Logo Universitat Bremen

Dr. Markus Loher


Allgemeine Geologie - Marine Geologie


+49 421 218-65055


+49 421 218-65099



GEO 1130

Markus Loher


PhD Project

The seepage of hydrocarbon-rich fluids from the seafloor is a phenomenon commonly bserved at so called “cold seeps”. Specifically, high concentrations of cold seeps are known to occur closely associated with mud volcano (MV) systems. Submarine mud volcanism is favoured in compressional tectonic regimes (e.g. accretionary wedges) where subsurface fluid flow induces sediment mobilisation and the extrusion of mudflows dynamically onto the seafloor. These processes act as important mechanisms for the geochemical cycling of fluids through accretionary systems and subsequent back flux into the hydrosphere.

My PhD project focussed on deep marine, cold seeps on the Calabrian Accretionary Prism in the Central Mediterranean. Numerous mud volcanos have been explored during a recent expedition of R/V Meteor (M112) and state-of-the-art geophysical methods shed new light on diverse mud volcano morphologies and localised cold seep sites. Multiple ROV dives were conducted in order to sample and study fresh sediment outflows as well as fluid emission sites which host an active chemosynthetic community of organisms.

For some more information also visit my GLOMAR page.

Cruise participation


R/V METEOR M114: Kingston - Veracruz - Kingston
FS HEINCKE HE450: Tromsø – Tromsø

FS POSEIDON POS498: Izmir - Catania

FS POSEIDON POS499: Catania - Catania

R/V Meteor M134: Port Stanley - Punta Arenas


12 February - 28 March 2015
25 August - 8 September 2015
18 April - 1 May 2016
4 May - 22 May 2016
16 January to 18 February 2017


Klasek, SA, Torres, ME, Loher, M, Bohrmann, G, Pape, T and Colwell, FS (2019) Deep-sourced fluids from a convergent margin host distinct subseafloor microbial communities that change upon mud flow expulsion. Frontiers in Microbiology, 10. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2019.01436

Römer, M, Hsu, CW, Loher, M, MacDonald, IR, dos Santos Ferreira, C, Pape, T, Mau, S, Bohrmann, G and Sahling, H (2019) Amount and fate of gas and oil discharged at 3400 m water depth from a natural seep site in the southern Gulf of Mexico. Frontiers in Marine Science, 6. doi:10.3389/fmars.2019.00700

Loher, M, Ceramicola, S, Wintersteller, P, Meinecke, G, Sahling, H and Bohrmann, G (2018) Mud volcanism in a canyon: morphodynamic evolution of the active Venere mud volcano and its interplay with Squillace Canyon, Central Mediterranean. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. doi:10.1002/2017GC007166 PANGAEA Supplementary Data

Loher, M, Marcon, Y, Pape, T, Römer, M, Wintersteller, P, dos Santos Ferreira, C, Praeg, D, Torres, M, Sahling, H and Bohrmann, G (2018) Seafloor sealing, doming, and collapse associated with gas seeps and authigenic carbonate structures at Venere mud volcano, Central Mediterranean. Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 137. 76-96. doi:10.1016/j.dsr.2018.04.006 PANGAEA Supplementary Data

Loher, M, Pape, T, Marcon, Y, Römer, M, Wintersteller, P, Praeg, D, Torres, M, Sahling, H and Bohrmann, G (2018) Mud extrusion and ring-fault gas seepage – upward branching fluid discharge at a deep-sea mud volcano. Scientific Reports, 8(1). doi:10.1038/s41598-018-24689-1 PANGAEA Supplementary Data

Bohrmann, G, Aromokeye, AD, Bihler, V, Dehning, K, Dohrmann, I, Gentz, T, Grahs, M, Hogg, O, Hüttich, D, Kasten, S, Kirschenmann, E, Lange, M, Leymann, T, Linse, K, Loher, M, Malnati, J, Mau, S, Mickoleit, A, Nowald, N, Pape, T, Reuter, C, Rohleder, C, Römer, M, Sahling, H, Stange, N, Torres, M, Vittori, V, von Dobeneck, T, von Neuhoff, H, Weinrebe, W and Wintersteller, P (2017) R/V METEOR Cruise Report M134, Emissions of Free Gas from Cross-Shelf Troughs of South Georgia: Distribution, Quantification, and Sources for Methane Ebullition Sites in Sub-Antarctic Waters, Port Stanley (Falkland Islands) - Punta Arenas (Chile), 16 January - 18 February 2017. Berichte, MARUM – Zentrum für Marine Umweltwissenschaften, Fachbereich Geowissenschaften, Universität Bremen, 317. 1-220. urn:nbn:de:gbv:46-00106081-12

