Geographisches Institut
Im Neuenheimer Feld 348
D-69120 Heidelberg
Christa Moos

Phone: +49 6221 54-4571
Fax: +49 6221 54-4997
Opening Hours
Mon–Thu, 9 am–12 noon

Geomorphology and Soil Geography


Physical Geography examines the geofactors of landscapes (relief and formation of the earth’s surface, climate, soil, water, vegetation, among others) using the methods of natural sciences, records its geological and historical heritage and describes/models the currently existing interrelationships in the ecosystems.

The major research areas of the Professor of Geomorphology and Soil Geography are environmental research, geomorphology and soil science, landscape evolution, arid zone research and geoarchaeology.

Further information on the Institute’s staff, research projects, the Laboratory for Geomorphology and Geoecology and the Luminescence Laboratory, as well as our excursions can be found through the links on the individual pages.

Latest publications
  • Engel, M., Hess, K., Dawson, S., Patel, T., Koutsodendris, A., Vakhrameeva, P., Klemt, E., Kempf, P., Schön, I., Heyvaert, V.M.A., 2023. Sedimentary evidence of the Late Holocene tsunami in the Shetland Islands (UK) at Loch Flugarth, northern Mainland. Boreas. DOI: 10.1111/BOR.12635.
  • Hess, K., Engel, M., Patel, T., Vakhrameeva, P., Koutsodendris, A., Klemt, E., Hansteen, T.H., Kempf, P., Dawson, S., Schön, I., Heyvaert, V.M.A., 2023. A 1500-years record of North Atlantic storm flooding from lacustrine sediments, Shetland Islands (UK). Journal of Quaternary Science. DOI: 10.1002/jqs.3568.
  • Ullmann, T., Jagdhuber, T., Hoffmeister, D., May. S.M., Baumhauer, R., Bubenzer. O. (2023): Exploring Sentinel-1 backscatter time series over the Atacama Desert (Chile) for seasonal dynamics of surface soil moisture. Remote Sensing of Environment. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2022.113413
  • Bauer, L., Bradtmöller, M., Bubenzer, O., El-Kassem, M., Hattermann, M., Hecht, S., Henselowsky, F. (2022): Paläorelief und Besiedlung der mittel- und jungpaläolithischen Freilandstation Feldberg „Steinacker“. Archäologischen Ausgrabungen in Baden-Württemberg, Jg. 2021: 50-63.
  • Hecht, S., Bubenzer, O., Mächtle, B., Tafelmayer, Y. (2022): Blick in den Untergrund - Geophysikalische Untersuchungen in der Höhle Haus (Stadt Heubach, Ostalbkreis). Archäologischen Ausgrabungen in Baden-Württemberg, Jg. 2021: 85-88.
  • Bubenzer, O., Jäger, S., Ludwig, R., Mächtle, B., Schöneweis, T., Von der Osten-Woldenburg, H., Wieland, G. (2022): Neue geoarchäologische Forschungen auf dem Heiligenberg: Sondage einer Podiengruppe am Osthang des Berges. Archäologischen Ausgrabungen in Baden-Württemberg, Jg. 2021: 140-145.
  • Engel, M., Henselowsky, F., Roth, F., Kadereit, A., Herzog, M., Hecht, S., Bubenzer, O., Schukraft, G. (2022): Activity phases of the southern "Bergstraßenneckar" in the Upper Rhine Graben near Heidelberg, Germany – first insights. – E&G Quaternary Sci. Journal, 71: 213-226. https://doi.org/10.5194/egqsj-71-213-2022
  • Schlaudt, O., Bubenzer, O., Gebhardt, H., Keppler, F., Lorenz, J., Reents, F. (2022). Anthropozän. In: MEYER, T., Keppler, F., Mager, U., Platt, U., Reents, F. [eds.]: Umwelt interdisziplinär. Grundlagen – Konzepte – Handlungsfelder: ca. 41 S., Heidelberg University Publishing. https://doi.org/10.11588/heidok.00031286
  • Herzog, M., Anders, K., Höfle, B., Bubenzer, O. (2022): Capturing complex star dune dynamics - Repeated highly accurate surveys combining multitemporal 3D topographic measurements and local wind data. – Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. https://doi.org/10.1002/esp.5420
  • Henselowsky, F., Kindermann, K., Willmes, C., Lammerich-Long, D., Bareth, G., Bubenzer, O. (2022): Paleao-environments and landscape diversity of Egypt during the Last Interglacial with its implications for Homo sapiens dispersal. - Journal of Maps. https://doi.org/10.1080/17445647.2022.2064779
