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Marine Sedimentation Systems

PD Dr. habil. Till J.J. Hanebuth

Mission statement

The sedimentary histories of coasts, shelves and continental slopes are dynamically linked to each other due to their adjacency along the general material pathway from land to ocean. Our research focuses on the external forces and internal processes which have control on transport modes, patterns of deposition, and residence times in each of these marginal-marine sedimentation systems, and aims to identify coupling mechanisms between them.

Research foci

  1. Shallow-water sediment transport processes, environmental changes, and facies models
  2. Sea-level history, evolution of shorelines and deltas
  3. Depositional source-to-sink linkages, quantification of processes, budget calculations
  4. Paleoceanographic and climatic forcing in sedimentary systems
  5. Development of confined depocenters, use as environmental archives, process-based modelling of formation conditions
  6. Deposition at continental slopes driven by gravity-driven and contour-parallel currents
  7. Stratigraphy and architecture of continental margins

Research Projects

MARUM research projects
MARUM SD1Climatic control on large-scale sedimentary structures
MARUM SD2From small-scale morphological and sedimentological features to coast and shelf systems

International research projects
CORIBARIce Dynamics and Meltwater Deposits: Coring in the Kveithola Trough, NW Barents Sea
SAMSECThe South-Eastern South American Continental Shelf: Reconstructing Environmental and Climatic Changes
INQUA International Focus GroupRapid Environmental Changes and Human Impact on Continental Shelves

Recently accomplished projects
DFG project MekongReconstruction of the coastline position and palaeo-environmental conditions in the Mekong River Delta in relation to early human settling and industrial salt production.
DFG project BangladeshAssessing the recent subsidence of the central coastal delta of Bangladesh by dating sub-merged kiln.


Till J.J. HanebuthHead of group+01-843-349-2735thanebuth(at)marum.de
Wenyan ZhangPostdoc+49-(0)421-218-65952wzhang(at)marum.de
Ferdinand K. OberlePh.D. student+49-(0)421-218-65952foberle(at)marum.de
Antonia L. HofmannM.Sc. GeosciencesContourite deposition off NW Spain
Roshan ZidanMaster studentThe effect of bottom trawling on the inner-shelf seabed
Marina GraveMaster studentA shallow-water contouriteinside the Kveithola Trough
Hannes Mersmeyer, M.Sc.Spätpleistozäne Stratigraphie des Mauretanischen Schelfs und Material-Budgetierung2012
Alexander Petrovic, M.Sc.Characterization of sedimentary processes at the lower Galician slope and in the marginal basin2012
Vera B. Bender, Ph.D.Processes linking the shelf and slope sedimentary systems2012
Ulrike Proske, Ph.D.Environmental development of the Late Holocene Mekong River Delta2010
Jean Nizou, Ph.D.A multi-proxy approach on the Senegalese mud belt2009
Hendrik Lantzsch, Ph.D.Evolution of the NW Iberian continental shelf2009
Lars Max, M.Sc.The evolution of the Timiris mud wedge off Mauritania and its potential as climate archive2008
Hannes Riepshoff, M.Sc.Spätpleistzäne Sturm- und Küstenablagerungen auf dem Nordwestiberischen Schelf2007
Ulrike Proske, M.Sc.Holocene sedimentation in the Banc d’Arguin, Mauritania2006
Ferdinand Oberle, M.Sc.Tropical coastal wetlands: A paleo-environmental reconstruction in the NE-Mekong Delta, Vietnam2004
Sünje Dallmeier-Thiessen, M.Sc.Reconstruction of a basin-wide turbidite event, Agadir Basin, Eastern Atlantic2004
External advision
Renata NagaiIO/Univ. Sao Paulo (Prof. M. Michaelovitch de Mahiques)
Laura PerezUniv. Montevideo (Prof. F. García Rodríguez)
Anxo MenaUniv. Vigo (Prof. G. Francés Pedraz)


