Geowissenschaftliches Zentrum

Geowissenschaftliches Zentrum


Jan Schönig receives the 2021 Bernd Rendel-Prize of the German Science Foundation (Sept 1st, 2021, AP)

Jan Schönig, PhD student at the Department of Sedimentology and Environmental Geology is one out of two 2021 award winners. Each awardee receives 2000 € from the Bernd Rendel Foundation. Jan developed a new methodical approach to solving a fundamental question in the geosciences - that of the beginning of today's plate tectonic processes in the history of the Earth. For the first time, he focused on sedimentary archives by tracking down the tiniest mineral inclusions that are only formed under ultra-high pressure conditions when one plate of the earth is submerged under another - called subduction. The prize will be awarded during the annual conference of the German Geological Society (September 19 to 23, 2021) in Karlsruhe. Congratulations!


Full press release

Contact: Jan Schönig

Atmosphere–hydrosphere–lithosphere coupling in the Archean (June 2nd, 2021, AP)

Geochemists and a petrologist from the Universities of Cologne, Göttingen and Åarhus (Denmark) have published new results on the interaction between atmospheric CO2, lithosphere and hydrosphere in the early days of our planet Earth. The study was led by Dr. Daniel Herwartz from the University of Cologne who formerly worked in Göttingen as PostDoc.

High atmospheric CO2 concentrations before the rise of subaerial continental land masses led to high surface temperatures and intense silification and carbonatization of mafic crust. This weathering flux lowered the δ18O of ocean water, which may explain the enigmatic low δ18O of ancient chemical sediments (cherts, carbonates). Only at the time when stable continents formed, large amounts of carbon could permanently be removed from the atmosphere–hydrosphere system and be stored in rocks of the continental crust. The drop in atmospheric CO2 led to a decrease in the silification and carbonization fluxes, to an increase in oceans δ18O to the modern value and to cooling of the Earth climate.

"This study, that was led by Daniel, is a wonderful example that the Earth has to be looked at as a system of interaction between atmosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere." says Andreas Pack.


The results are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Herwartz et al., PNAS 2021).

Full press release

Contact: Andreas Pack

Geologic history written in garnet sand (May 20th, 2021, AP)

An international research team including scientists from the Geoscience Center Göttingen has made important geological discoveries from a garnet-rich sand on a remote island in Papua New Guinea. By analyzing tiny “inclusions” (minerals trapped inside another mineral during its formation) in the garnet grains, they gained understanding of rock cycling from the surface of the Earth to deep within the upper mantle and back to the surface, controlled by tectonic and sedimentary processes. This cycle happens in less than 10 million years, which for such geologic processes is a remarkably short time. The results were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Baldwin et al., PNAS 2021).

Full press release


Contact: Hilmar von Eynatten

Geothermisches Reservoir am Standort Schwerin erschlossen (May 18th, 2021, AP)

Forschungsteam der Universität Göttingen erfolgreich mit neuartigem Erkundungsansatz


Contact: Dr. Matthias Franz

3D printing of rocks (May 18th, 2021, AP)

The increase in atmospheric CO2 from the pre-industrial level of 280 ppmv to the present level of as high as 405 ppmv has profound impact our climate. The production of concrete is a major source of anthropogenic CO2. We have started a project on emission-free 3D printing of building materials. For the very first test, we used a powerful infrared laser to sinter silicate dust. Eventually we want to use a solar furnace as heat source for environmental-friendly production of advanced building materials.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Andreas Pack

Geowissenschaftliches Kolloquium (April 10th, 20201, SMM)

Während des Semesters findet unser Kolloquium immer Mittwochs von 14:15 bis ca. 15:15 Uhr statt. Aufgrund der Conona-Situation findet das Kolloquium dieses Semester online via Zoom statt. Die Terminübersicht findet ihr hier.


Contact: Dr. Dominik Sorger