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Priv. Doz. Dr. Ute Weckmann

Group Leader
Priv. Doz. Dr. Ute Weckmann
Building A 42, Room 116 (Büro)
Albert-Einstein-Straße 42-46
14473 Potsdam

Function and Responsibilities:

Head of working group Magnetotellurics
Equal opportunity officer

Research Interests:

My main research interest is the application of the magnetotelluric (MT) method in fossil continetntal collision regimes. Of particular interest is the comparison of fossil suture zones with recent ones and to improve our understanding of collisional processes on the entire lithospheric scale.I have studied fossil collision zones in Scotland (Iapetus Suture), Namibia (Damara Belt) and South Africa (Kaapvaal Craton, Namaqua-Natal Mobile Belt and Cape Fold Belt). The existence of electrical anisotropy seems to be characteristic for fossil suture zones. However, MT data over anisotropic structures in the Earth’s crust are strongly distorted so that those data are hardly or not interpretable with tools available at present. Therefore I further developed an imaging method (PNA) which is applicable in presence of electrical anisotropy or strongly heterogeneous subsurface. For an improved data analysis I developed a MT data selection scheme in frequency domain which works if no suitable remote reference sites are available.


I was awarded with the Emmy Noether fellowship (Phase I) from the German Science Foundation (DFG) which I spent at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (Ireland) working on the MT data from the Namaqua-Natal Mobile Belt and conducting further MT exeriments along the Agulhas-Karoo transect of the Inkaba yeAfrica research initiative. The 600km profile with 300 MT site covers continental accretion processes of 1.2 billion years from the southern coast of Africa through the Cape Fold Belt, the Namaqua Natal Mobile Belt onto the Kaapvaal Craton. It is an unrivalled opportunity to study fossil suture zones within the framework of an integrated system Earth approach. The German Science Foundation (DFG) has been funded a junior research group studying fossil suture zones. Currently, the group consists of myself and the PhD students Dipl-Geophys. Xiaoming Chen and Dipl.-Geophys. Sissy Kütter.

Another aspect of my research includes teaching at the Potsdam University und extending the geophysical research fields, covered so far, by the deep sounding method of magnetotellurics.


  • May 2013 - present
    Head of working group Magnetotellurics
  • Aug 2006 – May 2013
    Research scientist at Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam (since April 2011 with permanent contract)
  • Mar 2006 - 2012
    Leader of a DFG junior research group (Suture zones)
  • Mar 2004 – Mar 2006
    Emmy Noether fellow at Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, Ireland
  • Feb 2002 – Feb 2004
    Research associate at GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam
  • 1999 - 2002
    Research fellow (PhD student) at GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam
    PhD (Dr. rer.nat.) in Geophysics at the Free University, Berlin Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Volker Haak
  • 1992 - 1999
    Diploma in Geophysics at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University Frankfurt a.M., Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Andreas Junge


  • 2013
    DFG: ELCOPOT (appl.)
  • 2011
  • 2010
    DFG: ELCONA, Ri1127/9-1 within SPP 1375: SAMPLE
  • 2009
    DFG: ELIBABA, We 2938/8-1
  • 2009
  • 2008
    DFG: ICDP workshop, Barberton

Research Boards and Committees:

Editor of Geophysical Journal International (GJI)
Treasurer of the IAGA-WG 1.2 committee
Equal Opportunity Commissioner at GFZ


2012    Helmholtz Management Academy
2008    GFZ junior research price
2008    Helmholtz Network mentoring-Programme
2005    Burgen Fellow (Academia Europaea)
2004    Emmy Noether fellowship (DFG)

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