Section 2.7: Near-surface Geophysics

Themes, Aims and Working groups

Our research focusses on active seismic and electromagnetic methods as non-invasive, spatially inclusive, and comprehensive structural imaging tools for the subsurface.  The derived physical parameters lead to an understanding of underlying processes .  This yields important contributions for both basic and societal relevant research questions, for instance mass movement, underground pathways, and geohazards.

Therefore, we pursue the following themes:

  • Imaging and monitoring of structures and changes in the subsurface,
  • exploration (hydrocarbons, geothermics, underground storage),
  • urban geophysics and determination of geotechnical parameters.

Structural and parameter-based imaging play a fundamental role as does the detection of changes, particularly to tackle the unsolved question of closing imaging gaps at depth (e.g., scale between reservoir and underburden) and close to surface (e.g., scale between georadar and seismic).  This research will allow us to better connect different depth compartments of the crust which should eventually lead to a better evaluation of process causes and consequences.

These major research goals define our methodical topics:

The section comprises these four working groups that cover in addition to the joint overall aims further specific research topics:                                   

Applied Seismics,

Geo- Electromagnetic,


Sub-/seismic Deformation Modelling.