Grabenbrüche bieten ein einzigartiges Fenster in das geodynamische System unseres Planeten und die Prozesse, welche die Erdoberfläche formen. Das Projekt CRYSTALS trägt zu grundlegendem Verständnis der kontinentalen Riftdynamik und der Entstehung passive Kontinentalränder bei. In unseren Modellierungen verwenden neueste numerische Methoden und folgen einem multi-skaligen Modelldesign.

News and Highlights

July 2018:

      Two new article preprints are online:

      (1) Max's paper on strain localisation reproducing rheological experiments and beyond (Link to EarthArXiv);

      (2) Sascha's analysis of rift obliquity since 230 Ma (Link to Solid Earth Discussion).

June 2018:

      We welcome new team member Tim Hake for his internship on automated fault analysis in numerical models.

May 2018:

      Our block course on geodynamic modelling at the University of Potsdam was a great success. We thank the 21 participants for their team spirit and enthusiasm.

April 2018:

      We welcome new team member Esther Heckenbach for her internship on transient vs. steady state behaviour in continental rifts.

March 2018:

      Anne wins a poster price at the Dutch Earth Science Congress ( for her presentation of "3D Numerical Rift Modelling with Application to the East African Rift System". Congratulations!

March 2018:

      Successful HPC Proposal: Structures and Dynamics of Continental Rift Systems. PIs: Sascha Brune, Stephan Sobolev. Grant Volume: 2,000,000 CPU hours on HLRN cluster (equivalent to € 52,000).      


Nonlinear viscoplasticity in ASPECT

Glerum, A., Thieulot, C., Fraters, M., Blom, C., and Spakman, W. (2018), Nonlinear viscoplasticity in ASPECT: benchmarking and applications to subduction. Solid Earth, v. 9, p. 267–294 [Link to Paper].

Forces within rifts

Brune, S., (2018), Forces within continental and oceanic rifts: Numerical modeling elucidates the impact of asthenospheric flow on surface stress, Geology, v. 46, p. 191–192, doi: 10.1130/focus022018.1. [Link to Paper

A connection between rifting and climate

Brune, S., Williams, S.E., and Müller, R.D. (2017): Potential links between continental rifting, CO2 degassing and climate change through time, Nature Geoscience, doi: 10.1038/s41561-017-0003-6 [Link to Paper].

Global evolution of dynamic topography

Rubey, M., Brune, S., Heine, C., Davies, D.R., Williams, S.E., and Müller, R.D. (2017): Global patterns in Earth’s dynamic topography since the Jurassic: the role of subducted slabs: Solid Earth, 8, 899- 919, doi: [Link to Paper]

Rift Linkage Modelling in East Africa

Brune, S., Corti, G., and Ranalli, G. (2017) Controls of inherited lithospheric heterogeneity on rift linkage: Numerical and analogue models of interaction between the Kenyan and Ethiopian rifts across the Turkana depression: Tectonics, p. 2017TC004739, doi: 10.1002/2017TC004739. [More Info, Animations, and Downloads]

Rifted Margin Architecture and Crustal Rheology

Brune, S., Heine, C., Clift, P.D., and Pérez-Gussinyé, M., 2017, Rifted margin architecture and crustal rheology: Reviewing Iberia-Newfoundland, central South Atlantic, and South China sea: Marine and Petroleum Geology, 79, 257–281, doi: 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2016.10.018. [More Info, Animations, and Downloads]

Abrupt plate accelerations due to rifting

Brune, S., Williams, S.E., Butterworth, N.P., Müller, R.D. (2016): Abrupt plate accelerations shape rifted continental margins: Nature, 536 (7615), 201–204, doi:10.1038/nature18319. [More Info, Animations, and Downloads]

Numerical Models on Centimetre-Scale

Cyprych, D., Brune, S., Piazolo, S., Quinteros, J. (2016): Strain localization in polycrystalline material with second phase particles: Numerical modeling with application to ice mixtures: Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, doi:10.1002/2016GC006471. [Link to Paper]

Review Article

Brune, S. (2016): Rifts and rifted margins: A review of geodynamic processes and natural hazards. Invited Review Paper in Geophysical Monograph, 219 “Plate Boundaries and Natural Hazards”, Duarte and Schellart (Eds.), AGU/Wiley Publishing. [Link to Paper]

Projekt Details


Helmholtz Nachwuchsgruppe


2016 - 2021


Helmholtz Gesellschaft


Sascha Brune


Anne Glerum

Maximilian Döhmann


Manfred Strecker, Henry Wichura, Simon Riedl (Institut für Erd- und Umweltwissenschaften, Universität Potsdam)

Simon Williams, Dietmar Müller (EarthByte Group, University of Sydney, Australia)

Giacomo Corti (Florence University, Italy) 

Sascha Brune
Dr. Sascha Brune
Geodynamische Modellierung
Heinrich-Mann-Allee 18/19
Gebäude HMA 18/19, Raum 502
14473 Potsdam
+49 331 288-1928
Zum Profil
Anne Glerum
M. Sc. Anne Glerum
Geodynamische Modellierung
Heinrich-Mann-Allee 18/19
Gebäude HMA 18/19, Raum 510
14473 Potsdam
+49 331 288-28766
Zum Profil
Maximilian Döhmann
M. Sc. Maximilian Döhmann
Geodynamische Modellierung
Heinrich-Mann-Allee 18/19
Gebäude HMA 18/19, Raum 501
14473 Potsdam
+49 331 288-28792
Zum Profil