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

By means of hydroacoustic seafloor mapping Senckenberg and GEOMAR researchers have found out that the seafloor in the Atlantic Ocean is much more diverse than previously assumed. Photo: Senckenberg
19.06.2020

"Hard Rock" in the deep sea

The road to deciphering biodiversity on the seabed is stonier than previously assumed

Undisturbed sea bed with manganese nodules. Photo: ROV team/GEOMAR
29.04.2020

Simulated deep-sea mining affects ecosystem functions at the seafloor

Deep-sea mining-related disturbances have a long-term impact on the natural ecosystem functions and microbial communities at the seafloor.