Earth System Dynamics Research Group

Problems we Address: The Earth System Dynamics Research Group is under the direction of Professor Todd Ehlers. Our research interests are in the evolution of Earth's topography as influenced by tectonics, climate, surface processes, and biota. We investigate the deformation, paleoclimate, erosion, and sedimentation in active mountain belts around the world using a range of geochemical, remote sensing, and numerical modeling tools. Examples of topics our group is currently addressing includes:

  • Investigation of transient topography and paleoclimate.
  • Biotic influence on landscape evolution
  • Quantifying glacial and periglacial erosion rates, magnitudes, and paleotopography.
  • Glaciology and ice sheet stability and dynamics.
  • Paleoclimate, deformation, and erosion history of orogenic plateaus such as the Andean and Tibetan Plateaus.
  • Sedimentary basin evolution and detrital records of orogen erosion, paleotopography, paleoclimate, and vegetation.

Tools we use:

  • Numerical modeling (thermal, mechanical, atmospheric, and surface process models) and high performance computing.
  • Cosmogenic isotopes (10Be, 26Al, 3He) and short lived nuclides.
  • Low-temperature thermochronology: noble gas and fission track methods.
  • Terrestrial remote sensing (Lidar, Radar)
  • Field based observations of sedimentology, stratigraphy, geomorphology, and structure.
  • Meso- and global-scale climate models and meteorological data
  • Geographic information systems (GIS)
  • Geophysical data analysis (heat flow, gravity, seismic reflection profiles)


Related Research Groups at Uni. Tuebingen: 


Geologie und Geodynamik

Prof. Todd Ehlers, Ph.D.

Wilhelmstr. 56

Raum: 338

72074 Tübingen



Claudia Jahn

Beate Fritz

Tel.: +49-(0)7071-29-72603

Fax: +49-(0)7071-29-3060

Guide Gate, Tibet

Releasing a weather balloon at Camp Davis, Jackson, Wyoming

Rob Van der Voo sampling in Mexico

Aconcagua, Argentina


Mosaic Canyon, Panamint Mountains, Death Valley, California

Mosaic Canyon, Panamint Mountains, Death Valley, California