Dr. Jörg Giese


Fachbereich Geowissenschaften

Institut für Geologische Wissenschaften

Tectonics and Sedimentary Systems


Address Malteserstr. 74-100
Room B 137
12249 Berlin
Telephone (+49 30) 838 - 70191
Fax (+49 30) 838 - 458659
Email joerg.giese@fu-berlin.de

Professional Experience

Since 2013                 Post Doctoral Research Associate at the Tectonics and Sedimentary Geology Group at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

2011 - 2013

Project Manager Geology, Louis Ingenieurgeologie GmbH, Weggis, Switzerland (gravitational natural hazard assessment, hazard mapping and engineering geology)
2009 - 2011 Akademischer Rat a. Z. in the Tectonics- and Structural Geology Grout at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Germany
2005 - 2009 Research Associate (in combination with my PhD studies) in the Tectonics Group at the University of Bern, Switzerland
2005 - 2006 Free-lancing Geologist, GAF AG, Munich, Germany (several assignments, including analytical work and fieldwork in the course of World Bank (IDA) Project; “Réalisation des travaux de cartographie géologique de Madagascar, révision approfondie de la cartographie géologique et minière aux échelles 1/100.000 et 1/500.000 zone Sud”)
2004 - 2005 Service Contract, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, Sonderforschungsbereich 267


2009 PhD in Geology at the Universtiy of Bern, Switzerland

Diplom in Geology and Palaeontology at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

Actively growing mountain chain of the northern Qilian Shan.

Freie Universität Berlin


  • Advanced geological field mapping (Module GG013B)                   

- Peshkopia, Albania                                     (2014)
- Kukes, Albania                                           (2015)
- Bajram Curri, Albania                                  (2016; 2017)

  • Geological methods – laboratory methods (Module GG010)
  • Advanced geological map interpretation and profile construction (Module GG010)
  • Seminar on current work (Module SC001)
  • Seminar Tectonics Group (Module SC001)


  • Geological field mapping for Beginners (Module Praxis II)

- Adorf, Germany                                          (2013)
- Radenthein, Austria                                    (2014; 2015; 2016)

  • Geological fieldtrip for Beginners “Die Erde” (Module Praxis I)

- Harz Mountains, Germany                           (2013)

Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

  • Interpretation of geological Maps                                              (BSc-Level)
  • Rock identification                                                                  (BSc-Level)
  • Fieldtrip for Beginners “1B” (Germany)      (2009; 2010; 2011)     (BSc-Level)
  • Geological maps and profiles 2                                                (MSc-Level)
  • Advanced mapping class (Switzerland)     (2009; 2010)              (MSc-Level)

University of Bern (assistant)

  • Structural geology
  • Geological maps and profiles 1 & 2
  • Plate tectonics
  • Deformation mechanisms and microstructures
  • Field mapping class
  • Excursion “Kandersteg”
  • Excursion “Morcles Decke”

Administration Freie Universität Berlin

  • Head of fission-track facilities
  • Deputy member of the institute council (Institutsrat; 2015-2017)


  • Tectonics, structural geology, geodynamics, thermochronology
  • Orogenic cycles – from subduction to collision and finally fading of orogens
  • Structural evolution of orogenic belts
  • Interplay between tectonics, magmatism and metamorphism
  • Low-temperature evolution in convergent and divergent tectonic settings (Apatite fission-track thermochronology)
  • Studied areas: Tauern Window (Eastern Alps), East African Orogen (Madagascar; formation and dispersal of Gondwana), Qilian Shan Mountains (China, active tectonics); Dinarides-Hellenides transition (Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro; Neogene tectonics, cooling and exhumation, crust-mantle coupling); Ross Orogen (North Victoria Land, East Antarctica; Interplay between magmatism and tectonics)



  • Slab tearing or slab retreat as triggers of extension at the Dinaric-Hellenic transition

The aim of this project is to link the Neogene to recent structural and crustal evolution in the transition zone between the Dinarides and the Hellenides to changes in the subduction system. The Shkoder-Peja Normal Fault and associated fault systems at the junction of these orogens is in our main focus, since these structures accommodate Mid-Miocene to recent clockwise rotation of the northern segment of the Hellenides by normal faulting, transfer- and strike-slip faulting and out-of-sequence thrusting. We apply geological mapping, structural and kinematic analysis, analysis of Neogene (fault-bounded) sedimentary basins and apatite fission-track analysis in order to date and quantify the evolution of these fault systems to ultimately conclude on the triggering mechanisms driving this episode of structural reorganization.



