Research/ Topics

Research topics of department MET ( Photo: UFZ)
In order to understand processes that take place in nature, parameters influenced by these processes need to be recorded spatially and/or chronologically. Such processes include: the spatial change of salt water or freshwater borders caused by intensive ground water use; natural backing and dismantling processes in contaminated ground water tables, as well as climate or human-caused changes in biodiversity. Due to the heterogeneity and complexity of these systems, is it only possible today to observe and analyse these processes at great expense and requiring high levels of expertise. Nevertheless, it is necessary for answering numerous questions in environmental research studies to develop adequate models of natural systems. Therefore, scientifically-based models are needed, taking into account the physical, chemical and biological processes relevant to their respective scales.

To promote the development of such complicated models, as well as consistent parameterization, further development and application of various monitoring and investigation technologies is needed. In accordance with the characterization of investigated systems, it is essential to combine different investigation methods from different research fields (geophysics, hydrogeology, remote sensing, biodiversity research, etc.).

Process-oriented research

Characterization and Exploration respectively are prerequisites for understanding the investigating system, as well as for their monitoring. There is both a research need and a developmental need for our department to investigate complex environmental systems effectively. These needs imply the following research themes, but are not exclusively limited to the following:

  • ­Tests and assessment to combine different methods such as direct push, geophysical and hydro-geological methods (field experiments and numerical investigations)
  • Development of measuring strategies including a priori information as well as information gained during the investigation (dynamic/ conformist investigation)
  • Creation, establishment and usage of databases.
  • Combination of procedures with different Average Volumes or The combination of multi-discpline procedures
  • Combination of 'Direct Push', hydrogeological and geophysical methods.
  • Sensitivity analyses for different methods, concerning their contribution towards gaining information at test sites
  • Development of procedures to decide the optimal amount of sampling records, to minimize investigation expenditure
  • Theoretical examination to consider the benefits of combining multi-discipline procedures at test sites
  • Development of algorithms to the common inversion of measuring data of different methods (" joint inversion ")
  • Combined inversion of spatial data gained by geophysical methods, vertical high resolution data by means of direct push methods, as well as any additional information (e.g. bore hole observations )
  • Development of new chemical, biological and physical sensors for application with 'Direct Push' devices

The MET Department will develop suitable monitoring strategies by means of biological, geophysical and hydrogeological methods.The objective is long term observation of natural and anthropogenic processes in different environmental compartments (e.g. ground water, surface waters, soils). Specifically, a research and developmental need arises related to, but not exclusively limited to, the following areas:

  • ­ development of monitoring concepts for long time observations
  • ­ development of inversion procedures to evaluate monitoring data (4D problems)
  • ­ data management and evaluation of extensive, multidimensional records and time rows
  • ­ investigation of spatial and temporal resolution of monitoring measurements
  • ­ development of procedures to observe processes in different media and scale areas, by both low-invasive and non-destructive methods, and a combination of the two.
  • inclusion of monitoring aspects at the developmental stage of measuring and investigation technologies