Sektion 4.7: Erdoberflächenprozessmodellierung


Unsere Forschungsgruppe entwickelt Computermodelle, um die Entwicklung und Veränderung der Erdoberfläche zu simulieren. Dabei stehen Erosionsprozesse durch Flüsse oder Gletscher in Hochgebirgen sowie die langsame Verwitterung von Festgestein in kontinentinneren Flachlachbereichen im Fokus. Vor diesem Hintergrund bieten wir die Infrastruktur und einen konzeptionellen wie computergestützen Rahmen, um Befunde aus Geländebeobachtungen und Labormessungen zu integrieren, und daraus Vorhersagen an Orten zu machen, an denen keine Messwerte vorliegen, oder um Vorhersagen für die zukünftige Entwicklung der Erdoberfläche machen zu können.

Unsere Gruppe besteht aus einer Reihe von Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftlern, die alle ein gemeinsames Interesse an Computermodellen haben, jedoch Kenntnisse aus sehr unterschiedlichen Fachbereichen einbringen. Diese Fachbereiche umfassen Geologie, Geophysik und Mathematik. Wir arbeiten eng zusammen mit unseren Kollegen aus anderen Sektionen des GFZ Potsdam sowie mit Kollegen aus anderen deutschen und internationalen Forschungseinrichtungen und Universitäten.

Wir können von Zeit zu Zeit Praktika für interessierte Studierende anbieten.

Neuigkeiten der Sektion auf Twitter:


We are seeking a Research Group Leader!

In Section 4.7, we are currently looking to hire a new Research Group Leader. The position is advertised with a closing date of 2nd October 2022 and more details can be found on the GFZ jobs page.


Welcome to Dr. Dingzhu Liu, OCPC Fellow

On March 1st, Dr. Dingzhu Liu joined our section as an OCPC-Helmholtz post-doctoral fellow. The OCPC-Helmholtz fellowship is co-funded by the Helmholtz Association and the Office of China Postdoc Council to support outstanding Chinese post-doctoral talents and to strengthen the cooperation between Helmholtz Research Centers and Chinese partner institutions.

Dr. Dingzhu Liu will work with Dr. Hui Tang, Prof. Dr. Jean Braun, and Dr. Jens Turowski from Section 4.6: Geomorphology. His work will focus on understanding how debris flows and landslides change landscapes. To do that, he will integrate extreme short-term processes, such as landslides and debris flows, into a long-term landscape evolution model to form a multi-scale landscape evolution model.

Dr. Dingzhu Liu recently finished his Ph.D. at the Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences. His Ph.D. work mainly focused on earthen dam breaches, outburst floods, and submarine debris flows through physical experiments and numerical modeling. He is also a member of the NSFC-GFZ joint project: Understanding the seismic response of large-scale landslide and debris flows for developing disaster risk early warning methods, headed by Dr. Jens Turowski. 


Dec. 2021: Workshop series: Sino-German Mobility project “Mountain Hazards under Climate Change" (MHCC)

As part of the Sino-German Mobility project “Mountain Hazards under Climate Change (MHCC)” between GFZ and IMHE (funded by DFG and NSFC), Dr. Hui Tang, Dr. Michael Dietze from section 4.6, Dr. Jens Turowski from section 4.6, and Dr. Gordon Zhou from IMHE organized the first hands-on workshop series from Wednesday 1st Dec to Friday 3rd Dec, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm (Berlin time; 4:00-7:00 pm Beijing Time). The topic of the first workshop was “Environmental seismology for mountain hazards”.

For the first part of the workshop, we  invited Dr. Fabian Walter from the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) to a public lecture on Wednesday, 1st Dec. About 40 scientists from different institutes worldwide  joined the public lecture. For the second part of the workshop, Dr. Tang and Dr. Zhou gave two talks about the physics of debris flow and environmental seismology on day two.

About 15 students and postdocs  joined the hands-on section of the workshop to learn about seismic methods for mountain hazards. Dr. Dietze and Dr. Turowski  taught students how to install equipment, design sensor networks, process data, and locate events in hands-on sections. Ms. Sophie Lagarde and Dr. Ci-jian Yang supported us with setting up the workshop. During the final part of the workshop, students presented their research projects. We are looking forward to seeing them apply these methods in their research.


December 2021: Welcome to Dr. Hannah Davies!

On December 1st 2021, Dr Hannah Davies joined the section as a post-doctoral researcher. Her work will focus on understanding patterns of sediment production and transport on an Early Earth where subduction-driven tectonics as we know it today was not fully established. She will also investigates potential mechanisms for the role of the extensive glaciation that may have triggered erosion and sediment transport when our planet’s tectonics was still dominated by more diffuse flow in the mantle and thus longer wavelength and lower amplitude surface topography. For this she will develop a continental- to planetary-scale model of erosion and sediment transport that she will couple to various kinematic and dynamic models of plate motion on a convecting mantle and, later, to a simplified climatic model tuned for the conditions of the mid-Proterozoic.