Tectonic map of the southern Dinarides and Hellenides illustrating the Neogene to recent fault systems (maps and tectonic units modified after Schmid et al. 2011). (C) P-wave tomography at 150 km depth with location of major surface structures (modified after Bijwaard and Spakman 2000. Abbreviations: CJ – Cerna-Jiu, EVF – Elbasan-Vlora Transfer Fault, JA – Jastrabac core complex, KB – Kosovo Basin, MO – Moesia, ODF – Othoni-Dhermi Transfer Fault, PW – Peshkopie Window, SPNF – Shkoder-Peja Normal Fault, SV – Sava suture, TK – Timok Fault.



Steeply dipping normal fault in upper Triassic limestones of the Korab-Pelagonian unit (Road Kukes-Peshkopia, northern Albania).

Principal Investigators: Dr. Jörg Giese, Prof. Dr. Mark Handy, Dr. Jan Pleuger

PhD student: Marc Grund

Partners: Prof. Dr. Stefan Schmid (ETH Zürich), Prof. Dr. Kujtim Onuzi (Polytechnical University, Tirana), Prof. Dr. Kamil Ustaszewski (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena), Prof. Dr. Wim Spakman (Utrecht University), Dr. Eline Le Breton (Freie Universität Berlin), Prof. Dr. Anne Bernhardt (Freie Universität Berlin)

Funding: German Research Foundation (DFG, grant Nr. GI825/4-1)


  • Assembly and breakup of Gondwana – seismological signatures in the lithosphere/asthenosphere system of Southern Madagascar (SELASOMA)

Madagascar was once in the central part of the East African Orogen after final amalgamation of Gondwana during late Neoproterozoic/Cambrian times, before being the location of multi-stage breakup of the supercontinent during Mesozoic rifting and dispersal. Although, being in the focus of numerous geological, structural, petrological and geochronological studies for decades, its crustal and lithospheric structure is still only very little known. In order to fill this gap, several passive seismic experiments have been launched during the past few years – the SELASOMA project is one them spanning a linear array (GFZ Potsdam and Goethe University Frankfurt in collaboration with the Université d’Antananarivo) from the west coast to the east coast traversing most of the geological domains of Madagascar. Our goal is to better characterize the crustal and lithospheric structure beneath the island of Madagascar and to link the crustal and mantle architecture to geological features at the surface (e.g., Neoproterozoic crustal-scale shear zone, sedimentary basins, etc.) and finally to conclude on the geodynamic events responsible for the structural organisation of the lithosphere today.



Geological overview map (modified after Bésairie 1969/70 and Collins and Windley 2002) indicating the area covered by seismic stations of the SELASOMA project (shaded area). Legend key for inset: (1) Phanerozoic cover; (2) Bemarivo Belt; (3) Proterozoic units of SW Madagascar (undiff.); (4) Itremo domain; (5) Tsaratanana sheet; (6) Vohibory domain; (7) Antananarivo domain; (8+9) Antongil-Masora domain. Figure modified after Giese et al. 2017.



Neoproterozoic intrusive rocks in central Madagascar.

 Principal Investigators: Prof. Dr. Georg Rümpker (Goethe Universität Frankfurt), Prof. Dr. Frederik Tilmann (Freie Universität Berlin, GFZ Potsdam); Dr. Xiaohui Yuan (GFZ Potsdam), Dr. Jörg Giese

Funding: German Research Foundation (DFG, grant Nr. GI825/2-1)


  • Structural evolution, kinematics and timing of the early Ross orogeny in North Victoria Land (Antarctica) in conjunction with syn- to posttectonic Granite Harbour magmatism

The Ross Orogen, preserved in parts in Northern Victoria Land (Antarctica), formed as an Andean type subduction orogen during Cambro-Ordovician times. Its formation was vastly accompanied by the syn- to posttectonic intrusion of the Granite Harbour intrusive suite within the deformed crust of the Wilson terrane. In this project, we try to identify spatial and temporal patterns and modifications of magmatism (I-type vs. S-type) to better constrain the geodynamic evolution of the Ross orogen. Magmatic cross-cutting relationships are complex and promote a prolonged intrusive history. Therefore, the structural relationship in between different intrusives and its host-rock are indispensable in addition to geochronological age determinations.

