Geophysics and Geodynamics

The Geophysics and Geodynamics Group (headed by Prof. Boris Kaus) at the Institute of Geosciences at the University of Mainz is working on understanding how geological processes work, from the grain-scale to the scale of a planet. We predominantly do this with the help of mathematical and numerical models, for which we develop new approaches. Ongoing research projects include lithospheric-scale shear localization, the coupling between melt migration and lithosphere deformation, the formation of fold-and-thrust belts and salt tectonics, the coupling between erosion, lithosphere dynamics and mantle flow, the dynamics of subduction zones as well as the development of new software that runs on high-performance parallel computing systems. A significant part of the group works on the project MODEL, funded by the European Research Council, which aims to better understand the dynamics of the lithosphere. 


In addition, part of the research group focusses on applied geophysical methods such as magnetotellurics, seismoelectromagnetics, gravimetry and DC geoelectrical tomography. We also have expertise on deep and shallow geothermal energy and thermohydraulic monitoring (by the Institute of Geothermal Resource Management).


There are many possibilities for students, postdocs and advanced researchers to take part in ongoing research projects (see open positions).



  • Stay tuned for a Science perspective of Boris on lithospheric rheology (sep. 30, 2016).
  • Adina & Roberta are moving on to warmer regions for a postdoc in San Diego & a PhD in Melbourne.
  • Georg & Lorenzo handed in their MSc-thesis
  • Tobias defended his thesis on April 5, 2016, Ragnar on April 8, and Adina on June 3. 

Our latest 4 publications:

  • What is the effect of pre-existing salt diapirs on folding patterns? Naiara's latest paper is about this.
  • What is the effect of erosion on tectonics? Have a look at this paper on folding with erosion.
  • How do 3D folds grow and interact? Check out this paper and the movies.
  • We show how to automatically adapt geodynamic models to fit geophysical data, using massively parallel simulations. 


Univ.-Prof. Dr. Boris Kaus
Geophysics and Geodynamics
Room 00-285
Tel: 06131-39-24527


Institute of Geosciences
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
J.-J.-Becher-Weg 21
D-55128 Mainz

Directions / floor plan

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