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Dr. Hendrik Müller


Marine Geophysics


+49 421 218-65312


+49 421 218-65339



GEO 4090

Hendrik Müller

Main Topics

Electromagnetic surveying of seafloor magnetic susceptibility and electric resistivity in combination with deep-towed magnetometry and sediment acoustics

The magnetic susceptibility of marine sediments is a reliable proxy to study transport processes and the diagenetic alteration of marine sediments. While common measurements were applied to samples in the laboratory, only magnetometers measure the susceptibility of the ocean floor 'in-situ'. Their sensitivity to small scale variations of surface sediments is generally poor and often masked by stronger subsurface structures. Electromagnetic (EM) sounding with controlled sources allow to map the magnetic susceptibility as well as the electric resistivity (e.g. porosity / lithology) in one measurement (up to 25 samples per second) with high lateral resolution.
NERIDIS III, a new benthic profiler sled developed and owned by MARUM (Bremen) carries out EM soundings to determine relevant sediment properties. The system is also equipped with a new high-speed flash camera system to create continuous high-resolution optical sea-floor images in order to identify and map facies and debris distribution on the seabed. Turbidity and O2-content of the benthic nepheloid layer will be recorded with the built-in CTD system. The profiling survey is usually accompanied by material sampling sidescan imaging and shipboard Multibeam bathymetry.

Marum Project SD1
Marum Project SD2

NERIDIS Electromagnetic Seabed Profiler

Magnetic mapping and modeling of incised valley structures

Magnetic subsurface signatures in northern Germany and in the adjacent seas provide insight into the cutting structure of incised valleys and their infill by weakly or strongly magnetic material. In several student projects, marine and terrestrial magnetometer data were processed and modeled to highlight and analyze buried valley structures, anthropogenic contamination and deeper crust with State of the Art processing software and methods.

Marum Project SD2

Heavy mineral placer deposits in the Bay of Plenty (New Zealand)

This project has the objective to quantify magnetic trace minerals in marine sediments by magnetic in-situ methods and mineral and grain-size specific bulk measurements. As hard and heavy relict minerals, iron oxides travel far and settle, sort and enrich in high-energy environments. They often have source-specific rock magnetic and elemental signatures. Originating mainly from igneous continental rocks, titanium rich magnetite is common along Northern New Zealand’s coasts and can form ‘black sand’ placer deposits that are of high scientific and even commercial interest.

Intercoast Project IC8_I (2009-2012)
Intercoast Project IC8_II (2012-2015)

In-situ and Laboratory experiments on the mechanisms of geomagnetic field recording in aquatic sediments

Sedimentary paleomagnetic records attain superior temporal resolution, but their paleofield information is not unambiguous. Numerous geological factors and especially the micro-environment control the mobility, alignment and fixation of magnetic particles.
Because the various natural conditions couldn’t be adequately simulated in our laboratory. I shifted my investigations from the laboratory into the natural sedimentation regime. Therefore I installed - with the help of scientific divers from Kiel - in November 2005 seven permanent-magnetic platforms in three maar lakes of the western Eifel, Germany. Each platform simulates a magnetic pole reversal in an investigation area of about 1 m³ that will be sampled in 6 month intervals. The aim is to characterise the change of the magnetic signal with time and depth when the sediment is exposed to a reversed field condition. This will allow us to deconvolve the modulated information in deep sedimentary records, to acquire a much better temporal resolution. (DFG-Priority-Program: Earth Magnetic Variations)

Curriculum Vitae

Since 11/2008Scientist at the University of Bremen, department of Geosciences; Marine Geophysics
11/2005 - 10/2008PhD-Student at the DFG Research-Center “Ocean Margins” (MARUM),
University of Bremen, marine and environmental Geophysics
08/2004 – 11/2005Scientist at the University of Bremen, department of Geosciences,
„Impact of physical processes, related to early diagenesis, on the magnetic remanence of aquatic Sediments“
04/2004 – 06/2004Employee at K+S Group (mining company) – Research and Development
01/2004 - 03/2004Scientist at the University of Bremen, marine Geophysics,
„Laboratory experiments on magnetic remanence acquisition of deep sea sediments“
11/2003 - 12/2003Scientist at the University of Bremen, in order of the K+S Group – Research and Development in salt mining
2003Diplom (M.Sc.) in Geophysics at the University of Bremen
1999Vordiplom (B.Sc.) in Physics at the University of Göttingen


- Applied geophysics: magnetic and electromagnetic methods

- Advanced magnetic and electromagnetic filter theory, forward and inverse modeling

- Exploration geophysics - magnetic exploration: field work, data processing and interpretation techniques

- Data management with the software Oasis Montaj by Geosoft

- Field excursions and student projects related to magnetic and electromagnetic data acquisition and processing