This project is closely interconnected with the project “Evolution of zircon chemistry and inclusion paragenesis of I- to S-type granitoids from the Wilson Terrane of northern Victoria Land (Antarctica): Zircon as a record of dynamic continental crust formation” by Dr. Martina Menneken (formerly Freie Universität Berlin, now at Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung BAM). Funding by German Research Foundation DFG, Principle Investigators Prof. Dr. Timm John (Freie Universität Berlin) and Dr. Andreas Läufer (Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe BGR).

Fieldwork took place in the framework of the GANOVEX XI (German Antarctic North Victoria Land Expedition) by the BGR in 2015/16.



Link to GANOVEX XI Diary




 Fieldwork in the Lanterman Range (North Victoria Land, Antarctica) during the GANOVEX XI expedition 2015/16.


Multiple generations of dikes of the Granite Harbour suite (central Lanterman Range, North Victoria Land, Antarctica); Inset shows raft of host rock.


Ductile folding of pegmatoid veins within Rennick Schists with development of an axial planar folition (Daniels Range, Northern Victoria Land, Antarctica).



  • Topographic evolution and exhumation history of tectonically active mountain chains in the Qilian Shan (China) revealed by low-temperature thermochronology and cosmogenic nuclides

Granted by German Research Foundation DFG (PI Dr. Jörg Giese and Prof. Dr. Ralf Hetzel (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster)

  • Financial support from WWU Münster for pilot studies for DFG proposal (2009)
  • Financial support from FU Berlin for pilot studies for proposal “Fission-track annealing experiments of artificial apatite crystals under hydrous vs. dry conditions” (2014)
  • Financial support from FU Berlin “Internationale Netzwerkuniversität” for attendance and travel to the THERMO 2014 international congress on thermochronology in Chamonix in Sept. 2014 (2014)
  • PROMOS Travel grant for students attending advanced mapping class (Module GG013b: Vertiefende Geologische Kartierung) in Bajram Curri (Albania) in April 2016
  • PROMOS Travel grant for students attending advanced mapping class (Module GG013b: Vertiefende Geologische Kartierung) in Bajram Curri (Albania) in April 2017



Literature cited:

Bésairie H (1969/70) Cartes géologique de Madagascar (1:500.000). Service Géologique de Madagascar, Antananarivo

Bijwaard H, Spakman W (2000) Non-linear global P-wave tomography by iterated linearized inversion: Geophys. J. Int 141,71–82, doi:10.1046/j.1365-246X.2000.00053.x

Collins AS, Windley BF (2002) The tectonic evolution of central and northern Madagascar and its place in the final assembly of Gondwana. J Geol 110:325–339

Giese J, Schreurs G, Berger A, Herwegh M (2017) Kinematics and significance of a polydeformed crustal-scale shear zone in central to south-eastern Madagascar: the Itremo-Ikalamavony thrust. Int J Earth Sci 106: 2091-2108, DOI10.1007/s00531-016-1415-z

Schmid SM, Bernoulli D, Fügenschuh B, Matenco L, Schefer S, Oberhänsli R, van Hinsbergen D, Ustaszewski K (2011) First-order similarities and differences between the Alps, Dinarides, Hellenides and the Anatolides-Taurides. Conference abstract, AGU Fall meeting 2011, San Francisco

Publications in peer-reviewed international journals

Rindraharisaona, E.J., Tilmann, F., Yuan, X., Rümpker, G., Giese, J. and Rambolamanana, G. (2017). Crustal structure of southern Madagascar from receiver functions and ambient noise correlation: implications for the crustal evolution. J. Geophys. Res., Solid Earth, 122, doi:10.1002/2016JB01356