Dr Hannah Davies recently completed her PhD at the University of Lisbon during which she focused on the relationship between tides and tectonics to understand how changes in the tides, induced by plate tectonic motion during supercontinent cycles, affect other components of the Earth system, such as climate and habitability. We welcome Hannah to our section. She is also a member of the ERC-Synergy MEET project headed by Professor Stefan Sobolev in Section 2.5 (Geodynamic modeling).


November 2021: Welcome to Dr. Chuanqi He

On November 1st, Dr. Chuanqi He joined the section as a post-doctoral researcher. He will work in Dr Hui Tang’s Group “Hazards and Surface Processes” on constraining the factors controlling the velocity of drainage divides over geological time scales using numerical model and comparing their predictions to geological observations pertaining to the evolution of the main divide in the Taiwanese orogen. For this, he will collaborate with Prof. Dr Jean Braun and Professor Xiaoping Yuan from the China University of Geosciences in Wuhan. Dr Chuanqi He received his PhD from Zhejiang University this year. During his PhD, he visited the GFZ for a period of one year.


September 2021: Welcome to Guanghui Chen

On September 1st, Guanghui Chen joined the section as a visiting doctoral researcher from Central South University, China. He holds an MSc degree in civil engineering from the same institution. He will spend two years with us in Dr Hui Tang’s Research Group “Hazards and Surface Processes” working on characterizing and understanding the mechanisms responsible for the transient distribution of landslides triggered by a large earthquake.


Welcome to Postdoctoral Researcher Dr. Esteban Acevedo-Trejos

We are very pleased to welcome Dr. Esteban Acevedo-Trejos in Section 4.7, who joined us from the Systems Ecology Group at the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research, Bremen. The position in our section forms part of Project C7 entitled „Modelling the co-evolution of life and landform“ of the DFG-funded Collaborative Research Center (CRC) 1211 . The CRC is a project between several German universities, with the University of Cologne as a lead institution. We are delighted to have gained such an experienced researcher and look forward to an exciting exchange of ideas.


A warm welcome to Dr. Jingtao Lai

We are delighted to welcome Dr. Jingtao Lai to the section. Jingtao recently completed his PhD at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where his doctoral studies focused on constraining tectonic and climatic controls on glacial and postglacial landscape evolution using numerical modeling.

At the GFZ, Jingtao will examine the influence of sediment flux dynamics on postglacial fluvial incision of the Alps. Welcome Jingtao!


 The ESD (Earth Surface Dynamics) Seminar Series now has its own website:

Please check it out for details of past and future talks, including abstracts and information about the speakers.


Landscapes Live Talks

Talks from the Landscapes Live seminar series are still available to view on the Landscapes Live YouTube channel!



S2S FUTURE - Signal Propagation from Source To Sink For the Future of Earth Resources and Energy

Several of our section members are involved in the S2S (Source-to-sink) FUTURE ITN (Innovative Training Network) funded by the European Union. They include Amanda Wild, Caroline Fenske and Jean Braun. The objectives of S2S-FUTURE are to understand, quantify and model the sediment routing system from the sediment production (source) to the sediment deposition (sink); its tectonic and climatic controls; and to establish generic rules for a full understanding of signals propagation in S2S systems for building predictive models of sediment location and characteristics. These studies of S2S systems require interdisciplinary approaches combining geomorphology, sedimentology and stratigraphy, geochemistry, tectonic and paleoclimatology coupling observations, quantifications and process modelling.



December 2020: Welcome to doctoral researcher Amanda Wild

On 1st December Amanda Wild joined our section as a doctoral researcher funded (like Caroline Fenske) by the ITN S2S FUTURE. Amanda will work on the development of a model to track grain size in a landscape evolution model. She will use it to interpret data gathered by partners within the network and, in particular, a unique record documented rapid changes in erosional and depositional conditions during the PETM from the Pyrenees. Amanda recently obtained her MSc from the University of Victoria in British Columbia (Canada).


November 2020: Welcome to doctoral researcher Caroline Fenske

On November 1st, Caroline Fenske joined our section as a doctoral researcher to work on the development of a new weathering model that she will use to interpret observational constraints from cratonic and tectonic environments, namely southern Africa and the Pyrenees. She will team up with another 14 PhD students scattered across many European research institutions (University of Geneva, Rennes, Imperial College, and many more) to study source-to-sink (S2S) systems at a wide range of temporal scales. This Innovative Training Network (ITN) is funded by the European Commission and focuses on a multi-disciplinary approach that combines field, laboratory and modelling training. Caroline joins us after finishing her Master degree at the University Paul Sabatier in Toulouse (France).


