Research Division 4: Dynamics of the Ocean Floor

Overview

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

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 scientific drilling vessel JOIDES Resolution during IODP Expedition 351 in the Philippine Sea. Foto: Bill Crawford/IODP.
19.03.2021

Unique rocks provide new insights into Earth’s history

Scientists discover a unique type of oceanic basalts at the Izu-Bonin island arc

Map of the Atlantis II Fracture Zone
17.03.2021

A new view on plate tectonics

Nature study finds transform faults play active role in shaping ocean floors