Giese, J., Schreurs, G., Berger, A. and Herwegh, M. (2016). Kinematics and significance of a poly-deformed crustal-scale shear zone in central to south-eastern Madagascar: the Itremo-Ikalamavony thrust. Int. J. Earth Sci., DOI: 10.1007/s00531-016-1415-z

Reiss, M.C., Rümpker, G., Tilmann, F., Yuan, X., Giese, J. and Rindraharisaona, E.J. (2016). Seismic anisotropy of the lithosphere and asthenosphere beneath southern Madagascar from teleseismic shear-wave splitting analysis and waveform modeling. J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth, 121, 6627-6643, doi: 10.1002/2016JB013020

Giese, J., Seward, D and Schreurs, G. (2012): Low-temperature evolution of the Morondava rift basin shoulder in western Madagascar: An apatite fission track study. Tectonics, 31, TC2009, doi:10.1029/2011TC002921.

Giese, J., Berger, A., Schreurs, G. and Gnos, E. (2011). The timing of the tectono-metamorphic evolution at the Neoproterozoic-Phanerozoic boundary in central southern Madagascar. Precambrian Res., 185, 131-148.

Giese, J., Seward, D., Stuart, F.M., Wüthrich, E., Gnos, E., Kurz, D., Eggenberger, U., Schreurs, G. (2010). Electrodynamic disaggregation: Does it affect apatite fission-track and (U-Th)/He analyses? Geostand. Geoanal. Res., 34, 39-48, DOI: 10.1111/j.1751-908X.2009.00013.x

Schreurs, G., Giese, J., Berger, A., Gnos, E. (2010). A new perspective on the significance of the Ranotsara shear zone in Madagascar. Int. J. Earth Sci., 99, 1827-1847, DOI: 10.1007/s00531-009-0490-9

Berger, A., Gnos, E., Janots, E., Fernandez, A., Giese, J. (2008). Formation and composition of rhapdophane, bastnäsite and hydrated thorium minerals during alteration: Implications for geochronology and low-temperature processes. Chem. Geol., 254, 238-248.


Conference abstracts

Handy, M.R., Kissling, E., Spakman, W., Ustaszewski, K., Le Breton, E. and Giese, J. (2017). Crust-mantle decoupling in the Alps, Carpathians, Dinarides and Hellenides – the next targets of AlpArray? Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 19, EGU 2017

Giese, J., M.C. Reiss, E.J. Rindraharisaona, G. Rümpker, G. Schreurs, F. Tilmann, X. Yuan (2016). Brittle reactivation of inherited late Neoproterozoic/Cambrian lithospheric-scale structures during extension and break-up of Madagascar from Africa. AGU 2016, AGU Fall Meeting.

Menneken, M., T. John, A. Läufer, J. Berndt, F. Henjes-Kunst, J. Giese (2016). Magmatic origin and fluid alteration versus inheritance: Complex history of accessory minerals I-type granites from northern Victoria Land (Antarctica). AGU 2016, AGU Fall Meeting.

Handy M.R., B. Fügenschuh, J. Giese, E. Le Breton, B. Muceku, K. Onuzi, J. Pleuger, S.M. Schmid and K. Ustaszewski (2015). Orogen-parallel and -normal extension at the Dinarides-Hellenides junction during clockwise rotation and radial expansion of the retreating Hellenic arc-trench system. AGU 2015-T23F-06, 2015 AGU Fall Meeting.

Handy, M.R., Cionoiu, S., Giese, J., Groß, P., Le Breton, E., Onuzi, K., Pleuger, J., Schmid, S.M., Ustaszewski, K. and Zertani, S. (2015): Overlapping orogen-parallel and orogen-normal extension related to ongoing clockwise rotation at the junction of the Dinarides and Hellenides (Northern Albania). Annual Meeting DGGV DMG, GeoBerlin 2015.

Menneken, M., John, T., Läufer, A., Berndt, J. and Giese, J. (2015): Zircon Pb-Pb ages, chemistry and inclusion data of granitoids from the Wilson Terrane of northern Victoria Land (Antarctica): evidence for an immature Andean-type continental margin. 26. Internationale Polartagung, München.

Zertani, S., Giese, J. and Handy, M.R. (2015): Kinematics and low-temperature thermochronology of the Skutari-Pec-Fault in northern Albania: a combined structural and apatite fission-track study. Annual Meeting DGGV DMG, GeoBerlin 2015.

