Folded pelagic limestones in northern Albania


Our research interests focus on the tectonics and associated sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous processes along converging plate boundary settings. Data collection in the field forms the backbone of our research. Currently we work in the Alps, on the Balkan Peninsula, in the Zagros Mountains, in Central Asia, as well as in Taiwan.
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Folded pelagic limestones in northern Albania
Image: Kamil Ustaszewski

Structural geology and tectonics in Jena

What we do Show content
Tektonische Großstrukturen der Ostalpen, gesehen von der Internationalen Raumstation ISS Major tectonic structures of the Eastern Alps seen from the International Space Station ISS Image: @nasa / Kepler ISS. Annotationen: Kamil Ustaszewski

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.

Apart from structural analyses, an understanding of the temporal changes in the geometry 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 Show content

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? Show content
Panorama Jena Panorama Jena Image: Benjamin Schmitz

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. Interesting structures can even be explored within the city limits: Excursion guide: Geology around Jena [pdf 5MB]


14 Sep 2020
New paper on the 1979 Montenegro Earthquake
Benjamin Schmitz has published a new paper on the 1979, Montenegro Earthquake (Mw7.1).
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Luftbild der Donja Klezna Antiklinale, Montenegro
31 Aug 2020
Philipp Balling wins ECR award
Philipp Balling has won the best students' paper award​ during the DGGV-meeting GeoUtrecht2020.
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Philipp vor Velebit
10 Jun 2020
Two new DFG-funded projects in the Alps
The Structural Geology and Tectonics group ​received funding for two new projects in the framework of SPP2017.
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Untersuchungsgebiet des neuen DFG-Projektes von Kamil Ustaszewski und Sumiko Tsukamoto.
23 Apr 2020
New Paper
Active tectonics in the Moulay Idriss Massif (South Rifian Ridges, NW Morocco): New insights from geomorphic indices and ...
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Active tectonics in the Moulay Idriss Massif
30 Apr 2020
BGEO1.2 WS 2020/21 Geological mapping course for beginners postponed
Alternative dates for the mapping courses postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic
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23 Apr 2020
New Paper
"Late Quaternary Tectonic Activity of the Udine-Buttrio Thrust, Friulian Plain, NE Italy". We have published a new paper on ...
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Julian Alpen, Slowenien
Paleoseismicity Blog
Priority Programme "Mountain Building Processes in Four Dimensions (MB-4D)" SPP 2017
SPP Mountain Building Processes in 4D
Institut für Geowissenschaften, Jena (IGW)
Institute of Geosciences
Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Geowissenschaften Jena  e.V.
Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Geowissenschaften
Thüringischer Geologischer Verein
Thüringischer Geologischer Verein
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Jena Structural Geology - Tectonics YouTube Chanel
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