October 2020: Welcome to Dr. Oliver Francis

We are happy to welcome our new section member, Dr. Oliver Francis, to join us. Ollie finished his Ph.D. at Cardiff University. He mostly worked on sediment processes after a large earthquake, including post-seismic landslide and debris flow, for his Ph.D. thesis. In his Ph.D. project, he has quantified the sediment cascade for about ten years following the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in China. In our section, Ollie will work on developing a new debris flow model with different debris flow initiation mechanisms, especially for the 'firehose' effect, and combining the model with the state-of-the-art landscape evolution models to study how climate and tectonics control debris-flow-dominated landscape.


Sept. 2020: Welcome to the section, Dr.  Anne-Morwenn Pastier!

We are delighted to welcome Dr. Anne-Morween Pastier to the section. Anne-Morween completed her PhD at the Université de Rennes 1, where her doctoral studies focused on the hydrologic and geodynamic evolution of the Okavango Delta. Since completing her PhD, she has worked as an adjunct lecturer at the Université de Rouen, teaching petrology, sedimentology, and tectonics to bachelors students. In the Earth Surface Process Modelling section, Anne-Morween will focus on the evolution of coral reefs and bedrock coasts, particularly their sensitivity to the combined effects of sea level oscillations, vertical land motion, wave erosion, and reef growth. Welcome Anne-Morwenn!


June 2020: A warm welcome to Dr. Boris Gailleton

We are very happy to welcome Boris Gailleton in the section. Boris has completed his PhD at the University of Edinburgh where he worked with Hugh Sinclair and Simon Mudd. For his doctoral thesis, Boris worked on unravelling composite forcings on channel steepness in the Carpathians with a morphometric analysis of the river profiles in the range. He could show that although the most prominent knickzones found in multiple neighboring rivers were expressing lithologic forcing, the tectonic signal could still be unravelled with systematic cross-comparisons and field constrains. This allowed him to establish an overview of neotectonic deformation across the entire range. To do so, Boris developed several tools for morphometric analysis and landscape evolution modelling published within the LSDTopoTools framework. In the Earth Surface Modelling section, Boris will focus on the development of landscape evolution models that can 1) properly handle local sinks of water and sediment and 2) evolve over heterogenous lithologies with varying permeability.


Seminar series "Landscapes Live" kicks off!

In the current situation, scheduled visits to our section and planned seminars have had to be cancelled.

However, you can check out Landscapes Live, an online seminar series co-organised by Dr. Charles Shobe, which kicks off with the first talk on 4 June 2020. Scheduled as part of the programme so far are Anneleen Geurts (University of Bergen), Liran Goren (Ben Gurion University of the Negev), Robert Hilton (Durham University), Fiona Clubb (Durham University), and Georgie Bennett (University of Exeter).




OCPC Postdoc Program fellow

We are happy to announce that a research scientist from China has joined us in January 2020 on a Helmholtz-OCPC Postdoc Program fellowship. Dr. Shuai Li got his PhD in Hydraulic Engineering from Sichuan University in June 2015. He will work on the initiation, transport, and impact of modelled boulder in debris flow during his stay with us.


Welcoming Dr. Luca Malatesta

We extend a warm welcome to our new Senior Scientist Dr. Luca Malatesta.

Dr. Malatesta has joined us from the Institute of Earth Surface Dynamics, University of Lausanne, in January 2020.

"I study the record of climatic and tectonic signals on the Earth surface. I work on the relationships between the morphology of active margins from shelf to marine terraces, the earthquake cycles at subduction megathrusts and changes in sea level. Another of current subjects of study is the role of rivers in shaping (or not) landscapes where their water and sediment discharge does not canonically increase with drained area."

We are thrilled to have him working with us!


New research fellow Dr. Xiujun Xu

We are happy to announce that a research scientist from China has joined us in November 2019 on a Helmholtz-OCPC Postdoc Program fellowship. Dr. Xiujun Xu got his PhD from Harbin Engineering University about design optimization and performance prediction on Coastal engineering in June 2018. He will work on tsunami and storm surge sediment transport modelling during his stay with us.


New section members!

We are thrilled to announce that two research scientists, Dr. Erik Chan and Dr. Charlie Shobe, have joined us in September 2019. Dr. Chan has backgrounds in Astrophysics, Geophysics, and Planetary Sciences. His work covered distinct topics, including the rotational stability of terrestrial planets, the interior structure of the Moon, the possible evidence for an ancient ocean on Mars, and ice-age palæoclimate and sea level. The intersection of these topics lies in the complex, but elegant interplay between global geophysics, planetary interior properties and dynamics, and planetary surface processes. With collaborators in many different fields of research, Dr. Chan uses old-fashioned theoretical development, numerical methods, and statistical analyses of data to thread together various disciplines in the continual quest to make sense of it all.

Dr. Charlie Shobe is joining the section to work on modelling the development of deep marine stratigraphy. He will be working towards inverting deep marine stratigraphy to understand the long-term denudation history of passive margin landscapes. Charlie received his PhD in August 2019 from the University of Colorado, where he worked on a variety of problems in river and hillslope geomorphology as well as landscape evolution model development.

