Electromagnetics is a geophysical method. A main objective of our work is to determine in a best possible way the distribution of electrical conductivity in the subsurface and to draw conclusions on underlying processes. To reach these goals, we measure with natural and controlled electromagnetic sources at earth's surface, sometimes in combination with sensors in observation boreholes; we also examine rock samples with respect to their electrical conductivity.
We are very interested to develop so-called Multi-EM methods with the idea to combine individual EM applications, e.g. natural source magnetotellurics and controlled source EM, to optimize their joint resolution potential. Particularly working with man-made (controlled) sources is still fairly new and challenging in practice and requires huge effort in the development of hardware, survey design, data processing and interpretation.
Spatio-temporal monitoring of the subsurface becomes increasingly important, for surveillance of underground geotechnical installations, typically on a reservoir scale, but also to investigate processes on a mega-scale, such as tectonic plates, to better understand the physics of earthquakes. For the related long-term installations and observations we develop sensor technology and processing methods.
In our research projects we routinely work together with other groups at the GFZ but also with many other national and international partners. More information can be found on our project pages.
We also operate the magnetotelluric component of the Geophysical Instrument Pool Potsdam, which is part of GFZ's Modular Earth Science Infrastructure, to provide state-of-the-art geophysical instrumentation for the research of internal and external users. The magnetotelluirc instruments of the GIPP are kept and maintained on the premises of the Geomagnetic Observatory in Niemegk. We also run a permanent magnetotelluric remote reference station near Wittstock (Dosse). More technical details and advice on how to obtain our instruments and data products can be found on the webpages of the GIPP-MT.