Mau, S, Römer, M, Torres, ME, Bussmann, I, Pape, T, Damm, E, Geprägs, P, Wintersteller, P, Hsu, CW, Loher, M and Bohrmann, G (2017) Widespread methane seepage along the continental margin off Svalbard - from Bjørnøya to Kongsfjorden. Scientific Reports, 7. 42997. doi:10.1038/srep42997 PANGAEA Supplementary Data

Sahling, H, Ahrlich, F, Bohrmann, G, Borowski, C, Breitzke, M, Buchheister, S, Büttner, H, Ferreira, C, Gaytán-Caballero, A, Geprägs, P, Groeneveld, J, Hsu, CW, Jiménez Guadarrama, E, Klar, S, Klaucke, I, Klüber, S, Leymann, T, Loher, M, Mai, HA, Mau, S, MacDonald, IR, Marcon, Y, Meinecke, G, Melcher, AC, Morales Dominguez, E, Raeke, A, Rehage, R, Renken, J, Reuter, M, Rohleder, C, Römer, M, Rubin-Blum, M, Schade, T, Schubotz, F, Seiter, C, Smrzka, D, Spiesecke, U, Torres, M, Vittori, V, Von Neuhoff, S, von Wahl, T, Wegener, G, Wiebe, M, Wintersteller, P, Zarrouk, M and Zwicker, J (2017) R/V METEOR Cruise Report M114, Natural hydrocarbon seepage in the southern Gulf of Mexico, Kingston - Kingston, 12 February - 28 March 2015. Berichte, MARUM – Zentrum für Marine Umweltwissenschaften, Fachbereich Geowissenschaften, Universität Bremen, 315. 1-214. urn:nbn:de:gbv:46-00105897-18

Bohrmann, G, Bachmann, K, Buchheister, S, Candoni, O, Ceramicola, S, Loher, M, Meinecke, G, Renken, J, Spiesecke, U, von Wahl, T and Wintersteller, P (2016) Report and preliminary results of R/V POSEIDON cruise POS499, Calabrian Mud Volcanoes, Catania (Italy) – Catania (Italy), 04 May – 22 May, 2016. Berichte, MARUM – Zentrum für Marine Umweltwissenschaften, Fachbereich Geowissenschaften, Universität Bremen(311). 1-76. urn:nbn:de:gbv:46-00105556-16

Loher, M, Reusch, A and Strasser, M (2016) Long-term pockmark maintenance by fluid seepage and subsurface sediment mobilization - sedimentological investigations in Lake Neuchâtel. Sedimentology, 63(5). 1168-1186. doi:10.1111/sed.12255

Sahling, H, Borowski, C, Escobar-Briones, E, Gaytán-Caballero, A, Hsu, CW, Loher, M, MacDonald, I, Marcon, Y, Pape, T, Römer, M, Rubin-Blum, M, Schubotz, F, Smrzka, D, Wegener, G and Bohrmann, G (2016) Massive asphalt deposits, oil seepage, and gas venting support abundant chemosynthetic communities at the Campeche Knolls, southern Gulf of Mexico. Biogeosciences, 13(15). 4491-4512. doi:10.5194/bg-13-4491-2016 PANGAEA Supplementary Data

Sahling, H, Loher, M, Menapace, W, Völker, D, Bihler, V, Nowald, N, Seiter, C, Leymann, T, Vittori, G, Darilmaz, E and Karaaslan, N (2016) R/V POSEIDON cruise POS498, Recovery of Observatories at Athina Mud Volcano, Izmir (Turkey) - Catania (Italy), 18 April - 1 May, 2016. Berichte, MARUM – Zentrum für Marine Umweltwissenschaften, Fachbereich Geowissenschaften, Universität Bremen, 309. urn:nbn:de:gbv:46-00105296-16

Reusch, A, Loher, M, Bouffard, D, Moernaut, J, Hellmich, F, Anselmetti, FS, Bernasconi, SM, Hilbe, M, Kopf, AJ, Lilley, MD, Meinecke, G and Strasser, M (2015) Giant lacustrine pockmarks with subaqueous groundwater discharge and subsurface sediment mobilization. Geophysical Research Letters, 42(9). 3465-3473. doi:10.1002/2015GL064179