Report | A new science movie: The Skin of the Earth – Where Life meets Rocks

Der Titelbildschirm der Filme aus der Reihe: Die Haut der Erde – wo Leben auf Steine trifft. (CCBY 4.0: Filmbüro-Potsdam, im Auftrag des GFZ).

Last week, the premiere of a science movie made in Potsdam took place at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam. The movie shows how not only geological forces shape Earth's surface, but also biological processes. These two fundamentally different influences are being explored along the Chilean coastal mountains. There, a climate and vegetation gradient prevails from the driest desert on Earth to a wet rainforest: The biological influences can be recognized by the simultaneous gradient in plant cover and -growth. The film was produced in cooperation with Filmbüro Potsdam in German, English and Spanish, in both a long and a short version. For teaching purposes, the process animations shown in the film were provided as a separate resource.

"The film shows spectacular landscape shots and provides explanations of how biology and geology are connected," says geoscientist Friedhelm von Blanckenburg. "We consider this form of science communication to be absolutely necessary today in order to inform society about our methods and our results, and thus to counteract a sceptical attitude towards science".

The movie is one of the results of the German Research Foundation (DFG) priority program Earthshape - Earth Surface Shaping by Biota; the project is coordinated by Prof. Friedhelm von Blanckenburg from the Section Earth Surface Geochemistry at GFZ Potsdam and Freie Universität Berlin, and Prof. Dr. Todd Ehlers from the University of Tübingen. At GFZ Potsdam, four sections with a total of six doctoral students are involved in the project.

The films are freely available under an CCBY license. You can view them on Youtube:

Also the MP4 versions are available for download with individual DOI’s in the GFZ library:

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