Structural Geology and Tectonics in Jena

What we do

A three-dimensional assessment of geological structures and an understanding of their evolution is not only of academic interest, but very often also of economic relevance, for instance in the targeted exploration of natural resources in structurally or stratigraphically controlled deposits, or for identifying suitable sites for the exploitation of renewable geothermal energy. Structural geology is a geoscientific sub-discipline concerned with geometric and kinematic analyses of tectonic structures such as folds, shear zones and fractures. Detailed field studies as well as the interpretation of seismic data and borehole logs form the backbone of our investigations.

alps_iss

Large-scale tectonic features of the Eastern Alps seen from the International Space Station in December 2019. (c): @nasa / Kepler ISS. Annotations: K. Ustaszewski.



Apart from structural analyses, an understanding of the temporal changes in the geometry (i.e., the kinematics) is required to unravel the tectonic evolution of particular structures. For dating tectonic deformation events and for determining physical conditions (pressure and temperature) that prevailed during the deformation of rocks, structural geologists rely on methods from other geoscience disciplines, particularly from petrology, isotope geochemistry, rock mechanics, sedimentology, as well as geophysics and geomorphology. Structural geology hence forms an important pivot and interface for numerous other geoscientific disciplines.


Where we work

Our principal research interests are tectonic and associated petrologic and sedimentological processes along converging plate boundaries during the formation of mountain belts. Currently, we conduct studies in the Alps, on the Balkan Peninsula, in the Zagros Mountains, in Central Asia as well as in Taiwan.


Why Jena?

Jena is a dynamic and rapidly growing university town in the centre of Germany. Numerous geological attractions are within easy reach around the city. Among the several geological highlights, there is the seismically active Vogtland (bordering the Czech Republic), high-grade metamorphosed rocks in the Erzgebirge of Saxony and salt-tectonics in the Werra mining district.