Feedback und Bericht von unserer Praktikantin

Unsere Praktikantin Lena Jebasinski hat nach Abschluss ihres Praktikums am 31. Juli 2019 folgende Zusammenfassung geschrieben. Wir freuen uns sehr, dass ihr die Zeit bei uns gefallen hat.


"Ich habe nach meiner Bachelorarbeit in Geowissenschaften ein Praktikum in der Sektion Oberflächenprozess Modellierung am GFZ in Potsdam von Mai-Juli 2019 absolviert. Das Ziel des Praktikums war es, mich mit den Möglichkeiten vertraut zu machen, wie man geomorphologische Prozesse als Modelle darstellen und dadurch Rückschlüsse auf unsern Planeten und die darauf ablaufenden Prozesse ziehen kann. Ich lernte Landschaftsentwicklungsmodelle, welche mit der Programmiersprache Python implementiert sind, zu bearbeiten, zu modifizieren und anzuwenden. Bei der Langen Nacht der Wissenschaften (LNDW) konnte ich die Lernerfolge direkt anwenden und kurze Animationen für einen Vortrag erstellen. Den Vortrag habe ich erfolgreich im Rahmen der LNDW 2019 im Seminarraum des Großen Refraktors vorgetragen.

Weiterführende Aufgaben in der Programmiersprache Python gaben mir die Möglichkeit meine Kenntnisse zu vertiefen. Außerdem konnte ich dadurch auch selbstständig an einem neuen Projekt teilhaben. Durch Gruppentreffen, Seminare und Paper-Reading Groups bekam ich auch einen großen vertieften Einblick in Projekte anderer Mitarbeiter der GFZ, insbesondere unserer Sektion. Deshalb konnte ich die Forschung der GFZ in den verschiedenen Gebieten der Geowissenschaften kennenlernen.

Die Mitarbeiter waren alle sehr freundlich und hilfsbereit. Ich habe mich sehr aufgenommen und wohl gefühlt. Die Mitarbeiter untereinander in der Abteilung arbeiten sehr eng miteinander und helfen sich bei vielen Dingen gegenseitig. Das große sehr offene Büro und die offene, sehr hilfsbereite Arbeit erschaffen eine einmalige Atmosphäre, die ich sehr vermissen werde. Ich bedanke mich bei Jean Braun und der ganzen Abteilung, für die freundliche Aufnahme in die Abteilung und die große Hilfsbereitschaft."

Welcoming Dr. Hui Tang

We are delighted to welcome Dr. Hui Tang, who joined us from the University of Arizona on 1st July.

Dr. Hui Tang's research group studies natural hazards and related processes across a wide range of environments, from mountain regions to coastal areas even deep ocean over different time scales. The work has wide topics ranging from earthquake and tsunami, storm and hurricane, landslide and debris-flow, to flood and paleo-flood. We use a variety of tools and methods, including field survey, remote sensing, processes-based modelling, and machine learning to understand physical processes behind all these natural hazards.

INQUA 2019

Dr. Hui Tang has attended INQUA 2019 Congress held at Dublin, Ireland from 25th July to 31st July to present his recent work about improving tsunami hazard assessment by using geological records and inversion modelling.

COLORS Project Basin and Range field trip

Xiaoping and most people from the COLORS project joined a 6-day Basin and Range field trip starting on 11th of June. Prof. Brain Wernicke and two assistants from Caltech lead this fantastic trip. It really opened our ideas on the formation of Grand Canyon in the Colorado Plateau, compressive and later extensional tectonics in the Basin and Range Province, the formation of core complex, mountain and fans in the Death Valley. We are building up our understanding of the detailed field studies conducted in 1980s to form the great Wernicke's model. By the way, for the first time, I encountered the hottest temperature (maximum up to 50°) there.

Verleihung der Arthur-Holmes-Medaille an Jean Braun

Jean Braun, Kim Huppert, Katherine Kravitz, Igor Lisac und Xiaoping Yuan nahmen vom 8. bis 13. April an der Generalversammlung der Europäischen Geowissenschaftlichen Union (EGU) und dem Steepest Descent Meeting in Wien (Österreich) teil. Bei der EGU-Generalversammlung wurde Jean die Arthur-Holmes-Medaille und Ehrenmitgliedschaft verliehen, und er hielt einen inspirierenden Plenarvortrag in einem Raum mit dem Thema "Modelling landscape evolution: from simulation to inspiration". Jean's Vortrag und die Preisverleihung können auf der Webseite des EGU Webstreaming angesehen werden.

EGU General Assembly und Steepest Descent Treffen 2019 in Wien

Jean Braun, Kim Huppert, Katherine Kravitz, Igor Lisac und Xiaoping Yuan nahmen vom 8. bis 13. April an der Generalversammlung der Europäischen Geowissenschaftlichen Union (EGU) und dem Steepest Descent Meeting in Wien (Österreich) teil. Bei der EGU-Generalversammlung erhielt Jean die Arthur-Holmes-Medaille und Ehrenmitgliedschaft und hielt einen inspirierenden Plenarvortrag in einem Raum mit dem Thema "Modelling landscape evolution: from simulation to inspiration".

