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.
Folded pelagic limestones in northern Albania
Image: Kamil Ustaszewski
Deformed garnet porphyroblast under linear polarized light
When studying tectonometamorphic processes, we try to constrain the physical conditions under which rocks were deformed as well as the time of their deformation. We are also interested in the geodynamic setting in which deformation and metamorphism took place.
Terrain model of the thrust front in the Southern Alps, NE Italy
Our research into active deformation of the earth's surface by tectonic processes focuses on structure-forming processes, including the rates at which these processes operate. We tackle such challenges by quantifying geomorphological parameters with both ground-based and remote sensing approaches​.
Lithosphere-scale illustration of crust-mantle boundaries underneath Taiwan
In two-dimensional structural modelling, we combine geological surface data, borehole data and at times geophysical data to create geological cross sections. From series of cross sections, three-dimensional surfaces and volumes can be interpolated. 2D sections and 3D models provide the basis for understanding the geometries and physical properties of the geological subsurface.
Where we work

Regional studies in Germany

The landslide at the Dohlenstein in Kahla (Thür.). We created our 3D model from the freely available 1 m-LiDAR data of the Free State of Thuringia (, the also freely available geological maps ( and GoogleEarth satellite photos. The animation was realized exclusively with open source software: QGIS, Blender, GIMP, InkScape and Audacity. Music: Vibe Mountain, Clover3

3D-model of mass wasting deposits in the Saale Valley

The Dohlenstein landslide occurred on an inverted graben in the Saale valley, Germany. The top of the hill is made up of Muschelkalk, the base is Buntsandstein (both Triassic rock successions). The first description of a landslide dates from 1740. Back then, the Saale River was partially blocked. Even today the river has not managed to entirely erode the landslide toe. The landslide was reactivated several times (1780, 1828, 1881, 1920). Our 3D model is based on field mapping, open 1 m LiDAR data (, the freely available geological maps (, and GoogleEarth Imagery. The animation was created with free open source software: QGIS, Blender, GIMP, InkScape, Audacity.


Qualification theses

PhD theses


Biermanns, Peter, 2021: A geomorphological perspective of active tectonics and quaternary landscape development at the Dinarides-Hellenides transition (Northern Albania and Southern Montenegro), 157 pp, RWTH Aachen University,

Mjahid Zebari, 2021: Structural style and long-term slip rates in the Zagros Fold-Thrust Belt (Kurdistan Region of Iraq) derived from structural modeling, luminescence dating of river terraces and tectonic geomorphology, 169 pp,

Yiqiong Zhang, 2021: Structural evolution of the Taiwan fold-and-thrust belt gleaned from balanced cross sections and tectono-metamorphic studies in the Central Range, 140 pp.



Chris Salomon, 2020: A parametric study of thermomechanical 3D finite element simulations of subduction zones and its application to the Central Andes using realistic geometries. 107 pp. (with Allg. Geophysik)

MSc theses


Eilyn Becher, 2020: New evidence for postglacial activity of the Žužemberk fault and faults on the Jelovica plateau in the Lake Bled area from field work and remote sensing. 47 pp.

Manuel Diercks, 2020: Geomorphologic Investigations on Active Tectonics in Western Slovenia, 57 pp.


Julian Welte, 2019: The application of open-source software and open data in Remote Sensing on active faults at the case site of the Cerknica Polje in Slovenia, 61 pp.

Madeline Richter, 2019: Tectonometamorphic and hydraulic processes along a fossil subduction plate interface in the northern Mirdita Ophiolites (Bajram Curri, Albania), 144 pp.

Mareike Danigel, 2019: Rekonstruktion der Versenkungsgeschichte der Sächsischen Kreide auf Grundlage von Vitrinit-Reflektanzmessungen, 158 pp.


Robert Scheuer, 2018: Entwicklung des nördlichen Tien Shan Vorlandbeckens: (U-Th-Sm)/He-Datierung am Grundgebirge des kasachischen Ili-Beckens, 87 pp.


