The focus of research at the GFZ is the solid Earth - from a regional to a global scale. The principle goal of our research is to understand and assess this highly complex non-linear system and its interacting sub-systems. Key issues include the observation of the effects of global change as well as research on natural hazards and resources.
Our research is dedicated to developing solutions to three grand challenges facing society based on the understanding of System Earth. These challenges are (a) anticipating the hazards arising from the Earth’s dynamic systems, (b) securing our habitat in the face of global change, and (c) supplying energy and mineral resources for a rapidly growing population in a sustainable manner. Within the research field Earth and Environment of the Helmholtz Association, the GFZ is responsible for the study of the solid Earth and its links to the surface on which we live. In pursuit of this mission we coordinate our research via five multidisciplinary Research Units:
Through our five Research Units we contribute to several programs of the Helmholtz Association and their topics. Through the mechanism of program-oriented funding, these programs support our research. In the current program period, we manage the program “Geosystem - the Changing Earth” and its topics. In addition, we participate in the programs "Atmosphere and Climate " and “Oceans ” within the research field Earth and Environment and to the program "Renewable Energies " in the research field Energy.