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Dr. habil. Sabrina Metzger

Dr. habil. Sabrina Metzger
Building E, Room 420 (Büro)
14473 Potsdam

Function and Responsibilities:

Working Group leader Tectonic Geodesy

Research Interests:

I am interested in the tectonics of fault systems at plate boundaries. Based on Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and Interferometric Satellite Aperture RADAR (InSAR) time-series I model tectonic source kinematics in order to understand the driving forces of crustal deformation. Further, I am interested in anthropogenic or climate-driven signals observable with InSAR, such as subsidence due to groundwater depletion, landslides, rain-induced seismicity, and signals rooting in relaxation of the upper mantle, such as isostasy or slab break-off.


Since 2013  Research scientist, Lithosphere Dynamics, GFZ Potsdam, Germany
2015 / 2018 Parental leave
2008 - 2012 Research assistant, Institute of Geophysics, ETH Zürich, Switzerland
2007 - 2008 Spectraseis Technologie AG, Zürich, Switzerland
2005 - 2006 Swiss Seismological Service, Zürich, Switzerland


2023 - 2024 Helmholtz Leadership Academy
2022 - 2023 Habilitation, University of Potsdam
2014 - 2015 Certificate in "Senior Teaching Professionals", Netzwerk Studienqualität Brandenburg
2008 - 2012 PhD, Institute of Geophysics, ETH Zürich, Switzerland 
2000 - 2005 Diploma, Interdisciplinary Natural Sciences, ETH Zürich, Switzerland 


  • Geophysical Field Course - hammer stroke seismics, ETH Zurich (BSc)
  • Crustal deformation measured with radar satellite interferometry (InSAR), Theory and Practicals using a case study, Potsdam University (MSc 4ECTS)
  • Supervision of 1 PhD, 5 MSc, 1 BSc theses and 1 intern

Research Boards and Committees:

Member of the Internal Scientific Council at the GFZ


  • ALPSHAPE2, DFG researh grant for 3 years (DFG)
  • GeduCA: Central Asian GNSS summer school, 80 kEUR (Volkswagen Foundation)
Hormazábal, J., Moreno, M., Ortega-Culaciati, F., Báez, J. C., Peña, C., Sippl, C., González-Vidal, D., Ruiz, J., Metzger, S., Yoshioka, S. (2023), Fast relocking and afterslip-seismicity evolution following the 2015 Mw 8.3 Illapel earthquake in Chile. Scientific Reports, 13, 19511, doi:10.1038/s41598-023-45369-9

Kosari, E., Rosenau, M., Metzger, S., Oncken, O. (2023), Along-strike seismotectonic segmentation reflecting megathrust seismogenic behaviour. Geology, doi:10.1130/G51115.1

Bloch, W., Metzger, S., Schurr, B., Yuan, X., Ratschbacher, L., Reuter, S., Xu, Q., Zhao, J., Murodkulov, Sh., Oimuhammadzoda, I. (2022). The 2015 - 2017 Pamir Earthquake Sequence: Fore-, Main-, and Aftershocks, Seismotectonics and Fault Interaction. Geophys. J. Int., 233, 641-662, doi:10.1093/gji/ggac473

Zubovich, A., Metzger, S., Schöne, T., Kley, J., Mosienko, O., Zech, C., et al. (2022). Cyclic fault slip under the magnifier: Co- and postseismic response of the Pamir front to the 2015 Mw7.2 Sarez, Central Pamir, earthquake. Tectonics, 41, e2022TC007213. doi:10.1029/2022TC007213

Peña, C., Metzger, S., Heidbach, O., Bedford, J., Bookhagen, B., Moreno, M., Oncken, O., Cotton, F. (2022), Role of poroelasticity during the early postseismic deformation of the 2010 Maule megathrust earthquake. Geophysical Research Letters, 49, e2022GL098144, doi:10.1029/2022GL098144

Metzger, S., Gagala, L., Ratschbacher, L., Lazecky, M., Maghsoudi, Y., & Schurr, B. (2021). Tajik Depression and Greater Pamir Neotectonics from InSAR Rate Maps. J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth, 126, e2021JB022775, doi:10.1029/2021JB022775 (open access)

Metzger, S., Lazecky, M., Maghsoudi, Y. (2021). High-resolution rate maps from the Tajik basin and the Pamir. GFZ Data Services, doi:10.5880/GFZ.4.1.2021.005