Antje Carl, 2015: Die Entwicklung der Orlasenke - Strukturgeologische Untersuchungen zwischen Saalfeld und Pößneck, 93 pp.

Sebastian Cionoiu, 2015: Comparison of the fault-parallel flow and fault-bend folding algorithms, 84 pp.

Tim Knörrich, 2014: 3D-Modellierung eines invertierten Grabensystems anhand einer geologischen Geländeaufnahme am Beispiel des Marisfelder Grabens (Südthüringen), 133 pp.

Sandy Laschke, 2015: Biostratigraphie und Lagerungsverhältnisse der höchsten Oberkreide am SE-Rand des Arkona-Beckens, südliche Ostsee, 122 pp.

Manuel Thieme, 2015: Thermochronologische Untersuchungen an Granitoiden des Thüringer Hauptgranit und Rotliegendformationen im Thüringer Wald und seinem südwestlichen Vorland, 161 pp.

Christoph Wehner, 2015: Struktureller Bau und Kinematik der Pamir-Nordrandüberschiebung im westlichen Alai-Tal (Kirgistan), 130 pp.


BSc theses


Ispas, Leon, 2022: Comparing photogrammetry and handheld laser scanning for creating 3D outcrop models, 43 pp.


Echter, Selina, 2020: Die Variationen der Cordierit-Gneis-Einheit des sächsischen Granulitgebirges, 55 pp.

Spille, Keno, 2020: 3D-Modell von Jena - Geologische Modelle für den 3D-Druck, 26 pp.


Steinle, Adrian, 2018: 3D-Modellierung eines Faltenzugs bei Adorf (Hessen), 52 pp.

Pingel, Janis, 2017: Construction of a balanced cross section in the Dinarides fold and thrust belt between the city of Ulcinj and the Lake Shkoder, Montenegro, 35 pp.


Judy Adamek, 2016: Strukturelle und petrographische Untersuchung des Granitgneises an der Talkanzel zwischen Niederlauterstein und Pockau im Erzgebirge (Sachsen).

Lukas Liebisch, 2016: 3D-Photogrammetrie des Steinbruchs Bad Kösen, Sachsen-Anhalt.


Linda Burnaz, 2015: Strukturgeologische und petrologische Analyse der Gneise im Schwarzwassertal bei Ansprung, Erzgebirge (Sachsen).

Sonja Frölich, 2015: Struktureller Bau und Metamorphose der Gneise um die Burgruine Niederlauterstein, Erzgebirge, Sachsen.

Christina Zinke, 2015: Analyse des Bruchflächeninventars in Grundgebirgs- und Rotliegendaufschlüssen am Nordrand des Thüringer Waldes bei Ilmenau (Thüringen) hinsichtlich der Versagenstendenz im rezenten Spannungsfeld.


Steffen Winn, 2014: Geologische Neukartierung zwischen Benshausen und Zella-Mehlis im Bereich der Südrandverwerfung des Thüringer Waldes.

Steffen Ahlers, 2014: Die kinematische Entwicklung der Viernauer-Störungszone südwestlich des Thüringer Waldes.

Julien Marquardt, 2014: Petrographie von Blauschiefern der Yuli Einheit, Taiwan.

Sascha Zertani, 2013: Tectonic Analysis of the external Fold-and-Thrust-Belt of the Dinarides in Montenegro; cross section Budva - Podgorica.

Philip Groß, 2012: Tektonische Analyse des externen Überschiebungsgürtels der Dinariden Nordalbaniens; Profilschnitt: Grykes-See - Bukmira.

Sebastian Cionoiu, 2012: Tektonische Analyse des externen Überschiebungsgürtels der Dinariden Nordalbaniens im Bereich der Skutari-Pec-Linie; Profilschnitt Skodra - Bajram Curri.