• Research Focus
  • Current Projects
  • Completed Projects

Research Activities

Our group has extensive field experience in high- and low-grade orogenic belts as well as practical experience in mountainous areas (e.g. Antarctica, Central China, European Alps, Himalaya, Pakistan, Patagonia, Scandinavia, Tibet). Field-based campaigns, including geologic and structural mapping, have been our standard starting point for subsequent laboratory-based petrologic, thermodynamic, geochemical and isotope chemical work. We have developed and successfully tested new methods for the thermodynamic modelling of rock-reaction paths, including quantitative analysis of the size of reaction domains, and for the precise dating of different stages of depth-temperature histories of complex, non-equilibrated metamorphic rocks. These state-of-the-art methods are the critical tools that have allowed us to precisely recover temporal changes in rock depth, in temperature and in stress-strain regime in orogenic belts worldwide.

Research interest of our group members:

Uwe Altenberger:

Sarah B. Cichy:

  • degassing and crystallization processes from magma storage conditions to the Earth's surface in dependence of e.g., chem. composition, temperature, pressure, volatile content and decompression rates, as well as their influence on the eruption style and intensity.
  • investigation of nucleation and growth of bubbles and microlites, as well as diffusion and isotope fractionation during depressurization of experimental and natural samples.

Roland Oberhänsli:

  • metamorphic and magmatic petrology: influence of bulk chemistry, blueschists, HP in acid rocks, high and low strain domains, Fe oxidation state, carpholite, multiequilibria

  • orogenic evolution: Alps and Middle East Tethyan Realm

  • instrumental analytics: installation of labs development of techniques

  • mapping projects: Blatt Matterhorn 1:25000, Metamorphic structure of the Alps CGMW

Georg Spiekermann:

  • X-ray spectroscopic investigation of silicate glasses and oxides under conditions corresponding to the Earth's mantle, and modelling of vibrational characteristics of silicate glasses.
  • development of the coordination of Silicon and Germanium in glasses under pressure, studied via X-ray Raman scattering (XRS) and X-ray emission spectroscopy (XES).

Masafumi Sudo:

Max Wilke:

  • element distribution processes in magmatic systems, relationship of element distribution to structural characteristics of melts and minerals.
  • influence of redox conditiond on the element distribution processes, development of oxygen barometry.
  • mineral solubility in hydrous solutions/fluids, element specification in hydrous solutions/fluids, implications for the mass transport in Earth's crust and mantle.
  • geomaterial research using synchrotron radiation.

Martin Ziemann:

A) Raman spectroscopic microanalysis in minerals
  • dentification of fluids, gases, melts, minerals and mineral phases with micro-inclusions in transparent host minerals and determination of metamorphism parameters–  composition, density, pressure and temperature.
B) Raman spektroscopy in arts and archaeometry
  • identification of paint layer particles (pigments) and minerals, as well as their changes related to climate and anthropogenic influences, especially applying Raman spectroscopy. 
  • use of mobile on-site Raman spectroscopy for in-situ identification analyses of minerals as well as of pigments in medieval and prehistoric wall paintings and polycromy.

current research projects:


  • "Optical and X-ray absorption spectroscopy of the pressure-induced spin transition of Fe2+ in natural phosphates of the triphylite- lithiophilite series, Li (Fex2+Mn1-x2+)[PO4]" DFG project: M. Koch-Müller (GFZ Potsdam), M. Wilke
  • "HRJRG-404: Structural properties of carbonate-silicate melts and their effect on fractionation processes in the deep Earth investigated by synchrotron radiation, spectroscopic, and ion probe methods" DFG project: Helmholtz Gemeinschaft, Impuls und Vernetzungsfond: A. Shiraev (IPCE RAS, Moscow), M. Wilke

  • Nanogranites in migmatites: deciphering the chemical differation in the continental crustDFG project of Martin Ziemann in cooperation with S. Ferrero, duration: 2015 - 2017
  • Entwicklung modellhafter Erhaltungskonzepte durch Erfassung und Monitoring anthropogen umweltgeschädigter mittelalterlicher Wandmalereien im Nordosten BrandenburgsProject of the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU-Aktenzeichen: 31390/01 – 45), Martin Ziemann in cooperation with Brandenburgischen Landesamtes für Denkmalpflege und Archäologisches Landesmuseum (BLDAM),  Fachhochschule Potsdam und der Universität Potsdam, duration: 2013 - 2017
  •  Ramanspektroskopische vor-Ort Identifizierung der Minerale in der Wand­dekoration des Grottensaals im Neuen PalaisProject of Martin Ziemann in the framework of the cooperation contract with the Stiftung Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg (SPSG), duration: 2002 - 2020
  • "Diffusive fractionation of lithium and boron isotopes in silicate melts: a tool to study degassing in acending magmas" DFG-Project of M. Wilke & S.B. Cichy in collaboration with D. Laporte & K. Koga from the Laboratoire Magmas et Volcans (LMV, France), duration: 2017 - 2020
  • "Fe spin transition in the Earth's mantle: insight from X-ray Raman scattering and X-ray absorption spectroscopy" DFG-Projekt, M. Wilke, C. Sternemann, TU Dortmund, &Catherine McCammon, BGI Universität Bayreuth, Laufzeit 2018-2021.
  • "Electronic structure of Fe/Mg carbonates at conditions of the Earth's lower mantle: Implications for the formation of tetrahedrally coordinated carbon" DFG Projekt, Forschergruppe FOR 2125 CarboPat: C. Sternemann, TU Dortmund & M. Wilke, Laufzeit 2018-2021
  • "X-ray fluorescence and X-ray absorption spectroscopy studies of element redistribution processes between carbonates and mantle phases at lower mantle conditions" DFG Projekt, Forschergruppe FOR 2125 CarboPat: K. Appel (European XFEL Hamburg) & M. Wilke, Laufzeit 2015-2021 


  • SPP-2238 Dynamics of Ore Metals Enrichment - DOME 

completed research projects:

  • Ramanspektroskopische Vor-Ort-Pigmentanalytik an der Wandmalerei ’Jüngstes Gericht’ in der Kirche VipperowProject vof Martin Ziemann in cooperation with Kirchgemeinde Vipperow, duration: 2013 - 2015
  • Alterung von künstlichen Bindemitteln auf Wandmalereien“ hier: ramanspektroskopische Charakterisierung der Pigmente, Project of Martin Ziemann in the framework of the Program "Konservierung und Restaurierung von mobilem Kulturgut" (KUR) der Kulturstiftung des Bundes und der Kulturstiftung der Länder in in cooperation with the Museum für Asiatische Kunst Berlin (AKU), Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM) Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Peking Universität, Rathgen-Forschungslabor Berlin, duration: 2007 - 2011
  • “Umweltbedingte Pigmentveränderungen der gotischen Ausmalungen in der Burg Ziesar und der Marienkirche Herzberg – Entwicklung eines Konzeptes zur nachhaltigen Konservierung“ Project of Martin Ziemann from the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU-Aktenzeichen: 23367– 45) in cooperation with Brandenburgischen Landesamtes für Denkmalpflege und Archäologisches Landesmuseum (BLDAM), duration: 2006 - 2009
  • "The influence of the coordination of trace elements in silicate melts on element distribution processes in magmatic systems" DFG-Projekt M. Wilke & S. Klemme, U Münster. Laufzeit: 2010-2014
  • "Solubility of HFSE-minerals and speciation of HFS elements in aqueous fluids at high temperatures and pressures" DFG-Projekt M. Wilke & C. Schmidt, GFZ Potsdam. Laufzeit: 2008-2011