North America
South America

We would like to thank VT Explorer for their high quality AIS vessel-tracking data services.
Univ. Kiel, Univ. Cologne
Univ. Vigo, CSIC/Barcelona, OGS/Trieste, Univ. Poznan
WHOI/MA, Coastal Carolina University/SC
OI/Univ. Sao Paulo, Univ. Montevideo, Hydrographic Survey Buenos Aires
Geol. Survey of Japan, Univ. Tokyo, National Univ. Taiwan, Vietnamese Acad. for Science and Technology, Geol. Survey of Bangladesh

Publications 2010-2014


Perez L, García-Rodríguez F, Hanebuth TJJ (accepted) Variability in terrigenous sediment supply offshore of the Rio de la Plata (Uruguay) recording the continental climatic history over the past 1200 years. In: xxxx (eds) “Climate change and human impact in Central and South America over the last 2000 years”. Climate of the Past Xxxxx.

Rebesco M, Urgeles R, Özmaral A, and the CORIBAR team: Hanebuth TJJ, Caburlotto A, Hörner T, Lantzsch H, Llopart J, Lucchi RG, Nicolaisen LS, Osti G, Sabbatini A (accepted) Grounding Zone Wedges, Kveithola Trough (NW’ Barents Sea). In: Dowdeswell JA, Canals M, Jakobsson M, Todd BJ, Dowdeswell EK, Hogan KA (eds) “Atlas of Submarine Glacial Landforms”. Xxxxx. (www.submarineglacialatlas.com).

Hanebuth TJJ, Lantzsch H, García-Rodríguez F, Perez Becona L (accepted) Currents controlling sedimentation: paleo-hydrodynamic variability inferred from the continental-shelf system off SE South America (Uruguay). In: Muniz P, Conde D, Venturini N, Brugnoli E (eds) “Ciencias Marino Costeras en el Umbral del Siglo XXI: Desafíos en Latinoamérica y el Caribe (XV COLACMAR)”. Xxxxx. (in Spanish).

Perez L, García-Rodríguez F, Hanebuth TJJ (accepted) Paleosalinity changes in the Río de la Plata estuary and on adjacent Uruguayan continental shelf during the past 1,200 cal ka BP: an approach using diatoms as proxy. In: Weckström K, Gell P, Saunders K, Skilbeck G (eds) “Applications of paleoenvironmental techniques in estuarine studies”. Developments in Paleoenvironmental Research xx, xx-xx. Springer.


Zhang W, Schneider R, Kolb J, Teichmann T, Dudzinska-Nowak J, Harff J, Hanebuth TJJ (2015) Land–sea interaction and morphogenesis of coastal foredunes — A modeling case study from the southern Baltic Sea coast. Coastal Engineering xx, xxx-xxx. doi:10.1016/j.coastaleng.2015.03.005.

Hanebuth TJJ, Zhang W, Hofmann AL, Löwemark LA, Schwenk T (2015) Oceanic density fronts steering bottom-current induced sedimentation deduced from a 50-ka contourite drift record and numerical modelling (off NW Spain). Quaternary Science Reviews 112, 207-225. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2015.01.027.


Oberle F, Storlazzi C, Hanebuth TJJ (2014) Wave-driven sediment mobilization on a storm-controlled continental shelf (Northwest Iberia). Journal of Marine Sciences 139, 362-372. doi:10.1016/j.jmarsys.2014.07.018.

Ai F, Preu B, Hanebuth TJJ, Krastel-Gudegast S, Strasser M, Kopf A (2014) New constraints on oceanographic vs. seismic control on submarine landslide initiation: a geotechnical approach off Uruguay and northern Argentina. Geo-Marine Letters 34, 399-417. doi: 10.1007/s00367-014-0373-3.

Hanebuth TJJ, Rebesco M, Urgeles U, Lucchi RG, Freudenthal T (2014). Drilling Glacial Deposits in Offshore Polar Regions. EOS 95 (31), 277-278.

Lantzsch H, Hanebuth TJJ, Chiessi CM, Schwenk T, Violante R (2014) A high-supply sedimentary system controlled by strong hydrodynamic conditions (the continental margin off the Plata Estuary during the late Quaternary). Quaternary Research 81, 339-354. doi: org/10.1016/j.yqres.2014.01.003.

