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Dr. Lorenzo Gemignani


Department of Earth Sciences

Institute of Geological Sciences

Tectonics and Sedimentary Systems


Malteserstr. 74-100
Room B 137
12249 Berlin

Education and employment

November 2018 Post Doctoral Research Associate at the Tectonics and Sedimentary Systems Group, Freie Universität Berlin
2017/2018 Lecturer and researcher (project Mineral – EU) at the University of Turin, Italy

PhD in Tectonics and Thermochronology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VUA)

Marie Curie Fellowship: iTECC (investigating Tectonics-Erosion-Climate Coupling) ITN, supported by the EU FP7 (grant agreement no. 316966)

2011/2013 Exploration Geologist: Geothermal Energy, Tuscany (It). Geonergy srl., Cascina-Pisa (It)

MSc of Geology at University of Pisa, Italy

Thesis title: “La zona di taglio Kalopani KSZ (massiccio dell'Annapurna, Mustang, Nepal): analisi strutturale e geocronologia”, in Italian, 107 pages

View on the Annapurna 1 North-Face, Mustang, Nepal (October-2010); Geological expedition, University of Pisa (MSc thesis project).

Academic activity:

Since 2019 Secretary General of the Tectonics and Structural Geology (TecTask) IUGS commission
2013 - 2017 Member of the iTECC FP7-People- 2012-ITN Marie-Curie Action: “Initial Training Networks”
Since 2015 Fellow of the Italian Group of Himalayan Geology (Italian Geological Society)
Conference organization HKT 2016, Aussois, France; Yorsget 2020, Catania, Italy 2020
Peer-review activity Since 2019, Solid Earth; Since 2020, Geosphere

At The FU-Berlin (From November 2018)

  • Advanced cartography (MSc Students)
  • Field mapping (MSc Students)
  • Laboratory Methods (MSc students)


At the university of Torino:

  • Introduction to fold and thrust belts (MSc of Earth Science)
  • Radio-Isotopic dating techniques (MSc of Earth Science)
  • Seminars for current research
  • Field Mapping and GIS (MSc of Earth Science)

My research interests focus on tectonics, erosion, and climate interactions. In particular, how these processes relate to the evolution of mountain belts and their sedimentary environments. Current research projects are deep-rooted upon laboratory analysis, field-based studies, and using numerical models and includes:

  • Exhumation and erosion on Earth surface processes
  • Quantification of exhumation and erosion using thermochronology, cosmogenic nuclides, remote sensing, and numerical modelling techniques.

I use a multidisciplinary approach to tackle problems using an integration of the following approaches:

  • Field observations and field geology, structural geology, stratigraphy and geomorphology.
  • Low-temperature thermochronology: Noble Gas 40Ar/39Ar dating and fission track methods.
  • Analysis and modelling of Digital elevation Models (DEMs).
  • Geographic information systems (GIS) integrated with Python spatial analysis
  • Cosmogenic isotopes (36Cl) on fluvial terraces.

At the FU Berlin I manage the fission track laboratory. We are equipped to perform mineral separation from rocks and river sands specimens. The mineral separation laboratory includes jaw crushers, a Wilfley shaker table, and heavy liquids to separate apatite and zircon. After separation, we can perform grains mount and etching procedures of the apatite grains in collaboration with the University of Potsdam. For counting of the fission tracks, we have a Zeiss Axioplan2 microscope set-up.

Peer-reviewed publications:


Gemignani, L., Mittelbach, B., A. Rohrmann, M. U. Grund, A. Bernhardt, K. Hippe, J. Giese, M. R. Handy, (2022). Response of drainage pattern and basin evolution to tectonic and climatic changes along the Dinarides-Hellenides orogen. Front. Earth Sci. 10:821707.


Govin, G., van der Beek, P., Najman, Y., Millar, I., Gemignani, L., Huyghe, P., Dupont-Nivet, G., Bernet, M., Mark, C., Wijbrans, J., (2020). Early onset and late acceleration of rapid exhumation in the Namche Barwa syntaxis, eastern Himalaya. Geology, 48 (12), 1139-1143, DOI: 10.1130/G47720.1

Xilin Sun, Kuiper, K.F., Yuntao Tian, Chang'an Li, Zengjie Zhang, Gemignani, L., Rujun Guo, Wijbrans, J.R., (2020). 40Ar/39Ar mica dating of late Cenozoic sediments in SE Tibet: Implications for sediment recycling and drainage evolution. Journ. of the Geo. Soc., DOI: 10.1144/jgs2019-099

Huyghe, P., Bernet, M., Galy, A., Naylor, M., Cruz, J., Gyawalie, B.R., Gemignani, L., Mugnier, J-L. (2020), Rapid exhumation since at least 13 Ma in the Himalaya recorded by detrital apatite fission-track dating of Bengal fan (IODP Expedition 354) and modern Himalayan river sediments. Earth and Plan. Sci. Lett., 534, DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2020.116078

Xilin Sun, Kuiper, K.F., Yuntao Tian, Chang'an Li, Gemignani, L., Zengjie Zhang, J.R. Wijbrans, (2020). Impact of hydraulic sorting and weathering on mica provenance studies: An example from the Yangtze River. Chemical Geology, 532, DOI: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2019.119359


Gemignani, L., Kuiper, F.K., Wijbrans, J., Xilin Sun, Santato, A., (2019). Improving the precision of single grain mica 40Ar/39ArdatingonsmallerandyoungerMuscovite grains: application to provenance studies. Chemical Geology, 511, pp. 100-111, DOI: 110. 1016/j.cherngeo,2019.02.013.