- Multi-Sensor Core-Logging (magnetic susceptibility, electric conductivity, optical scanning, photospectroscopy and spectral unmixing)


since 05/2011Development of electromagnetic sensing concepts and technologies for deep-sea targets
since 09/2010Magnetic mapping and modeling of incised valley structures in the North Sea and in NW Germany
since 02/2010Heavy mineral placer deposits in the Bay of Plenty (New Zealand)
since 02/2007Controlled Source Electromagnetic Imaging of near-surface structures for sediment classification, diagenesis and seepage characterization
11/2005 - 08/2008Electromagnetic, magnetic and acoustic mapping of freshwater- and methane-seepage in the Eckernfoerde Bay (Germany)
2005 - 2009MSCL - Shipborn physical property studies (M65/1 and M78/3a)
11/2005 - 05/2007In-Situ experiment on the magnetic remanence acquisition in maar lake sediments of the German west Eifel (diving project)
08/2004 - 06/2006Experiments and models on the behaviour of magnetic minerals under compaction of aquatic sediments
11/2003 - 06/2004Magnetic quantification of iron-containing salts in potash mining (K+S Group, Research and Development division)
09/2002 - 03/2004Design, development and application of physical Laboratory experiments on the role of natural physical forces to alter the magnetic remanence of marine sediments
09/2001 - 12/2001Seismical and geoelectrical field surveys to detect caverns below main roads in an extensive German coal mining region next to Bochum;Programming of an automated horizon tracking routine for the interpretation of seismic profiles (DMT Essen, professional practical training)

Research Cruises

Year Expedition
2016 RV Alkor Al475 (chief scientist)
High-resolution electromagnetic investigation of bedforms in Fehmarn Belt (SW Baltic Sea)
(07.04. – 10.04.2016; Kiel)
2015 RV PELAGIA INDEX 2016/1 (BGR cruise)
Geological and Geophysical study of seafloor massive sulfides at the Central Indian Ridge
(19.10. - 18.11.2015; La Reuniun)
2014 RV SONNE II Trial P4
Giant loop electromagnetic sensing of sedimentary deposits and morphological features in the North Sea evaluating the new RV SONNE
(23.9. - 01.10.2014; Bremerhaven - Aberdeen)
2012 RV Macy Gray (chief scientist)
Electromagnetic and optical imaging of heavy (magnetic) minerals, porosity distribution and anthropogenic debris in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
(16.11. – 27.11.2012; Tauranga)
  RV Alkor Al395 (chief scientist)
Electromagnetic and acoustic characterization of sediments of a subaqueous dune field in the Fehmarn Belt (south-western Baltic Sea)
(01.07. – 03.07.2012; Kiel)
  RV YOKOSUKA with SHINKAI 6500 (visiting scientist)
Geophysical and geochemical investigation of seafloor massive sulphides at IHEYA North Knoll, Okinawa Trough, Japan
(Naha, Okinawa; 26.4. – 02.05.2012)
2011 RV Meteor M84/4
Sediment pathways and depocenters on the NW Iberian continental shelf and slope
(13.05. – 28.05.2011; Vigo)
  RV Alkor (chief scientist)
Test of new NERIDIS III Profiler and EM profiling in Eckernförde Bay
(24.02. – 25.02.2011; Kiel)
2010 RB TaiRangahau
Heavy mineral distribution in the Bay of Plenty (New Zealand)
(22.02. – 05.03.2010; Tauranga)
2009 RV Meteor M78/3a
Sediment transport off Uruguay and Argentinia
(19.05. – 13.06.2009; Montevideo - Montevideo)
2008 RB Polarfuchs
Electromagnetic imaging of cold seeps in Eckernfoerde Bay
(23. – 31.07.2008; Kiel - Kiel)
  RV Poseidon Pergamom P366-3
Electromagnetic, Environmental-Magnetic and Sedimentological investigation of sediment transport processes on the Galician shelf
(02.06. – 18.06.2008; Vigo - Vigo)
2007 RB ARAO
Electromagnetic in-situ mapping of sedimentation processes and pollution pathways in the Ria de Vigo, NW Spain
(25.09. – 11.10.2007; Vigo - Vigo)
2006 RB Polarfuchs (chief scientist)
Deep towed magnetic surveys and sediment sampling at seepage structures in the Eckernfoerde Bay
(08.08. – 01.09.2006; Kiel - Kiel)
  RB Polarfuchs (chief scientist)
Magnetic und acoustic Surveys in the Eckernfoerde Bay
(30.05. – 01.06.2006; Kiel - Kiel)
2005 RV Meteor M65/1
Climate history and sedimentation processes off NW-Afrika
(09.06. – 01.07.2005; Dakar - Dakar)
  RV Professor Albrecht Penck (IOW-Marnet cruise)
(25.05. – 27.05.2005; Saßnitz - Rostock)
2000 RV Sonne SO149
CASCADIA II: seismic and thermal investigation of seepage structures on the cascadia margin
(16.08. – 16.09.2000; Victoria - Victoria)



