Dr. habil. Christian Siebert


Totes Meer

Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research, UFZ
Dept. Catchment Hydrology

Tel Office: +49-345-558-5211
Tel Lab:    +49-345-558-5281; -5274
Fax:         +49-345-558-5559


As hydrogeologist, I'm phascinated to investigate our mostly coupled water resources to provide science-based facts to smartly use and protect ground- and surface watrer bodies.

Particularly the variety of effects caused by changing climate and increasing demands on amounts and quality of these water resources is of high interest.

The activities of our group focus on:

  • assessing large scale groundwater resources and connections between ground- and usrface waters (rivers, lakes, ocean) across all climates
  • localizing and characterizing groundwater movement and reactions from recharge via transfer to discharge zones 
  • evaluating groundwater residence times and associated implications on water quality

Our research relies on the coupled application of hydrochemical, isotopic and gaseous tracers like

  • REE, major element chemistry, δ18O, δ2H, δ13C, 87Sr/86Sr,
  • 3H/3He, 14C, 36Cl,
  • SF6, CFC
  • N2/Ar
to conceptualize the hydrosystems and to modell processes geochemically and by numerical flow modelling.

Beyond that, interdisciplinary collaboration is a fundamental part of our thinking.

Academic education

1995 – 2002 Study of Geology and Geosciences at Friedrich–Schiller–University Jena (focus: Hydrogeology)

2001 – 2002 Diploma-Thesis „Untersuchung des hydraulisch–hydrochemischen Verhaltens eines Kalkstein-Karstgrundwasserleiters am Beispiel der Mühltalquellen bei Jena“

2002 – 2006 PhD at Freie Universität Berlin and Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ: „Saisonale chemische Variationen des See Genezareth, seiner Zuflüsse und deren Ursachen.” (summa cum laude)

2016: State Doctorate (Habilitation) at TU Bergakademie Freiberg: The application of hydrogeology, hydrogeochemistry and remote sensing to investigate water resources in semi-arid regions: the Jordan-Dead Sea Transform."


  • 2000 – 2001 EU COST-Action 620 subproject „Kartierung der Grundwasserverschmutzungsempfindlichkeit eines Muschelkalk-Grundwasserleiter am Beispiel des Einzugsgebietes der Mühltalquellen bei Jena, Thüringen.“
  • 2002 – 2005 „German-Israeli-Jordanian-Palestinian Joint Research Project: Water Resources Evaluation for a Sustainable Development in the Jordan Rift Basin”. (BMBF grant-code: 02WT0250).
  • 2006 – 2009 IWRM-Project in the Lower Jordan Rift Valley:“SMART- Sustainable Management of Available Water Resources with Innovative Technologies”, BMBF grant-code 02WM0801), multilateral (D, ISR, PLA, JO) Head of WP: DAISY - data and information system
  • 2009 – 2013 IWRM-Project in the Lower Jordan Rift Valley: “SMART 2- Sustainable Management of Available Water Resources with Innovative Technologies”, BMBF, multilateral (D, ISR, PLA, JO) Head of WP: DAISY - data and information system of SMART
  • 2007-2012 IWRM-project Helmholtz Dead Sea: “Sustainable Management of Water Resources (Quantity and Quality) in the Dead Sea Area (SUMAR)”, BMBF grant-code: 02WM0848, multilateral (D, ISR, PLA, JO) Head of WP: Hydrochemistry and co-project management
  • 2010-2014 IWAS Regional project Middle East: Quantification of Resources within the Upper-Mega-Aquifer in Kingdom of Saudi-Arabia and Sultanate of Oman. Project manager
  • 2011-2013 Successful Application for “PAMIR-water: Integrated study on water resources in Western Tibet and their potential climate-induced changes.”, BMBF.
  • 2012-2018 Helmholtz-Virtual Institute DEad SEa Research VEnue "DESERVE". Investigation of submarine groundwater discharge into the Dead Sea.
  • 2018-today National Groundwater Resources Model of Germany

Articles in ISI listed journals (50)

Articles in other journals (not listed in ISI) (1)

Book chapters (12)

Qualification assignments (1)

Conference contributions (50)

closed supervised works:

Greenman, Anat (2010): Report on Isotopic composition of Groundwater discharge from the Western side of the Dead Sea. (MSc-student from Ben Gurion University of the Negev, 8 weeks stay within the YSEP program).

Wernicke, Jakob (2010): Sinkholes as an indicator for groundwater flow: A remote sensing supported sedimentological study from the West Coast of the Dead Sea. Diploma Thesis at University Leipzig. 113 p.

Meier, Andreas (2011): Estimation of Water Infiltration into Dune Sands of Saudi Arabia by Using Large Scale TDR Sensors. Diploma Thesis at Technical University Dresden. 61 p.

Schulz, Stephan (2011): Groundwater recharge estimation using the hydrological model J2000g in the Zarqa River Catchment, NW-Jordan. Diploma-Thesis. TU Bergakademie Freiberg. 52 p.

Odeh, Taleb (2011): Structural control on groundwater chemistry, recharge and flow – Integrated approach using remote sensing, GIS and modelling: The case study of Wadi Zerka Ma’in catchment area (Jordan). PhD-Thesis. TU Bergakademie Freiberg. 147 p.

Schuhmann, Thomas (2012): Sediment fingerprinting of the recent Wadi Al-Arab dam reservoir sediments
(N.W. Jordan). MSc-Thesis. University Leipzig.

Madi, Raneem (2012): Scenario-based simulation of infiltration at a test site in Ad-Dahna desert in Saudi Arabia. MSc-Thesis. TU Dresden. 60 p.

current supervised works:

Gräbe, Agnes (PhD-student): Water balance of the Western Dead Sea Catchment by integrated modelling hydrological and groundwater flow conditions in a structural complex environment. TU Dresden (2008- )

Kraushaar, Sabine (PhD-student): Analysis and quantification of erosion processes and the resulting qualitative consequences in the transition zone of the Mediterranean to the semi-arid zone in northern Jordan. (2010-2015)

Mallast Ulf (PhD-student): A new approach to combine remote sensing and hydrochemistry to calculate ground- and surface water discharge to the Dead Sea. TU Bergakademie Freiberg (2009-2013)

Schulz, Stephan (PhD-student): 3D groundwater modelling of the Upper Mega Aquifer (Arabian Peninsula) by using Open Geosys and advanced tracer technologies. TU Darmstadt (2011- )

Wilske, Cornelia (PhD-student): Application of a combined REE, stable isotopes and organic components approach to evaluate the groundwater flow system between Jerusalem/Ramallah and the Dead Sea. TU Bergakademie Freiberg (2011- )

Strey, Matthias (MSc-student): 2d-numerical modelling of groundwater flow through the Dead Sea Group. TU Bergakademie Freiberg (2013-2014).

Braun, Mascha (MSc-student): Modellierung der Abflusshydraulik in einem semiariden Kalksteineinzugsgebiet (Wadi Al Arab, Jordanien). TU Braunschweig (2013-2014).