GFZ German research centre for geo sciences

Prof. Dr. Oliver Ritter

Group Leader
Prof. Dr. Oliver Ritter
Building A 42, Room 114 (Büro)
Albert-Einstein-Straße 42-46
14473 Potsdam

Function and Responsibilities:

  • Head of Geo-Electromagnetic group (2.2.2)
  • Responsible for the Magnetotelluric component of the Geophysical Instrument Pool Potsdam

Research Interests:

I am interested in all aspects of geomagnetic induction in the Earth and particularly, to increase the acceptance of the magnetotelluric (MT) and Controlled Source Electromagnetics (CSEM) in the wider Earth Science community.

I have been involved in a series of large scale MT projects to investigate active and fossil tectonic regimes in all parts of the world. Most of these projects have been embedded in multi-disciplinary frameworks and electrical conductivity studies have become a valued and important aspect in an integrative interpretation of all acquired geological and geophysical data.

Working with controlled sources EM is particularly useful for exploration of geo-resources , such as hydrocarbons, geothermal energy or deep aquifers, and (ore) minerals.

Using EM methods in time-lapse applications and continuous monitoring of subsurface structures on a range of scales is another important field of my research activities.

Basis for all of this research are methodological advances in data processing and 3D/4D interpretation tools for active and natural source EM.

Modern and well maintained instruments are an essential aspect of any geophysical work. We are continuously improving and developing EM instrumentation, including sensors and data acquisition systems.


  • 1996 - present: GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam, Germany.
  • 1998 - present: Lecturer in Geophysics at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
  • 2009 - 2011: Helmholtz Management Academy - Malik Management Zentrum St. Gallen (MZSG)
  • 1995 - 1996: PostDoc, University of Edinburgh, UK.
  • 1989 - 1990: Exploration geophysicist, Metronix GmbH, Braunschweig, Germany.


  • 2015: Appointed supernumerary (apl) professor at the Freie Universität Berlin
  • 2005: Habilitation in Geophysics, Freie Universität Berlin.
  • 1991 – 1995: PhD in Geophysics, Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Edinburgh, UK.
  • 1982 – 1989: Diploma in Geophysics, Institut für Geophysik, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.


Follow this link for current projects.

Research Boards and Committees:

  • Advisory Board NERC Geophysics and Geodesy Services and Facilities Steering Committee
  • Committee member of IAGA Division VI (Electromagnetic Induction in the Earth and Planetary Bodies).
  • Deputy editor-in-chief of Geophysical Prospecting
  • Associate editor of Pure and Applied Geophysics

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