Etwas später in der Woche präsentierte Kim einen Highlight-Vortrag "Wave power and seacliff retreat rates in the Hawaiian Islands", Kat präsentierte ein Highlight-Poster "The role of geomorphology and climate on macroevolutionary processes in Madagascar and Sri Lanka", Igor präsentierte ein Poster "Application of a model for point-wise prediction of stream flow statistics using climatic and geomorphologic data to Taiwan", und Xiaoping präsentierte einen Vortrag "Inverse analysis of Pearl River source-to-sink system, South China Sea: Implications for SE Tibetan uplift and monsoon intensification".

Die Gruppe ergriff natürlich auch die Gelegenheit, sich mit anderen Kollegen auszutauschen - einschließlich des dritten jährlichen "Reunion-Dinners" mit der Gruppe "Interactions between Climate and Earth surface processes" (ICE) der Universität Lausanne. Weiteren Austausch  gab es im Rahmen der Veranstaltungen auch über  Fortschritte in der Geomorphologie und in anderen Geowissenschaften.



Besuch von Luke McGuire and Hui Tang, University of Arizona

Assistant Professor Luke McGuire und Postdoktorand Hui Tang (Universität von Arizona) besuchten unsere Sektion vom 15. bis 18. April. Während dieses Besuchs hielt Dr. McGuire einen Vortrag über “The geomorphic impact of wildfire: from debris flow hazards to landscape evolution” im Rahmen unserer Sektionsseminarreihe.

Dr. McGuire und Dr. Tang trafen sich auch mit Forschern in unserer Abteilung und anderen Abteilungen des GFZ und hatten die Gelegenheit, während ihres Aufenthalts den Großen Refraktor (das Teleskop) anzusehen. Wir freuen uns sehr, dass Dr. Tang im Sommer als Senior Scientist unserer Forschungsgruppe beitreten wird, und freuen uns auf zukünftige Zusammenarbeit und den wissenschaftlichen Austausch mit der Forschungsgruppe von Dr. McGuire.

Fortran Interface FastScapeLib Veröffentlichung

Heute (Montag, der 4. Februar 2019) haben wir die neueste Version des Fortran Interface FastScapeLib auf GitHub veröffentlicht, dank Xiaoping Yuan, Jean Braun und Benoît Bovy, die sehr hart daran gearbeitet haben, um die Verwendung und Installation zu vereinfachen. Die Software zur Lösung von Landschaftsentwicklungsgleichungen (Strömungskraftgesetz einschließlich Sedimentationseffekt und Hangneigungsprozesse) ist so konzipiert, dass sie mit jedem tektonischen Modell verknüpft werden kann (von einem einfachen Flexurmodell bis zu einem komplexen thermomechanischen 3D-Modell). Es ist in Fortran geschrieben, kann aber von Fortran, C, C++, Python und (bald) Matlab aufgerufen werden. Es ist so konzipiert, dass es dank Benoîts Bemühungen auf jeder Plattform (MacOS, Linux und Windows) ausgeführt werden kann, und ist verfügbar unter: https::

EGU gibt Verleihung der Arthur-Holmes-Medaille und der Ehrenmitgliedschaft an Jean Braun bekannt

Am 17. Oktober gab die Europäische Geowissenschaftliche Union (EGU) bekannt, dass Jean Braun auf der EGU-Generalversammlung in Wien im April für die Auszeichnung Arthur Holmes-Medaille und Ehrenmitgliedschaft für "außergewöhnliche internationale Verdienste und wissenschaftliche Errungenschaften in den Geowissenschaften der festen Erde" ausgewählt wurde. Die Arthur Holmes-Medaille ist eine der prestigeträchtigsten Auszeichnungen der EGU. Jean wird bei der Preisverleihung einen Plenarvortrag halten, wenn er seine Medaille in Wien erhält.

Herzlichen Glückwunsch Jean!

Der Vortrag von Jean und die Preisverleihung können online auf der Webseite des EGU Webstreaming verfolgt werden.


SINTEF Winter School 2019: Learning from Data in Geilo, Norway

Kim Huppert attended the 2019 Geilo Winter School on eScience: Learning from Data in Geilo, Norway January 20 - 25, funded by the Research Council of Norway. The winter school covered a range of topics including data assimilation, inverse modeling, parameter estimation, uncertainty quantification, value of information, and machine learning in fifteen 90-minute lectures (conveniently scheduled in the mornings and evenings to allow for a long mid-day ski break!).