Handy, M.R., Schmid, S.M., Cionoiu, S., Deutsch, C., Evseev, S., Giese, J., Groß, S., Le Breton, E.,Onuzi, K., Pleuger, J., Ustaszewski, K., Wannek, D. and Zertani, S. (2014): Tectonics related to rotation at the western end of the Skutari-Pec Normal Fault. XX Congress of the Carpathian Balkan Geological Association, CBGA 2014, Tirana.

Wanneck D., Groß, P., Cionoiu, S., Deutsch, C., Evseev, S., Zertani, S., Giese, J., Le Breton, E., Handy, M.R., Onuzi, K., Pleuger, J. and Ustaszewski, K. (2014): A new 1:10,000 geological map of the Skutari-Pec Fault and surroundings, northern Albania – evidence of orogen-parallel extension. 15th Symposium on Tectonics, Structural Geology and Geology of Crystalline Rocks, TSK15, Potsdam.

Zertani, S., Cionoiu, S., Deutsch, C., Evseev, S., Groß, P., Wannek, D., Handy, M., Ustaszewski, K., Giese, J., Le Breton, E., Pleuger J. and Onuzi, K. (2014): Structure and kinematics of the Kutari-Pec-Fault in northern Albania. 15th Symposium on Tectonics, Structural Geology and Geology of Crystalline Rocks, TSK15, Potsdam.

Giese, J., Seward, D. and Schreurs, G. (2010): Low-temperature evolution of the Morondava rift shoulder in western Madagascar. Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 12, EGU2010-11340, 2010.

Hetzel, R., Palumbo, L., Giese, J. and Guo, J. (2010): Growth and erosion of mountain ranges at the northeastern margin of Tibet. Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 12, EGU2010-1537, 2010.

Giese, J., Seward, D. and Schreurs, G. (2008): Evolution of the Morondava basin shoulder in western Madagascar – an apatite fission-track study. 6th Swiss Geoscience Meeting, Lugano.

Giese, J., Schreurs, G., Berger, A., Herwegh, M., and Gnos, E. (2008): A new perspective on the significance of the Ranotsara Zone in central Madagascar. 33rd International Geological Congress, Oslo.

Giese, J., Schreurs, G., Berger, A., Herwegh, M. and Gnos, E. (2008): Indenter tectonics in central Madagascar. Geotectonic Research 95/01, TSK Abstracts, pp.51-53. DOI: 10.1127/1864-5658/08/9501-0051.

Giese, J., Schreurs, G., Berger, A. and Herwegh, M. (2007): Microstructures and textures of quartzites in a major ductile shear zone in central and southern Madagascar. 16th DRT Conference, Milano.

Giese, J., Seward, D., Gnos, E. and Kurz, D. (2007): Comparative apatite fission-track study of conventionally versus selFrag Lab fragmented samples. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 72(12), A 322.

Giese, J., Schreurs, G., Berger, A. and Gnos, E. (2006): The Ranotsara Zone in southern Madagascar – a „piercing point“ for Gondwana reconstructions? 4th Swiss Geoscience Meeting, Bern.

Schreurs, G., Giese, J., Berger, A. and Gnos, E. (2006): The role of the Ranotsara Zone in southern Madagascar for Gondwana correlations. TSK 11, Göttingen.

Giese, J., Rosenberg, C. and Handy, M.R. (2004): Constriction in front of the Dolomite Indenter (Alto Adige, Italy): Evidence from field studies and quartz textures. Terra Nostra, 2004/1, p.26, Proceedings of Tektonik-Struktur-Kristallin TSK 10, Aachen.


Unpublished monograph

Giese, J. (2009). Tectonic evolution of the East African Orogen in central southern Madagascar: Implications for assembly, exhumation and dispersal of Gondwana. PhD thesis, 294 pp., University of Bern, Switzerland.

Giese, J. (2004): Geologie der südwestlichen Grenze des Tauernfensters (Mühlwalder Kamm, Italien) und die Analyse von Quarztexturen und Mikrogefügen in L-Tektoniten. Unpubl. Diplom thesis, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.