Section 2.1: Physics of Earthquakes and Volcanoes

We investigate earthquake and volcano processes. How do earthquakes nucleate, rupture and interact, how do volcanic unrest develop and possibly lead to eruptions, how the hazard of earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis can be assessed and how to rapidly obtain and provide information on such extreme events after their occurrence? Our research helps to reduce risk from natural hazards as earthquakes and volcanoes.

We cover a unique set of skills and expertise in the fields of:

Physiks of Earthquakes

We analyse seismic and geodetic data to image complex rupture processes of natural and induced seismic events over a broad range of scales, developing and applying waveform based advanced methods.

We analyse and model seismicity data by means of statistical methods in order to improve our scientific understanding of earthquake triggering and interactions as well as to improve the evaluation and testing of earthquake forecasts, early warning and seismic hazards assessments.

Physics of volcanoes

The GFZ Volcano Hazards team works on processes associated with volcanic unrest and eruptions. These are surface deformation, earthquakes, and gravity driven mass movements. By monitoring of active volcanoes the physical processes occurring before and during eruptions are investigated, such as the inflation or deflation of magma chambers, their geometric variations, mechanisms of dike intrusions, stress field changes in the crust, and complex interactions between volcanoes and the surrounding.

My team and I develop process-oriented analytical, numerical and analog models for the propagation and storage of magma and other fluids in the Earth’s crust.

Special service offers of our section are the International Training Courses and the Bubble Lab. 

A full list of our publications is given here

Torsten Dahm
Section Head
Prof. Dr. Torsten Dahm
Physics of Earthquakes and Volcanoes
Helmholtzstraße 6/7
Building H 7 , Room 201
14467 Potsdam
+49 331 288-1200
Susanne Köster
Physics of Earthquakes and Volcanoes
Helmholtzstraße 6/7
Building H 7 , Room 203
14467 Potsdam
+49 331 288-1201