Debugging FastScape Interface

From January 15 to 17 a small working group of the COLORS consortium (from Bergen, Rennes and Toulouse) met to help Xiaoping Yuan and Jean Braun debug the latest release of the FastScape Interface that we are currently polishing for release. The Interface is designed to be coupled to a thermo-mechanical model but can also be used in any stand-alone Fortran, C, Python or Matlab code.

AGU Fall Meeting 2018 in Washington, D.C.

Benoît Bovy, Ruohong Jiao, Kim Huppert, and Xiaoping Yuan attended the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting in Washington, D.C., USA December 10 - 14. Benoît presented a short talk and poster "Xarray-simlab: a Python package to build, customize and run computational models interactively", Jiao presented a poster "Constraining 90 Ma landscape evolution model of Madagascar using erosional and sedimentary data", Kim presented an invited talk "The imprint of discharge variability on bedrock river incision on the Hawaiian island of Kaua'i", and Xiaoping presented a talk "A new efficient, O(n) and implicit method to solve the stream power law taking into account sediment transport and deposition". In addition to presenting their research, Benoît, Jiao, Kim, and Xiaoping enjoyed hearing about the latest scientific results across the geosciences and catching up with the broader community (including members of Section 4.6 in a shared conference apartment!)

Visit from Michael Lamb, Caltech

Professor Michael Lamb visited the GFZ December 3 - 6. During his visit, Professor Lamb presented a lecture (co-hosted by sections 4.6 and 4.7) "Bedrock Canyons Carved by the Largest Known Floods on Earth and Mars" and met with scientists in our section and other sections across the GFZ.

Earth Surface Dynamics Lecture by Todd Ehlers, Universität Tübingen

Section 4.7 invited Professor Todd Ehlers to the GFZ December 3-4 to give the Earth Surface Dynamics (ESD) Lecture. The new ESD lecture series (co-organized by sections 3.3, 3.5, 3.7, 4.3, 4.4, 4.6, and 4.7) aims to bring together the broad range of researchers on Telegrafenberg looking at Earth surface processes. The goal for these talks is to be broad and accessible and deal with big, global topics, so that non-experts and specialists alike find them enlightening. Professor Ehlers's talk "Latitudinal Variations in the Influence of Vegetation on Catchment Denudation" was well attended by scientists working in research groups across the GFZ, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), and the Alfred Wegner Institute (AWI). During his visit, Professor Ehlers also gave a specialized talk on “Formation of Topography by Seismic Slow Slip Events: The Olympic Mountains (USA)” in a workshop on links between tectonics and topography organized by our section. The workshop also featured talks by Professor Onno Oncken (“Seismic cycle and topography uplift at convergent plate boundaries - does it scale?”) and Dr. Pia Victor ("Exploring the seismotectonic significance of shallow triggered slip captured with the IPOC Creepmeter Array“) of Section 4.1. We enjoyed meeting with Todd during his visit.

Schülerpraktikum in der Sektion

Gustav, ein Praktikant vom Potsdamer Humboldt-Gymnasium, kam in der Zeit vom 26. November bis zum 4. Dezember 2018 ans GFZ. Während dieser Zeit verbrachte er einige Zeit in unserer Sektion, wo wir ihm neben einem kurzen Einblick ins GFZ und unsere Sektion mit dem faszinierenden Bürogebäude auch einen Überblick über unsere Hauptaktivitäten vermittelten. Wir sprachen mit ihm über unsere Einzel- und Gruppenprojekte, über die Relevanz der numerischen Modellierung, und zeigten ihm einige grundlegende Tools für die Datenanalyse und unsere Ergebnisse.

COLORS Meeting in Pau

From Monday 26th November to Wednesday 28th November 2018, Xiaoping Yuan and Jean Braun attended a COLORS meeting at the R&D Total laboratory in Pau, France. We presented our latest results to our Total colleagues showcasing our recent advances in developing our FastScape landscape evolution models and its use to invert (in a Bayesian sense) geological data and, in particular, stratigraphic data. We were joined in our presentation by other members of the COLORS consortium from Toulouse, Rennes, Grenoble and Bergen.

Visit from Sébastien Lénard, CRPG/CNRS/Université de Lorraine

Sébastien Lénard, a PhD student at CRPG, CNRS, and Université de Lorraine, visited Section 4.7 November 14 - 21. During his visit, Sébastien presented a seminar "Stability of erosion in the Himalayan orogen over the Quaternary transition, as shown by in-situ 10Be and Sr-Nd isotopes from the sedimentary record" and discussed his research with scientists in various sections at the GFZ.

Landscape Genomics

From November 26-30, 2018, Katherine Kravitz attended a course in Berlin on landscape genomics, a field that studies how the environment can modify the distribution of genetic diversity across a landscape. The workshop provided an overview of how to analyze environmental and genetic data in conjunction to study population structure and local adaptation. The attendees of the workshop spanned across many disciplines and had a wide variety of interest in different processes and external factors that impact environment and adaptation. It was a great way to learn some of the leading approaches and tools necessary to understand the link between landscape and biodiversity.

