Prof. Dr. Rainer Kind

Function and Responsibilities:

Professor Emeritus

Research Interests:

Since a number of years I am mainly studying the global upper mantle structure with the S-receiver function technique, which I am constantly trying to improve. In my opinion this technique is the most useful method to image seismic discontinuities in the upper mantle. There are plenty of open broadband data available which are underused and which can easily be used for that purpose. I think, before we can really understand continental collision in various parts of the Earth we need much better images of the structures within the upper mantle. The increase of our knowledge is directly proportional to the number of installed and used high quality seismic stations.


1970 – 1971        Visiting Scientist at US Geological Survey in Menlo Park, California

                            (Cooperation with Jack Healy)

1971 – 1972        Research Associate at University of Washington/Seattle

                           (Cooperation with Steward Smith)

1972 – 1977        Research Associate at University of Karlsruhe

                           (Cooperation with Karl Fuchs and Gerhard Müller)

1977 – 1992         Research Associate at Seismological Central Observatory Gräfenberg 

1989 – 1992         Privatdozent at University of Erlangen-Nürnberg

1992 - 2010          Head of Section „Seismology“, GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam

since 1994           Professor of Geophysics at Freie Universität Berlin,

2008                     Emeritus

182 Scientific Papers, 8485 Citations, h-index 50 (Web of Science, October 2017)

10 Selected Publications 

Kind R: The reflectivity method for a buried source. Journal of Geophysics/Zeitschrift fürGeophysik 44, 603-612, 1978.

Estabrook CH, Kind R: The nature of the 660-kilometer upper-mantle seismic discontinuity from precursors to the PP phase. Science 274, 5290, 1179-1182, 1996. 

Kind R, Yuan X, Saul J, Nelson D, Sobolev SV, Mechie J, Zhao W, Kosarev G, Ni J, Achauer U, Jiang M: Seismic images of crust and upper mantle beneath Tibet: Evidence for Eurasian plate subduction. Science 298, 5596, 1219-1221, 2002.

Li XQ, Kind R, Yuan XH, Wölbern I, Hanka W: Rejuvenation of the lithosphere by the Hawaiian plume. Nature 427, 827-829, 2004.     

Yuan, XH, Kind R, Pedersen HA: Seismic monitoring of the Indian Ocean tsunami. Geophys. Res. Lett. 32, 15, L15308, 2005  

Kind R, Yuan X: Seismic Images of the Biggest Crash on Earth. Science 329, 5998,1479- 1480, 2010. 

Raveloson A, Kind R, Yuan X, Ceranna L: Locating the Tohoku-Oki 2011 tsunami source using acoustic-gravity waves. Journal of Seismology 16, 2, 215- 219, 2012. 

Kind R, Yuan X, Kumar P : Seismic receiver functions and the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary. Tectonophysics 536, 25-43, 2012. 

Kind R, Yuan X, Mechie J, Sodoudi F: Structure of the upper mantle in the north-western and central United States from USArray S-receiver functions. Sold Earth 6, 3, 957- 970, 2015. 

 Kind R, Handy MR, Yuan X, Meier T, Kämpf H, Soomro R: Detection of a new sub-lithospheric discontinuity in central Europe with S-receiver functions. Tectonophysics 700, 19-31, 2017. 


1943                    born in Elxleben/Erfurt, Germany

1967                    Diploma in Geophysics at University of Hamburg

1969                    PhD in Geophysics at University of Hamburg, adviser Heinz Menzel

1980                     Habilitation at University of Hamburg

1989 – 1992         Privatdozent at University of Erlangen-Nürnberg


I participate in "AlpArray" activities of the research project "SPP 2017- Mountain Building Processes in 4D" of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). My part of the project is the interpretation of the S-receiver function data in terms of structure of the mantle lithosphere below the Alps and surroundings. So far I have studied the mantle structure in this region using data from the existing permanent seismic stations. The result of this study is that structures directly below the Alps are still relatively unclear. For this reason I will repeat this study adding all the newly collected data of the temporary DFG project. However, we found in our preparatory study surprisingly complex structures below the Bohemian Massif and the Pannonian Basin in front of the northern boundary of the Alps. This is the region of germanotype tectonics defined by Hans Stille which is characterized by vertical motions in contrast to the mainly horizontal motions of the alpinotype tectonics. It appears that our results suggest that the germanotype tectonics is not confined to the crust but extends into the mantle lithosphere.

The following figure shows an east-west S-receiver function profile through Bohemia. Blue signals are discontinuities with increasing velocities downward and read signals indicate velocity reductions downward. LABp stands for the Phanerozoic lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) in the western part of Europe, MLD is the usually in cratons observed mid-lithospheric discontinuity and SLD (sub-lithospheric discontinuity) is the newly discovered north-west dipping deep discontinuity below the Bohemian Massif. LABc is the LAB of the east European craton. “Lehmann” stands for the Lehmann discontinuity, “LVZ” for a low-velocity zone on top of the discontinuity at 410 km depth, and “410” is the known discontinuity at that depth. This figure might indicate the distortion of the Mesozoic mantle lithosphere due to the Alpine collision which is visible at the surface as germanotype tectonics.

sorry, uploading a figure or link is not yet possible

see: Kind R, Handy MR, Yuan X, Meier T, Kämpf H, Soomro R: Detection of a new sub-lithospheric discontinuity in central Europe with S-receiver functions. Tectonophysics 700, 19-31, 2017. 

Research Boards and Committees:

2004 – 2008 Member of the USArray Advisory Committee

2004 – 2008 elected Member of Fachkollegium Geophysics and Geodesy of the

Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft 

Former President of the German National Committee (NKGG) of the International

          Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG)

Member of the European Research Council Advanced Grants evaluation panel 

           in 2016-2017

Rainer Kind
Prof. Dr. Rainer Kind
Building A 3 , Room 106
14473 Potsdam
+49 331 288-1262