Najman, Y., Mark, C., Barfod, D. N., Carter, A., Parrish, R., and Gemignani, L., (2019), Spatial and temporal trends in exhumation of the Eastern Himalaya and syntaxis as determined from a multitechnique detrital thermochronological study of the Bengal Fan. GSA Bulletin, DOI: 10.1130/B35031.1

Van der Beek, P., Govin, G., Najman, Y., Millar, I., Gemignani, L., Huygle, P., Dupont-Nivet, G., Bernet, M., Mark, C., Wijbrans J.R., (2019). Early Onset and Late Acceleration of Rapid Exhumation in the Namche Barwa Syntaxis, Eastern Himalaya. American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2019, abstract #T54A-07, Bibcode: 2019AGUFM.T54A..07V


Gemignani, L., Beek van der, P., Braun, J., Najman, Y., Bernet, M., Garzanti, E.A., Wijbrans R.J., (2018). Downstream evolution of the thermochronologic age signal in the Brahmaputra catchment (eastern Himalaya): implications for the detrital record of erosion. Earth Plan. Sci. Lett., n. 499, DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2018.07.019

Gemignani, L., (2018). Extracting erosion and exhumation patterns form detrital thermochronology: an example from the eastern Himalaya. ISBN: 978-90-9030865-4

Braun J, Gemignani, L., Beek van der, P. (2018). Extracting information on the spatial variability in erosion rate stored in detrital cooling age distributions in river sands. ESurf, vol. 6, p. 257-270, DOI: 10.5194/esurf-6-257-2018

Zhuang, G., Najman, Y., Tian, Y., Carter, A., Gemignani, L., Wijbrans, J., Qasim, M.J., Asif Khan, J. M., (2018). Insights into the evolution of the Hindu Kush- Kohistan- Karakoram from modern river sand detrital geo- and thermochronological studies. Journ. of the Geol. Society, ISSN: 0016-7649, DOI: 10.6084/m9.figshare.c.4124573


Gemignani, L., Sun, X., Braun, J., Gerve van der, T.D., Wijbrans, J. R., (2017). A new detrital mica 40Ar/39Ar dating approach for provenance and exhumation of the Eastern Alps. Tectonics, vol. 36, p. 1521-1537, DOI: 10.1002/2017TC004483

Pre 2017

Carosi, R., Montomoli, C., Iaccarino, S., Massonne, H., Rubatto, D., Langone, A., Gemignani, L., Visonà, D. (2016). Middle to late Eocene exhumation of the Greater Himalayan Sequence in the Central Himalayas: Progressive accretion from the Indian plate. GSA Bulletin, vol. 128, DOI: 10.1130/B31471.1.

Carosi, R., Gemignani, L., Godin, L., Iaccarino, S., Larson, K.P., Montomoli, C., Rai, S.M. (2014). A geological journey through the deepest gorge on earth: The Kali Gandaki valley section, west-central Nepal. Journal of the Virtual Expr., ISSN: 1441-8142, DOI: 10.3809/jvirtex.vol.2014.052.


Selected conference Abstracts:


Gemignani, L., Mittelbach, B., Simon, D., Hippe, K., Grund, M., Rohrmann, A., Bernhardt, A., (2021). Pleistocene to Holocene river terraces in the Tropoja Basin (northeastern Albania) record tectonic and climatic fluctuations modulated by drainage integration processes. EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts, EGU21-10781, Bibcode: 2021EGUGA..2310781G

Najman, Y., Zhuang, G., Gemignani, L., Carter, A., Millar, I., Wijbrans, J.R. The evolution of the Indus River drainage basin, and its influence on the Indus Fan sediment archive. (Invited), American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2021, abstract EP34B-03. Link

Grund, M.U., Giese, J., Gemignani, L., Pleuger, J., Handy, M., Onuzi, M., (2021). Faulting, doming and basin formation during orogenic arcuation-the case of the Shkoder-Peja Normal Fault System (northern Albania and Kosovo). EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts, EGU21-14816, Bibcode: 2021EGUGA..2314816G 


Gemignani, L., Simon, D., Mittelbach, B., Hippe, K., Handy, M.R., (2020). Tectonic, erosional and climatic controls on sedimentary basin evolution a case study from the Tropoja Basin (Albania). EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts, 9824, Bibcode: 2020EGUGA..22.9824G   

Najman, Y., Blum, M., Gleason, J., Rogers, K., Orme, D., Mark, C., Barfod, D., Carter, A., Parrish, R., Chew, D., Gemignani, L., (2020). The Bengal Fan sediment archive: a record of Himalayan tectonics, climate, and/or drainage routing change between source and sink? EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts, 3798, Bibcode: 2020EGUGA..22.3798N


Gemignani, L., Xilin Sun, T., Van Gerve, T. Braun, J., Wijbrans, J.R., (2017). Detrital mica 40Ar/39Ar dating approach for provenance and exhumation of the Eastern Alps. Geophysical Research Abstracts Vol. 19, EGU General Assembly 2017, EGU2017-4562.

Gemignani, L., van der Beek, P., Najman, Y., Braun, J., Garzanti, E., Bernet, M. (2017). Long-term and present-day erosion of the Eastern Himalaya as detected by detrital thermochronology. EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts, 13123, Bibcode: 2017EGUGA..1913123G

G Govin, Y Najman, P van der Beek, P Huyghe, I Millar, M Bernet, Wijbrans, J., Gemignani, L., (2017). Onset of rapid exhumation in the Namche Barwa syntaxis. EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts, 9221, Bibcode: 2017EGUGA..19.9221G.


Gemignani, L., Wijbrans, J.R., Najman, Y., van der Beek, P., Intense dilution of the Eastern Himalayan syntaxis detrital signal as recorded by thermochronology in the Yarlung-Siang-Brahmaputra river sediments. AGU Fall meeting, SF, 2015.