Visit from Nikos Theodoratos, ETH Zürich

Nikos Theodoratos, a PhD student at ETH Zurich, visited the Earth Surface Process Modelling group (formerly Section 5.5, now renamed 4.7) at GFZ on October 17-19, 2018 in preparation for his submitting a proposal to the Swiss National Foundation to obtain funding for a post-doctoral position in our section. During his PhD studies at ETH in Zurich, Nikos has written a very insightful paper (published in ESURFD) on the scaling of the Stream Power Law.

Following his visit, Nikos sent us the following message:

“Dear Section 5.5, Thank you for your hospitality and for the opportunity to present my work at your seminar! I especially appreciated the effort you put into connecting me with researchers from other GFZ groups and the University of Potsdam, which led to many discussions with very interesting people. Your office, located in an old observatory and surrounded by nature, is a very stimulating and fun place to work at; I really enjoyed my time there.

Warm regards, Nikos”

GeoMod2018 conference in Barcelona

From October 1-4, several members of our section (Jean, Igor, and Xiaoping) attended the GeoMod2018 conference in Barcelona, dedicated to the latest results of analogue and numerical modelling in Geosciences. The presenters' areas of expertise varied widely (e.g., tectonics, volcanic processes, surface processes, lithosphere dynamics, rock physics, and geofluids), and all were generally happy with their own work and the interesting feedback received.

Our section members presented their latest ideas, methods and results of numerical modeling of surface processes. For example, Jean presented "Efficient algorithms for the simulation of Earth surface processes", Igor showed his latest result of "Application of a model for point-wise prediction of stream flow statistics using climatic and geomorphologic data on Walnut Gulch (Arizona)", and Xiaoping presented the new method of sediment transport and deposition on land. They enjoyed very much the feedback to their presentations.

Thermo 2018 Conference in Quedlinburg

From 16-21 September, Jean, Audrey, Jessica, and Jiao attended the Thermo 2018 conference in Quedlinburg, Germany. This international conference is held every two years, focusing on the development in methodology and application of low-temperature thermochronology. There were many interesting and inspiring talks, posters, and discussions. The attendees from our section took the opportunity to present their current work.

Jean talked about the "time scale for orogenic growth and decay”. Audrey gave a talk on the “roles of erosion and isostasy in topography building” in the case of Cordillera Blanca, and presented new data and interpretation about the uplift and denudation histories of the Namibian passive margin. Jess gave an invited talk on the roles of erosion and mantle dynamics in the landscape evolution of southern Africa. After the main program of the conference, Jean gave a half-day course, introducing the new version of Pecube, a thermo-kinematic model to solve heat transport in the crust and invert thermochronological data.

Reise nach Lausanne, Juni 2018

Unsere Sektion verbrachte den Monat Juni in Lausanne. Gastgeber war Prof. Herman (Frédéric) an der Université de Lausanne (UNIL), einem Spezialisten für die Untersuchung der Gletscherdynamik und der Gletscherosion. Dies war der zweite Teil eines Austauschprogramms, das teilweise von der Fondation Herbette finanziert wurde. Während des gesamten Monats war unsere Abteilung vollständig in die Lausanne-Gruppe im Geopolis-Gebäude auf dem Unil-Campus integriert.

Wir organisierten alle zwei Tage kurze Seminare (Teil der inzwischen berühmten „Monique Seminar Series“), bei denen jeder Forscher einen Aspekt seiner aktuellen Forschung und / oder eine neuartige Technik präsentierte, die er / sie entwickelt hat. Dies diente als Katalysator für weitere informelle Interaktionen, die in einigen Fällen zu weiterer Kooperationen durch die Einrichtung gemeinsamer Projekte führten. Das Fachwissen wurde auch über die Verwendung und Entwicklung numerischer Methoden ausgetauscht. Die Lausanner Gruppe hat viel Erfahrung in der Entwicklung numerischer Modelle der Gletscherdynamik und der Gletscherosion. Mehrere Doktoranden von Frédéric organisierten eine zweitägige Exkursion nach Zermatt und zum Gornergletscher. Auf dem Weg von Lausanne reisten wir durch das Rhonetal, wo wir verschiedene geomorphologische Merkmale entdeckten. An mehreren Standorten diskutierten wir intensiv über viele Themen, wie etwa die Ausbreitung von Knickpunkten, die relative Effizienz von Gletscher- und Flusserosion oder die Zirkulation im Genfersee. Am zweiten Tag besuchten wir den Gornergletscher, wo Frédérics Team die verschiedenen Feldversuche erklärte, die sie dort gerade durchführen.

Während unseres Aufenthalts in Lausanne waren auch einige Besucher für ein paar Tage dabei: Guillaume Cordonnier aus Grenoble, Konstanze Stübner von der Uni Potsdam, Eric Deal vom MIT, Guillaume Baby aus Rennes, Erika Erlanger von der ETH, Olivier Beyssac aus Paris und Simon Cox aus Otago (NZ).

