Sedimentology Group

The Sedimentary Group at the FU Berlin studies sedimentary rocks worldwide from the pore to the basin scale. Particular emphasis is currently on Precambrian Earth History, hydrocarbon reservoir quality characterization, and the analysis of deformed sedimentary basins. Our methods thus range from field work in moderately difficult terrain (Chile, Bolivia, China, South Africa, Kazakhstan, Swaziland and “Hessian Siberia”) through standard office and laboratory techniques (textural description, mineral separation, thin section petrography, XRD, XRF etc.) to more sophisticated analyses (microprobe, SEM, zircon dating, µ-X-ray CT, Raman spectroscopy), all depending on the task at hand. In most of these aspects, we rely on the friendly expertise of colleagues worldwide. Most of the rocks we study are chemical or siliciclastic because carbonates are better covered by M. Mutti, Potsdam University.

As of December 2013, our group includes 7 BSc students, 13 MSc students, 3 PhD students and 2 postdocs, all working on a variety of themes.

Current funding is for work in the Archean Barberton Greenstone Belt of South Africa and the Precambrian-Cambrian boundary of China and Kazakhstan. The head of the group, Christoph Heubeck, also manages a student exchange program with Antofagasta/Chile, serves as speaker of the FOR 736 forschergruppe, as Head of Department and of the Examination Committee. He will move to Jena University as of April 1, 2014.

Research Unit 736

The Precambrian-Cambrian Ecosphere (R)evolution: Insights from Chinese microcontinents

project coordination: Christoph Heubeck

FG 736 started on Jan. 1, 2008. It forms the German part of a Chinese-German binational research group focusing on the time period near the Ediacaran-Cambrian transition. There, within approximately a dozen million years, life "exploded" (or so it seems through the extremely condensed geologic record), for causes not well understood ...


Origin of Metazoan Benthic Ecosystems: Mutual Modification between Ediacaran to Early Phanerozoic Faunas and their Sedimentary Environments

Christoph Heubeck, Bernd Weber, Quentin Scouflaire

Ediacaran to Cambrian shelf deposits and their fossil record provide insights in initial metazoan evolution because they represent the earliest evidence of complex benthic ecosystems on Earth. The Yangtze Platform provides unique access to widely undisturbed shallow- and deep-marine deposits of this time intervall on a large paleogeographic scale. We intend to study the interaction between sedimentary environment, Ediacaran-Cambrian stratigraphic shelf-margin architecture and paleobiological factors in selected sedimentary sequences.