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
Major tectonic structures of the Eastern Alps seen from the International Space Station 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]


4 Oct 2021
New paper on the active faults of Slovenia
In a new paper we show that the Idrija and Predjama Faults in Slovenia have had strong earthquakes in the Holocene.
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Paleoseismological trench in Slovenia
13 Jul 2021
New paper on active faults in the Bolivian Amazon​
In a new study, Lombardo & Grützner look into the active tectonics of the Bolivian Amazon
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Active fault in the Amazon Basin
16 Mar 2021
The Dohlenstein landslide in 3D
As part of the DGGV project 30Geotopes³ we present a 3D model of the Dohlenstein landslide near Kahla in the Saale valley.
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Panoramic view of the Dohlenstein landslide
29 Jan 2021
New paper on the tectonic evolution of the Dinarides
In a new paper we investigate uplifted marine terraces along the Dinaric coast and explain what conclusions can be drawn about ...
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Uplifted marine terraces at the Velebit mountain, Croatia.
23 Nov 2020
The Graduate Award Geosciences​ 2020 goes to Madeline Richter
Madeline receives the award for her Master thesis finished in 2019
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supervisor Prof. Ustaszewski, Madeline Richter and the dean Prof. Arndt
9 Oct 2020
Vacant PhD position
We offer a PhD postion for a Geologist / Geophysicist (m/f/d)
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Earthquake distribution within the eastern Southern Alps and the northern Dinarides
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
DigitalGeology - 30 Geotopes³
DigitalGeology - 30 Geotope³
Jena Structures & Tectonics at Sketchfab
Jena Structures & Tectonics at Sketchfab
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