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Section 1.3: Earth System Modelling

The ESM project comprises eight Helmholtz Research Centers and aims at the development of a common Earth system modelling platform of the Helmholtz Research Field Earth and Environment in order to facilitate effective collaboration between partners and to support the development of a modelling strategy for POF-IV and beyond. The project intends to improve the numerical representation of the individual components of the Earth system and their coupling, as well as to perform a series of selected frontier simulations to address Grand Challenges.
Section Earth System Modelling is in particular engaged in Tasks 1.4 and 2.1.

The main goal of the study is calculation of the lithospheric stress field of Europe taking into account all the major factors. This shall be done by means of 3D high-resolution thermo-mechanical and density model of the lithosphere coupled with the global mantle convection model.

Inside the Global Gravity-based Groundwater Product (G3P) project, remote sensing observations of different compartments of the water cycle are combined to develop a global groundwater storage product.

At the end of the nominal five-year mission period of GRACE-FO in May 2023, the European Space Agency (ESA) will cover the financing of mission operations for the twin satellites. Since 2021, ESA has been financing already accompanying work on the scientific evaluation of mission data.

Since 2019, the Research Unit "New Refined Observations of Climate Change from Spaceborne Gravity Missions" has been developing new background models and evaluation methods for the GRACE and GRACE-FO satellite gravimetry missions.

MANTIS is a project in a DFG Priority Program SPP 1788: "Study od Earth dynamics with a constellation of potential field missions" which is designed around the ESA magnetic field satellite mission SWARM.

The world ocean is good conductor of electricity, due to its high concentration of dissolved salts. As the electrically conducting seawater moves around the Earth, it permanently interacts with the ambient magnetic field generated in the Earth’s core. During this process, the positively and negatively charged salt-ions in the sea-water are deflected by the Lorentz force, which leads to spatial accumulation of electric charge and, in turn, weak electric currents in the entire ocean basin. These oceanic electric currents induce characteristic magnetic signals in the range of a few nanotesla (nT) that are mainly proportional to combined transports of water, heat, and salinity in the ocean.

The project aims at parametrising and validating a viscoelastic earth model for applications in earth-system models, which are applied in the national paleo climate modelling initiative PalMod (https://www.palmod.de/de). PalMod is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Science (BMBF) (http://www.bmbf.de/en/index.html) to understand climate system dynamics and variability during the last glacial cycle.

The long-term vision of the Collaborative Research Centre 1464 "TerraQ" at Leibniz University Hannover is the establishment of an entirely new geodesy based on quantum physics and general relativity, which opens up unique perspectives for satellite geodesy and gravimetric Earth observation.

The German climate modelling initiative (PalMod II) is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Science (BMBF) through the Research for Sustainability (FONA) as a follow-up-project to PalMod. The project aims to simulate a complete glacial-interglacial cycle using complex Earth system models.

In the scenic project the focus lies on the investigation of extreme weather events in future (warmer) climate scenarios. ...


    Improving ESA's Earth System Model for mass Distribution and Transport ( ESA ESM)
    Duration: December 2013 - June 2014
    Regional glacual isostatic adjustment and CryoSat elevation rate corrections in Antarctica

DFG-German Priority Research Program SPP1375 "South Atlantic Margin Processes and Links with onshore Evolution" (SAMPLE)

DFG-German Priority Research Program SPP1258 "Mass Transport and mass Distribution in the Earth System" 

  • AGIA
    Antarctic glacial adjustment from GRACE and numerical modelling
    Duration: 2009 - 2012
  • CASE - Central Asia Structure and Evolution
    Constraints on the Central Tien Shan structure and dynamics from integrative modelling of new satellite gravity, GPS and seismic data
    Duration: 2009 - 2011
  • IDEM
    Global modelling of the lithosphere and mantle and explaning geoid signal by merging of tomography derived mantle flow models with full thermal convection models including lateral viscosity variations
    Laufzeit: 2007 - 2012
    Development and Validation of a Three-Dimensional Viscoelastic Lithosphere and Mantle Model for reducing GRACE-gravity data
    Duration: 2006 - 2012

DFG-Priority Program 1158 "Antarctic Research with comparative investigations in Arctic ice areas" of the German Research Foundation

  • DIEM
    Geodetic and geomorphologic data assimilation into coupled ice sheet / solid Earth model for separating present and past ice sheet behaviour in Antactica

DFG-Forschergruppe FOR 584 "Earth Rotation and Global Dynamic Processes"

  • Project 4
    Mass motions in the Earth's core and mantle and their influence on polar motion
    Duration: 2009 - 2012

Further Projects by German Research Foundation (DFG)

  • Earth System Modell
    Development of a physically consistent system model for investigations of the Earth's rotation, deformation, and gravity field
    Duration: 2004 - 2007
    Simulation of ice sheet/sea-level feedbacks with a coupled ice sheet/solid Earth model


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