Research projects

In the Structural Geology and Geodynamics Group, we investigate geological phenomena and processes over a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. Some of the research questions we are dealing with presently (and in some cases since many years):


  • How do technical properties of natural stone depend on their fine-scale structure down to sub-microscopic scale? How can we predict their technical properties? (Siegfried Siegesmund)

  • How does rock salt deform on a microscopic scale and what drives the growth of kilometre-sized salt structures in sedimentary basins? (Bernd Leiss, Jonas Kley)

  • The geological history of sedimentary basins often spans tens of millions of years or more. How is that history reflected in the permeability of their rocks for liquids and gases (fluids)? (Elco Luijendijk)

  • Which geological events have shaped the geology at our doorstep (Göttingen to Central Europe)? How are these events linked to the global plate tectonic evolution? (Bernd Leiss, Axel Vollbrecht, Jonas Kley, Elco Luijendijk, David Hindle)

  • How can geothermal energy be extracted from Göttingen´s subsurface? (Bernd Leiss, Jonas Kley, David Hindle)

  • What exactly happens at very small scales as a rock is continuously deforming? (Normally, geologists only see the final product). (Bernd Leiss, Axel Vollbrecht, Jens Walter)

  • Why do mountain ranges grow in the middle of Asia when India collides with its southern margin? (Jonas Kley)

  • How are the mechanical properties of rocks and the initial geometries of strata reflected in the final shape of fold belts? (David Hindle)

  • What do large structures in continental interiors tell us about a continent´s evolution? (Siegfried Siegesmund)



  • We approach these questions and others with a combination of different methods: Field work, optical microscopy, diffraction of x-, neutron and synchrotron radiation, deformation experiments, geometrical modelling in 2D and 3D, and numerical modelling.



    Our classes offer insights into most of these questions and our research methods, ranging from theoretical background, field mapping and laboratory courses to computer modelling. We like to involve students in ongoing research projects. We look forward to seeing you!