic timescales are the focus of research in our department. In addition to understanding the actual processes, we are also preparing the scientific foundations for developing strategies for adapting to the changing environment.
The research of Department 5 is organised in four sections:
- Section 5.1: Geoecology and Geomorphology
- Section 5.2: Climate Dynamics and Landscape Evolution
- Section 5.3: Hydrogeology
- Section 5.4: Hydrology