Dynamics of the Ocean Floor

The Research Division Dynamics of the Ocean Floor has two Research Units: Magmatic and Hydrothermal Systems and Marine Geodynamics.

Contact

Head of the Research Division:

Prof. Dr. Heidrun Kopp
GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel
East shore campus
Wischhofstr. 1-3 
D-24148 Kiel
Germany

Phone: +49-431-600-2334
Fax: +49-431-600-2922
e-mail: hkopp(at)geomar.de

Personal Assistent/Office Management:
Jasmin Mögeltönder
Phone: +49-431-600-2271
e-mail: jmoegeltoender(at)geomar.de

Anne Völsch
Phone: +49-431-2271
e-mail: avoelsch(at)geomar.de

Publications

Overview

The research focus is on the geological-geophysical survey of the ocean floor and the margins of the ocean basins. The core topics include processes of formation, development, alteration and subduction of the oceanic lithosphere and the associated effects on the environment, for example on the climate and the emergence of natural hazards.

These research topics are addressed in three geotectonic areas:

  • Divergent plate margins: Formation of the ocean floor and the ocean basins
  • Convergent plate margins: the subduction engine
  • Tectonic and magmatic processes in the intraplate zone: Conversion of oceanic plates

Significant research emphasis is placed on:

  • Marine natural hazards: earthquakes, volcanoes, slope stability, submarine landslides, and tsunamis
  • Seafloor resources: Gas hydrates and polymetallic massive sulphides
  • Introduction of volatiles into the atmosphere and hydrosphere

RD4 News

The Nazca plate moves eastwards with a rate of 6.6 cm per year. Off the Chilean coast it collides with the South American plate and is submerged beneath it. In this process, strains build up between the plates - until they break and the earth trembles. Image reproduced from the GEBCO world map 2014, www.gebco.net
13.12.2017

Residual Strain despite Mega Earthquake

Even the strongest quake ever measured left energy for successors

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Map showing the current distribution of exploration licences for nodule and sulphides in the Area, including the giant Clarion-Clipperton Zone manganese nodule field. Map: GEOMAR (see reference).
24.11.2017

Debate on deep-sea mining reaches new level

GEOMAR expert participates in high-level panel of the National Academy of Sciences

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