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The work of my group focuses on the role of sedimentary rocks and basins as recorder of tectonic, climatic, and biological information. To that purpose, we study their origin, architecture, geometry, deformation, and sedimentary fill worldwide in a number of tectonic settings and ages.


  1. In the Chaco Basin, Bolivia (2001-2004), Carola Hulka (Ph.D.-student), Cornelius Uba (Ph.D.-student), and I have been working to decipher the sedimentary record of this Neogene foreland basin. This research took place within the DFG-funded SFB 267 ("Deformation processes in the Andes"). The western half of the Chaco Basin is currently being deformed by the prograding Andean front ("Subandean Belt") which "plows" eastward into the undeformed foreland strata; these are well exposed in its frontal structures. We used seismic data released from the petroleum industry, field work data from field seasons 2002 and 2003, and a variety of sedimentary techniques to characterize the composition and architecture of the foreland basin fill.
  2. In southern China, Bernd Weber (postdoc), Elodie Vernhet (Ph.D.-student) and I have been working within an interdisciplinary German-Chinese group to find out the root causes of the base-Cambrian bioradiation. During field work in 2001, 2002, and 2003, Elodie Vernhet and I concentrated on the stratigraphy and basin architecture of the latest Neoproerozoic strata (principally the Doushantuo Formation) along the southern Yangtze platform margin, while Bernd Weber documented the evolution of "mobility" through detailed work on trace fossil assemblages from the shallow-water platform facies.
  3. In northern Chile, I have begun investigating the respnse of the continent-marginal sedimentary basins to the beginning of subduction that dominates this margin to the present. To date, we have been active with Diploma / M.Sc.-students but plan to expand our activities.
  4. In southern Chile, my participation in the SONNE cruise 161-5 2002/2003 renewed my interest in mass flow processes and continental slopes. Markus Raitzsch's thesis sheds light on the sedimentary processes feeding the subduction channel.


further research interest topics:

  • Sedimentary Basins
  • Precambrian-Cambrian Transition
  • Sedimentary mass flows
  • Petroleum geology
  • Asia