Kulgemeyer T., Müller H., von Dobeneck T., Bryan K., de Lange W. and Battershill C. (2017) Magnetic mineral and sediment porosity distribution on a storm-dominated shelf investigated by benthic electromagnetic profiling (Bay of Plenty, New Zealand). Marine Geology, 383. 78-98. doi:10.1016/j.margeo.2016.11.014

Müller H., Schwalenberg K., Hilgenfeldt C.,von Dobeneck T. (2016) Mapping Seafloor Massive Sulfides at the Central Indian Ridge with a Novel Central Loop Electromagnetic Profiler. Keynote Speech at the First Conference on Geophysics for Mineral Exploration and Mining, Near Surface Geoscience 2016, Barcelona. Extended Abstract, doi: 10.3997/2214-4609.201602118

Kulgemeyer T., von Dobeneck T., Müller H., Bryan K., de Lange W., Battershill C. (2016) Lithofacies distribution and sediment dynamics on a storm-dominated shelf from combined photographic, acoustic and sedimentological profiling methods (Bay of Plenty, New Zealand). Marine Geology, 376, 158-174, doi: 10.1016/j.margeo.2016.03.005

Baasch B., Müller H., Oberle F. K. J., von Dobeneck T. (2014) Inversion of marine multifrequency electromagnetic profiling data: A new approach to resolve surficial sediment stratification. Geophysical Journal International, 200 (3), 438-451, doi:10.1093/gji/ggu406.

Müller H., Baasch B., Kulgemeyer T., von Dobeneck T. (2014). Electromagnetic imaging of surficial sediment distribution and stratification in continental shelf systems. 22nd Electromagnetic Induction Workshop, Weimar.

Müller, H. (2014). Electromagnetic imaging of surficial sediment distribution and stratification in continental shelf systems. 74. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Geophysikalischen Gesellschaft, Karlsruhe.

von Dobeneck T., Müller H. (2013). Electromagnetic profiling the sea floor for conta-mination from the Rena. In: Rena Environmental Recovery Monitoring Programme, Te Mauri Moana, Tauranga, New Zealand, 440 – 461. Eds.: Battershill C., Schiel D.R., Ross P.M., Fairweather R., Culliford D., Marsh R., University of Waikato, New Zealand. (online report)

Badesab, F., T. von Dobeneck, K.R. Bryan, H. Müller, R.M. Briggs, T. Frederichs and E. Kwoll (2012). Formation of magnetite-enriched zones in and offshore of a mesotidal estuarine lagoon: An environmental magnetic study of Tauranga Harbour and Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 13, Q06012, doi:10.1029/2012GC004125.

Müller, H., T. von Dobeneck, B. SanFilipo, C. Hilgenfeldt, D. Rey und B. Rubio (2012). Mapping the magnetic susceptibility and electric conductivity of marine surficial sediments by benthic EM profiling. Geophysics, 77 (1), E43–E56. doi:10.1190/GEO2010-0129.1.

Müller, H., T. von Dobeneck, W. Nehmiz, K. Hamer (2011) Near-surface electromagnetic, rock magnetic, and geochemical fingerprinting of submarine freshwater seepage at Eckernförde Bay (SW Baltic Sea). Geo-Marine Letters , 31 (2), 123-140. doi:10.1007/s00367-010-0220-0.

Müller, H. (2010). Characterization of marine near-surface sediments by electromagnetic profiling, Dissertation, Fachbereich Geowissenschaften, Universität Bremen, 152 S.

Rey, D., H. Müller, B. Rubio, T. von Dobeneck et al. (2008). Using electromagnetic sensors to estimate physical properties and environmental quality of surface sediments in the marine environment: Preliminary results, Geotemas, 10, 651-654.

Müller, H., T. von Dobeneck (2006). Magnetit im Kräfteregime uniaxial komprimierter Tiefseesedimente, 66. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Geophysikalischen Gesellschaft, Bremen.

Müller, H., T. von Dobeneck (2004). Laborexperiment zum Einfluss der Kompaktion auf den Remanenzerwerb von marinen Sedimenten, 64. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Geophysikalischen Gesellschaft, Berlin.

Müller, H. (2003). Der Beitrag der Kompaktion zum Remanenzerwerb von Tiefsee-Sedimenten; Entwicklung und Auswertung eines Laborexperiments, Diplomarbeit, Fachbereich Geowissenschaften, Universität Bremen, 128 S.