Sediment and Isotope Geology - Sediment und Isotopengeologie
The main research topic of our two working groups is the sedimentary archive from the Precambrian to the Holocene. A specific focus is on the (isotope) geochemistry and petrography of carbonates. Research goals include faithful paleoclimatology (marine and continental) and the assessment of geothermal reservoirs for deep geothermal energy and heat production.
The sedimentary archive of terrestrial, epicontinental and marine basins record Earth’s history. Sediment petrography allows characterization of depositional settings as well as diagenesis. Geochemical and isotope analyses are employed as paleo-proxies to reconstruct paleo-environmental conditions such as temperature.
One main research focus is on carbonates that are assessed as archives of a dynamic environment. An important topic is the calibration and application of non-conventional isotope systems including (44Ca/42Ca), magnesium (26Mg/24Mg) and triple oxygen isotopes (18O/16O and 17O/16O). For this purpose, biogenic and abiogenic samples from the geological record are investigated and experimental approaches are perused. The goal is to ‘see through’ diagenesis and isolate individual processes related to carbonate precipitation directly reflecting paleoenvironmental conditions. Similar approaches are studied for other chemical sediments such as phosphates and sulfates.
We are also active in the geoscientific potential assessment of deep geothermal reservoirs, particularly with regard to Palaeozoic carbonates in western Germany. We coordinate our work with the Center of Competence for Geothermal Geology at the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Energy Infrastructures and Geothermal Systems, IEG (Bochum).
The Sediment and Isotope Geology workgroup comprises two Professorships in Sediment and Isotope Geology (Adrian Immenhauser) and Sedimentary Geochemistry (Daniel Herwartz).