AG Hebbeln - Marine Sedimentology
in times of a rapidly changing global environment it will be increasingly difficult to assess how the Earth will develop in the future. A prerequisite for such assess- ments is an understanding of the dynamics of climate and environmental change, for example, about the temporal development, regional differences, and relevant cause-and-effect relations. With a focus on individual ocean regions and on specific marine ecosystems our research intends to constantly improve our knowledge in this field. In this context, our studies follow two guiding principles: (1) "The past is the window into the future" - as only for the past we can study the processes that will shape our future environment, and (2) "The present is the key to the past" – as only from the understanding of present processes, we can learn how to interpret the archives recording the Earth's history.
The complexity of the Earth system as increasingly revealed by studies of global change requires new approaches in the training of young scientists. We are pursuing this in the context of GLOMAR - the Bremen International Graduate School for Marine Science - with the objective to train young marine researchers to become experts in their respective disciplines as well as to convey them a broad interdisciplinary background.
We perform our research activities at the University of Bremen in the framework of the MARUM, the Center for Marine Environmental Sciences and in close cooperation with the Department of Geosciences. Further information about our team, our projects, our expeditions and our results as published in peer-reviewed journals you will find on the following pages. Therefore, explore and enjoy!
Marine archives store significant information on past environmental changes which can be achived by analyzing chemical and physical properties of deep-sea sediments. Our group studies past environmental and climate variability with an emphasis on the past variations in oceanography, i.a. marine productivity, water mass properties, hydrodynamics, sediment transport and deposition by applying various approaches (stable isotopes, elemental ratios, organic carbon, opal, XRF, MSCL, grain sizes etc). The main study areas comprise the Eastern tropical Indian Ocean (Indonesian Archipelago), the Eastern South Pacific Ocean (off Chile), the South China Sea, and the NE Atlantic Ocean (off NW Africa, North Sea).
Cold-water corals are the nuclei of unique and highly diverse ecosystems of the bathyal zone. Their importance is expressed in (a) their role in creating biodiversity hotspots, (b) their worldwide distribution, and (c) their capability to build large carbonatic seabed structures such as reefs of several kilometres in length and carbonate mounds of >300 m in height. Since 1999 our group is actively involved in cold-water coral research with special emphasis on the long-term development of cold-water coral ecosystems in response to changing palaeo-environmental conditions, and on the environmental forcing in presently thriving cold-water coral ecosystems. Our studies mainly concentrate on the Eastern and Western North Atlantic Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea.
Coastal dynamics describe the interplay between currents, transported matter and sea bed morphology which interact at a variety of temporal and spatial scales. Depending on sediment composition and transport characteristics, hydrodynamic forcing results in various bedforms ranging from plane beds to impressive subaqueous dunes. Investigating the interplay between sea bed morphology, hydrodynamics and cohesive and non-cohesive sediments is a topic of our group since 2000 applying a synthesis of field observations, laboratory experiments, and numerical modelling. These studies are now described in detail on the webpage of MARUM´s Coastal Geosciences Group.
GLOMAR - the Bremen International Graduate School for Marine Sciences "Global Change in the Marine Realm" - is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) under the excellence initiative by the German federal and state governments to promote science and research at German universities. Since 2006, GLOMAR educates PhD students to become expertly trained and international networking young scientists well-versed in all disciplines of marine research ranging from the natural to the social and legal sciences. All PhD students working in the widest field of marine sciences and being enrolled at the University of Bremen can apply for membership in GLOMAR. As the Graduate Dean of GLOMAR, Dierk Hebbeln develops and manages the graduate school together with the GLOMAR team.