Logo "GFZ German research centre for geo sciences"

Dr. habil. Sabrina Metzger

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

Function and Responsibilities:

Member of the scientific council at the GFZ

Expert in 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 analyses I model the source kinematics in order to understand the driving forces of crustal deformation.


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


2022 - 2023 Habilitation procedure, 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


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 

Metzger, S., Kakar, N., Zubovich, A., Borisov, M., Saif, S., Panjsheri, A.H., Rahmani, J.R., Zaryab, M.Y., Rezai, M.T., Deng, Z., Bendick, R., Kufner, S.-K., Okoev, J. (2021): Survey mode GNSS data, acquired 2014-2019 in the Afghan Hindu Kush and across northern Pamir margin, Central Asia. GFZ Data Servicesdoi:10.5880/GFZ.4.1.2021.003

Kufner, S.-K., Kakar, N., Bezada, M., Bloch, W., Metzger, S., Yuan, X., Mechie, J., Ratschbacher, L., Murodkulov, Sh., Deng, Z., Schurr, B. (2021), The Hindu Kush slab break-off as revealed by deep structure and crustal deformation, Nature Comm., 12, 1685. doi:10.1038/s41467-021-21760-w (open access)

Metzger, S., Ischuk, A., Deng, Z., Ratschbacher, L., Perry, M. Kufner, S.-K., Bendick, R., Moreno, M. (2020), Dense GNSS profiles across the northwestern tip of the India-Asia collision zone: Triggered slip and westward flow of the Peter the First Range, Pamir, into the Tajik Depression, Tectonics, 39, e2019TC005797. doi:10.1029/2019TC005797 (open access)

Metzger, S., Ischuk, A., Akhmedov, A., Ilyasova, Z., Moreno, M., Murodkulov, S., & Deng, Z. (2019). Survey mode GPS data in the West Pamir, Tajikistan, Central Asia, 2013–2016, GFZ Data Servicesdoi:10.5880/GFZ.4.1.2019.007

Perry, M. Kakar, N., Ischuk, A., Metzger, S., Bendick, R., Molnar, P., Mohadjer, S. (2019), Little geodetic evidence for localized Indian subduction in the Pamir-Hindu Kush of Central Asia, Geophys. Res. Lett., 46, 109-118. doi:10.1029/2018GL080065 [ pdf ] [ suppl ]

Kufner, S.-K., Schurr, B., Ratschbacher, L., Murodkulov, S., Abdulhameed, S., Ischuk, A., Metzger, S., Kakar, N. (2018), Seismotectonics of the Tajik basin and surrounding mountain ranges, Tectonics. doi:10.1029/2017TC004812 [ pdf ] [ suppl ]

Hoffmann, F., Metzger, S., Moreno, M., Deng, Z., Sippl, C., Ortega-Culaciati, F., Oncken, O. (2018), Characterizing afterslip and ground displacement rate increase following the 2014 Iquique‐Pisagua Mw8.1 earthquake, Northern Chile, J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth, 123, 4171–4192. doi:10.1002/2017JB014970 [ pdf ]

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 Geosc., 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, Tectonophys., 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 [ link]

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

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, https://doi.org/10.3929/ethz-a-007580688

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

Research Boards and Committees:

Member of the Scientific Council of the GFZ Potsdam


  • ALPSHAPE2, DFG researh grant for 3 years (DFG)
  • GeduCA: Central Asian GNSS summer school, 80 kEUR (Volkswagen Foundation)

publications are currently loading
back to top of main content