Moreno, M., Li, S., Melnick, D., Bedford, J.R., Baez, J.C., Motagh, M., Metzger, S., Vajedian, S., Sippl, C., Gutknecht, B.D., Contreras-Reyes, E., Deng, Z., Tassara, A., Oncken, O. (2018), Chilean megathrust earthquake recurrence linked to frictional contrast at depth, Nature Geoscience. 11, 285-290. doi:10.1038/s41561-018-0089-5 [ pdf ] [ suppl ] 

Passarrelli, L., Rivalta, E., Jónsson, S., Hensch, M., Metzger, S., Jakobsdóttir, S., Maccaferri, F., Corbi, F., Dahm, T., 2018, Scaling and spatial complementarity of tectonic earthquake swarms. Earth Plan. Sci. Lett., 482, 62-70, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2017.10.052 [ pdf ] [ suppl ] 

Metzger, S., Schurr, B., Ratschbacher, L., Sudhaus, H., Kufner, S.-K., Schöne, T., Zhang, Y., Perry, M., Bendick, R. (2017), The 2015 Mw7.2 Sarez strike-slip earthquake in the Pamir interior: Response to the underthrusting of India's western promontory. Tectonics, 36, 2407-2421, doi:10.1002/2017TC004581 [ pdf ] [ suppl ] 

Zubovich, A., Schöne, T., Metzger, S., Mosienko, O., Mukhamediev, Sh., Sharshebaev, A., Zech, C. (2016), Tectonic interaction between the Pamir and Tien Shan observed by GPS. Tectonics, 35, 283-292, doi:10.1002/2015TC004055 [ pdf ] 

Metzger, S., and Jónsson, S., 2014, Plate boundary deformation in North Iceland during 1992-2009 revealed by InSAR time-series analysis and GPS. Tectonophysics, 634, 127-138, doi:10.1016/j.tecto.2014.07.027 [ pdf ]

Tormann, T. Wiemer, S., Metzger, S., Michael, A., Hardebeck, J.L. (2013), Size-distribution of Parkfield's microearthquakes reflects changes in surface creep rate. Geophys. J. Int., 193:1474-1478, doi:10.1093/gji/ggt093

Metzger, S., Jónsson, S., Danielsen, G.J.K., Hreinsdottir, S., Jouanne, F., Giardini, D., Villemin, T. (2013), Present kinematics of the Tjörnes Fracture Zone, North Iceland, from campaign and continuous GPS measurements. Geophys. J. Int., 192:441-455, doi:10.1093/gji/ggs032 [ pdf ]

Metzger, S., Jónsson, S. and Geirsson, H. (2011), Locking depth and slip-rate of the Húsavík Flatey fault, North Iceland, derived from continuous GPS data 2006-2010. Geophys. J. Int., 187:564-567, doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2011.05176.x [ pdf ]

Geirsson, H., Árnadottir, Th., Hreinsdottir, S., Decriem, J., LaFemina, P.C., Jónsson, S., Bennett, R.A., Metzger, S., Holland, A., Sturkell, E.,Villemin, Th., Voelksen, C., Sigmundsson, F., Einarsson, P., Roberts, M.J., Sveinbjörnsson, H. (2010). Overview of results from continuous GPS observations in Iceland from 1995 to 2010, Jökull, 60 [ pdf ] [ figures ]

Saenger, E., Schmalholz, S.M., Lambert, M.A., Nguyen, T. Torres, A., Metzger, S. , Habiger, R.M., Mueller, T., Rentsch, S. and Mendez-Hernandez, E. (2009), A passive seismic survey over a gas field: Analysis of low-frequency anomalies. Geophysics , 74(2), O29-O40, doi:10.1190/1.3078402 [ pdf ]

Metzger S. (2023), Neotectonic deformation over space and time as observed by space-based geodesy, Habilitation Thesis, University of Potsdam, Germany, doi:10.25932/publishup-59922

Metzger, S. (2012), Seismic Potential of the Húsavík-Flatey fault and kinematics of the Tjörnes Fracture Zone, North Iceland, studied using InSAR and GPS, PhD Thesis, ETH Zürich, Switzerland, doi:10.3929/ethz-a-007580688

Metzger, S. (2005), Georadar Studies at the Murtèl Rock Glacier, Eastern Swiss Alps, Diploma Thesis, ETH Zürich, Switzerland

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