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About Geology at LMU

We study natural processes that change the Earth, its shape and surface at different spatial and temporal scales.  We work at the interface of internally (plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions) and externally (atmospheric, hydrospheric) controlled processes. Our research also addresses relevant issues in natural resources, geohazards, and climate change.

Since 2018, our basement storage contains several tons of borehole cuttings, which we were able to sample from the geothermal deep borehole 'Garching an der Alz' thanks to the dedication of 54 bachelor and master students and 8 members of our academic staff. This material provides ample opportunity for learning various geological methods, including washing the sediments to recover micro-fossils, mineral preparation, geochemistry, heavy metal analysis, thermochronology and provenance analysis. Another natural laboratory available to our students is the metorite crater of Nördlingern (Nördlinger Ries), as well as the natural laboratory of the Isar River and the nearby Alps.


Photo showing the Matterhorn, remnants of the Theodul glacier and fresh exposures of glacially polished and striated ophiolite rocks. A prominent cloud is often attached to the Matterhorn's southern face, which symbolizes the interaction of tectonic and climatic processes (© A. Friedrich 2011).


Established focal points of geology in Munich include:

  • Resource Geology
  • Geochemistry
  • Active Tectonics and Tectonic Geodesy
  • Earthquake Research
  • Earth surface processes (Quaternary Sedimentology, Paleoseismology, Tectonic Geomorphology)
  • Deformation, Structural Geology, and Tectonics


Our methods include:

  • Geological field mapping
  • Geological remote sensing and GIS
  • Space-based geodesy and digital mapping
  • 3D Computer Modeling
  • Geochronology, Mass spectrometry
  • High-resolution microscopy
  • Processing of hard rocks

A strong-acid chemical-laboratory for cosmogenic nuclide sample preparation is available. Natural Laboratories include also field sites in Bavaria, the Alps, in SE Spain (Field camp location), the western United States, Zagros Mountains and Makran (Iran), East African Rift and the Serengeti, etc.