Structural Geology in Jena

What we do

Structural geology is concerned with tectonic structures such as folds, ductile shear zones and brittle fractures. Careful lithological and structural field mapping as well as analyses of borehole and seismic data form the base of our investigations. The two- and three-dimensional assessment of geological structures is very often of economic relevance, for instance in the targeted exploration of natural resources in structurally or stratigraphically controlled deposits, or for identifying sites of elevated geothermal potential.

KrastaZone_Albania
Folded pelagic carbonates in the Krasta zone, northern Albania

Apart from the geometric analysis of structures, an understanding of the temporal changes in the geometry (i.e., the kinematics) is required to unravel the tectonic evolution of particular structures. The relative chronology of deformation increments can usually be deciphered from the structures themselves: a fold formed in an earlier phase, for example, can be refolded during later deformation steps. As deformation is often associated with metamorphic, magmatic and sedimentary events, we rely on methods from other geoscience disciplines (particularly from petrology, isotope geochemistry, rock mechanics, sedimentology, geophysics and geomorphology) to constrain deformation events on an absolute time scale.

Where we work

Our principal research interests are tectonic and associated petrologic and sedimentological processes along converging plate boundaries during and following the formation of mountain belts such as the Alps, on the Balkan Peninsula and in Taiwan.


Why Jena?

Jena is a dynamic and rapidly growing university town in the heart of Germany. Numerous geological attractions are within easy reach around the city. Among the several nearby highlights for tectonicists, there are (U)HP-metamorphosed rocks in the Erzgebirge of Saxony, crustal-scale Early Permian rift basins, as well as contractional structures related to Late Cretaceous intraplate shortening, responsible for the surface uplift of the Thuringian Forest, one of the most prominent of the Central German Uplands.