Hanebuth TJJ, Kudrass, HR (2014) Historische Salzsiedeöfen und Wurzelhorizonte als Anzeiger für ein rapides Absinken der Küste von Bangladesch. Spektrum der Wissenschaft. März-Ausgabe, 12-14.

Oberle FKJ, Hanebuth TJJ, Baasch B, Schwenk T (2014) Volumetric budget calculation of sediment and carbon storage and export for a late Holocene mid-shelf mudbelt system (NW Iberia). Continental Shelf Research 76, 12-24. doi: 10.1016/j.csr.2013.12.012.

Krastel S, Lehr J, Winkelmann D, Schwenk T, Preu B, Strasser M, Wynn RB, Georgiopoulou A, Hanebuth TJJ (2014) Mass wasting along Atlantic continental margins: a comparison between NW-Africa and the de la Plata River region (northern Argentina and Uruguay). In: Submarine mass movements and their consequences (Eds: Krastel S, Behrmann JH, Völker D, Stipp M, Berndt C, Urgeles R, Chaytor J, Huhn K, Strasser M, Harbitz CB et al) Advances in Natural and Technological Hazard Research 37, 459-469. ISBN: 978-3-319-00971-1.

Szcuzciński W, Jagodziński R, Hanebuth TJJ, Stattegger K, Wetzel, A., Mitręga M, Unverricht D, Phung Van Phach (2013) Modern sedimentation and sediment dispersal pattern on the continental shelf off the Mekong River delta, South China Sea. Global and Planetary Change 110, 195-213. doi: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2013.08.019.

Hanebuth TJJ, Mersmeyer H, Kudrass, HR, Westphal, H (2013) Aeolian to shallow-marine shelf architecture off a major desert since the Late Pleistocene (Northern Mauritania). Geomorphology 203, 132-147. doi: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2013.08.031.

Bender VB, Hanebuth TJJ, Chiessi CM (2013) Holocene shifts of the Subtropical Shelf Front off southeastern South America controlled by high and low latitude forcing. Paleoceanography 28, 1-10. doi: 10.1002/palo.20044.

Hanebuth TJJ, Kudrass HR, Linstädter J, Islam B, Zander AM (2013) Rapid coastal subsidence in the central Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta (Bangladesh) since the 17th century deduced from submerged salt-producing kilns. Geology 41 (9), 987-990. doi:10.1130/G34646.1.

Voigt I, Henrich R, Preu B, Piola AR, Hanebuth TJJ, Schwenk T, Chiessi CM (2013) A submarine canyon as climatic archive – Interaction of the Antarctic Intermediate Water with the Mar del Plata Canyon (Southwest Atlantic). Marine Geology 341, 46-57. doi:10.1016/j.margeo.2013.05.002.


Löwemark L, O’Regan M, Hanebuth TJJ, Jakobsson M (2012) Late Quaternary spatial and temporal variability in Arctic deep-sea bioturbation and its relation to Mn cycles. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 365-366, 192-208. doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2012.09.028.

Wilhelms-Dick D, Westerhold T, Röhl U, Vogt C, Hanebuth TJJ, Römmermann R, Kriews M, Kasten S (2012) A comparison of mm scale resolution techniques for element analysis in sediment cores. Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry 9, 1574-1584. doi:10.1039/C2JA30148B.

Hanebuth TJJ, Proske U, Saito Y, Nguyen VL, Ta, TKO (2012). Early growth stage of a large delta – transformation from estuarine-platform to deltaic-progradational conditions (the northeastern Mekong River Delta, Vietnam). Sedimentary Geology 261-262, 108-119. doi:10.1016/j.sedgeo.2012.03.014.

Bender VB, Hanebuth TJJ, Mena A, Baumann KH, Frances G, v Dobeneck, T (2012) Control of sediment supply, palaeoceanography and morphology on late Quaternary sediment dynamics at the Galician continental slope. Geo-Marine Letters 32 (1), 313-335. doi:10.1007/s00367-012-0282-2.

