Section 4.6: Geomorphology

The word geomorphology, arising from the Greek words for Earth, form and science, means the study of landforms composing a landscape, of their creation, evolution, and destruction, and of the processes that shape them. The Earth’s surface is the meeting point of the solid earth and the atmosphere and provides the habitat for all life. As such, it is the stage on which a diverse multitude of natural processes interact to shape the environment for all socio-economic activity.

Since the foundation of the Geomorphology section in August 2012, our scientists ask a broad range of questions, spanning scales in time and space from the impact of a pebble on the river bed to the evolution of a whole mountain belt. We follow an interdisciplinary research strategy to address outstanding and emerging challenges in the Earth surface sciences including:

  • the role of erosion in the draw down of CO2 into geological storage
  • landscape response to climate change
  • prediction and early warning of multiple, coupled natural hazards
  • and the feedbacks between physical, chemical and biological processes at Earth’s surface

Group Seminars

Weekly seminar series of the Geomorphology Section

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Research Networks

Understanding Subduction Zone Topography through Modelling

This Marie Skłodowska-Curie framework for training and career development of Early Stage Researchers has it's scientific focus on the dynamics of continental margins where tectonic plates are recycled through subduction. SUBITOP

Surface Processes, Tectonics and Georesources: The Andean Foreland Basin of Argentina

An international virtual campus devoted to source-to-sink studies in the north-western and central Argentine Andes and foreland basin, fostering an exchange and mobility program that transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries. StRATEGy

Links Between Climate, Erosion and Tectonics in the Himalaya

iTECC is a research group located throughout the EU that focuses on the interaction between climatic forces and topographic evolution in active mountain belts. It uses the Himalaya as a natural laboratory to train young scientists in understanding. iTECC

Head of Section

Niels Hovius
Section Head
Prof. Dr. Niels Hovius
Building F, Room 420
14473 Potsdam
+49 331 288-28810


Almuth Janisch
Building F, Room 421
14473 Potsdam
+49 331 288-28811