Der Besuch führte zu folgenden gemeinsamen Projekten / Aktivitäten:

  • Entwicklung einer impliziten Methode zur Lösung der Eiserosionsgleichungen
  • Entwicklung eines TL / OSL-Modells zur Einbindung in thermochronologische (Pecube) Software
  • Weiterentwicklung einer Methode zur Abschätzung der Eisdicke aus der Eisoberflächengeometrie
  • Gemeinsames Forschungsprojekt zur Abschätzung eines Äquivalents des Hack'schen Gesetzes für den Gletscherfluss
  • Inversion thermochronologischer Daten aus den Anden ⁃ Validierung von Methoden zur Interpretation thermochronologischer Daten
  • Viele Interaktionen mit anderen Fakultäts- / Forschungsmitarbeitern von Unil außerhalb der Gruppe von Frédéric (Ökologen, Hydrologen, andere Geomorphologen usw.)

Die Universität von Lausanne ist außerdem ideal am Ufer des Genfer Sees gelegen. Mitglieder der Sektion haben den Aufenthalt sehr genossen, mit regelmäßigen Schwimmen, Grillen und Laufen entlang des Seeufers sowie vielen Kletterausflügen an den Wochenenden. Das Wetter war schön und erlaubte uns, die wunderschöne Umgebung voll zu genießen.

EGU Jahrestreffen 2018

Vom 8.-13. April nahm ein Großteil der Mitarbeiter unserer Sektion am jährlichen Treffen der European Geosciences Union in Wien teil.

Die Vielfalt des Programms bot für jeden Geschmack etwas: Mitglieder der Sektion besuchten Vorträge und Posterpräsentationen zu Geomorphologie, Hydrologie, Geoinformatik, Glaziologie, Paläontologie, Weltraumforschung… Denn schließlich ist einer der Vorteile einer großen internationalen Konferenz das Zusammenkommen von Expertenwissen aus so vielen Fachgebieten! Mitglieder von 5.5 zeigten ihre eigene Fachkompetenz in Form von Posterpräsentationen. Die meisten entschieden sich für ein traditionelles Format, während Benoit Bovy und Kim Huppert sich mit den Vorteilen und den Herausforderungen einer interaktiven Posterpräsentation namens PICO® auseinandersetzen mußten.

Die Erfahrungen der Moderatoren waren sehr unterschiedlich, aber alle waren im Allgemeinen zufrieden mit ihrer eigenen Arbeit und dem interessanten Feedback.

Gegen Ende der Konferenz gab es ein freundschaftliches Treffen mit Frederic Hermans Gruppe von der Universität Lausanne: Es gab Pläne zu schmieden für den Gruppenbesuch im Juni. In ein paar Monaten wird zu sehen sein, was dabei herauskam!

Erik Tamre (im Namen der Sektion 5.5)

Exkursion nach Belgien

Im Oktober haben wir zum ersten Mal einen "Betriebsausflug" nach Belgien unternommen. Wir sind als Gruppe in die Ardennes gefahren, wo wir vier Tage lang die Landschaften, die Städte und die Geomorphologie der Gegend kennengelernt haben. Hier sieht man uns bei Wanderungen auf dem Haute-Fagnes-Plateau und in den Tälern von Semois und Ningslinspo.

Source-to-Sink (S2S) workshop in Paris & COLORS Fall Meeting in Pau

From 13th November to 19th November 2019, Jean Braun and Xiaoping Yuan attended a S2S workshop in Paris, and COLORS Fall Meeting at the R&D Total laboratory in Pau, France. Jean showed the inverse analysis of the South China Sea to TOTAL exploration team (mostly specialists from structural, stratigraphy and petroleum system modeling depts), and presented recent advances in developing our FastScape landscape evolution models to the COLORS team. Xiaoping presented the latest results on the South China Sea in the Paris workshop, and on the SE Tibetan Plateau in Pau. We were joined in our presentations by other members of the COLORS consortium from Toulouse, Rennes, Grenoble and Bergen.



Kommende Seminare:


Normalerweise veranstaltet unsere Sektion regelmäßig Seminare mit Referenten aus der ganzen Welt. In der gegenwärtigen Situation mussten geplante Besuche in unserer Sektion und geplante Seminare abgesagt werden. Bitte besuchen Sie jedoch Landscapes Live, eine wöchentliche Online-Seminarreihe, die von Dr. Charles Shobe mitorganisiert wird. Bisher sind im Rahmen des Programms Vorträge von Anneleen Geurts (Universität Bergen), Liran Goren (Ben-Gurion-Universität des Negev), Robert Hilton (Universität Durham), Fiona Clubb (Universität Durham) und Georgie Bennett (Universität Exeter) geplant. Folgen Sie dem Link für Einzelheiten zum Programm und zur Anmeldung.


Liste vergangener Seminare




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