Henkel S, Schwenk T, Hanebuth TJJ, Strasser M, Riedinger N, Formolo M, Arnold GL, Tomasini J, Krastel S, Kasten S (2012) Pore water geochemistry as a tool for identifying and dating mass-transport deposits. In: Yamada Y, Kawamura K, Ikehara K, Ogawa Y, Urgeles R, Mosher D, Chaytor J, Strasser M (eds) “Submarine Mass Movements and Their Consequences”. Advances in Natural and Technological Hazards Research 31, 87-97. Springer, Dordrecht. ISBN 978-94-007-2161-6.
2011 (7)


Gröger J, Proske U, Hanebuth TJJ, Hamer K (2011) Cycling of trace metals and rare earth elements (REE) in acid sulphate soils in the Plain of Reeds, Vietnam. Chemical Geology 288 (3-4), 162-177. doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2011.07.018.
Henkel S, Strasser M, Schwenk T, Winkelmann D, Hanebuth TJJ, Formolo M, Riedinger N, Tomasini J, Arnold GL, Krastel S, Kasten S (2011) Geochemical constraints on a submarine mass-transport deposit at the continental margin off Uruguay. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 12, Q08009. doi:10.1029/2011GC003669.

Mena A, Francés G, Pérez-Arlucea M, Hanebuth TJJ, Nombela MA (2011) Sedimentary evolution of the Galicia Inner Basin during the last 70 kyr. Geo-Temas 11, 125-126.

Krastel S, Wefer G, Hanebuth TJJ, Antobreh A, Freudenthal T, Preu B, Schwenk T, Strasser M, Violante R, Winkelmann D, and M78/3 shipboard scientific party (2011) Sediment dynamics and geohazards off Uruguay and the de la Plata River region (northern Argentina and Uruguay). Geo-Marine Letters 31 (4), 271-283. doi:10.1007/s00367-011-0232-4.

Nizou J, Hanebuth TJJ, Vogt C (2011) Deciphering signals of late Holocene fluvial and aeolian supply from a shelf sediment depocentre off Senegal (NW-Africa). Journal of Quaternary Science 26 (4), 41-21. doi:10.1002/jqs.1467.

Proske U, Hanebuth TJJ, Gröger J, Diem BP (2011) Late Holocene sedimentary and environmental development of the northern Mekong River Delta, Vietnam. In: Sea level and paleo-environment in SE Asia (Ed: Schweizer, Saito et al.). Quaternary International 230, 57-66. doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2009.11.032.

Hanebuth TJJ, Voris HK, Yokoyama Y, Okuno J, Saito Y (2011) Formation, fate, and implications of depocentres along the sedimentary pathway on the Sunda Shelf (Southeast Asia) over the past 140 ka. Earth-Science Reviews 104, 92-110. doi:10.1016/j.earscirev.2010.09.006.
2010 (4)


Nizou J, Hanebuth TJJ, Heslop D, Schwenk T, Palamenghi L, Stuut J-B, Henrich R (2010) The Senegal River mud belt: a high-resolution archive of paleoclimatic change and coastal evolution. Marine Geology 278 (1-4), 150-164. doi:10.1016/j.margeo.2010.10.002.

Proske U, Hanebuth TJJ, Behling H, Nguyen VL, Ta TKO, Diem BP (2010) The north-eastern Mekong River Delta since the mid-Holocene: Palaeoecological history and implications for prehistoric settlements. The Holocene 20 (8), 1257-1268. doi:10.1177/0959683610374884.

Lantzsch H, Hanebuth TJJ, Henrich R (2010) Sediment recycling and adjustment of deposition during deglacial drowning of a low accumulation shelf (NW Iberia). Continental Shelf Research 30, 1665-1679. doi:10.1016/j.csr.2010.06.013.

Pierau R, Hanebuth TJJ, Krastel S, Henrich R (2010) Late Quaternary climatic and sea level changes recorded in turbidite activity, Dakar Canyon, NW-Africa. Quaternary Research 73 (2), 385-392. doi:10.1016 /j.yqres.2009.07.010.


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