  • Bubenzer, O., Siart, C., Forbriger, M. (2022): Digitale Geoarchäologie. In: STOLZ C., MILLER, C et al [eds.].: Geoarchäologie: 272-274; Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-62774-7_14
  • Bubenzer, O., Zielhofer, C. (2022): Fluviale Systeme in Trockengebieten. In: STOLZ, C., MILLER, C. et al. [eds.]: Geoarchäologie: 95-108; Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-62774-7_9
  • Hecht, S., Mächtle, B., Bubenzer, O. (2022): Geoelektrische Tomographie. In: STOLZ, C. MILLER, C. [eds.] et al.: Geoarchäologie: 275-277; Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-62774-7_14
  • Hensel, E.A., Kehl, M., Wöstehoff, L., Neumann, K., Vogelsang, R., Bubenzer, O. (2022): A multi-method approach for deciphering rockshelter microstratigraphies - The role of the Sodicho Rockshelter (SW Ethiopia) as a geoarchaeological archive. – Geosciences. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences12020092
  • Engel, M., Brückner, H., 2022. Geschichte, Gegenwart und Zukunft der Geoarchäologie. In: Stolz, C., Miller, C. (eds.), Geoarchäologie. Springer, pp. 13–22. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-662-62774-7_2.
  • Engel, M., Stock, F., Brückner, H., 2022. Editorial. In: Engel, M., Stock, F., Brückner, H. (eds.), Coastal geoarchaeology in the Mediterranean – on the interdependence of landscape dynamics, harbour installations and economic prosperity in the littoral realm, Panel 2.3. Archaeology and Economy in the Ancient World – Proceedings of the 19th International Congress of Classical Archaeology, Cologne/Bonn 2018, Vol. 5. Propylaeum, Heidelberg, pp. 1–4. DOI: 10.11588/propylaeum.897.
  • Engel, M., Strohmenger, C.J., Peis, K.T., Pint, A., Brill, D., Brückner, H., 2022. High-resolution facies analysis of a coastal sabkha in the eastern Gulf of Salwa (Qatar): A spatio-temporal reconstruction. Sedimentology 69, 1119–1150. DOI: 10.1111/sed.12938.
  • Kadereit, A., Engel, M., Henselowsky, F., Herzog, M., Roth, F., Hecht, S., Bubenzer, O., 2022. Physiogeographische Geländepraktika in Zeiten der COVID-19-Pandemie. HGG-Journal 35, 155–160.
  • Neugebauer, I., Dinies, M., Plessen, B., Dräger, N., Brauer, A., Brückner, H., Frenzel, P., Gleixner, G., Hoelzmann, P., Krahn, K.J., Pint, A., Schwab, V.F., Schwarz, A., Tjallingii, R., Engel, M., 2022. The unexpectedly short Holocene Humid Period in Northern Arabia. Communications Earth & Environment 3, 47. DOI: 10.1038/s43247-022-00368-y.
  • Oetjen, J., Sundar, V., Venkatachalam, S., Reicherter, K., Engel, M., Schüttrumpf, H., Sannasiraj, S.A., 2022. A comprehensive review on structural tsunami countermeasures. Natural Hazards.
  • Scheder, J., Bungenstock, F., Haynert, K., Pint, A., Schlütz, F., Frenzel, P., Wehrmann, A., Brückner, H., Engel, M., 2022. Unravelling Holocene relative sea-level change in the southern North Sea using an improved microfauna-based transfer function. Journal of Quaternary Science 37, 71–85. DOI: 10.1002/jqs.3380.
  • Costa, P.J.M., Dawson, S., Ramalho, R., Engel, M., Dourado, F., Bosnic, I., Andrade, C., 2021. A review on onshore tsunami deposits along the Atlantic coasts. Earth-Science Reviews 212, 103441. DOI: 10.1016/j.earscirev.2020.103441.
  • Dotterweich, M., Wenzel, S., Schreg, R., Fülling, A., Engel, M., Sonnenschein, J.J., Maus, C., Stöck, M., Klumpp, S., Müller, C., Christ, M., Keller, V., Opitz, S., 2021. Landschaftsentwicklung und Landnutzung im Segbachtal bei Mendig. In: Wenzel., S., Grünewald, M., Giljohann, R., (eds.), Römische Landnutzung im antiken Industrierevier der Osteifel. Monographien des Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseums 155 (=Vulkanpark-Forschungen 13), 355–391. DOI: 10.11588/propylaeum.768.
  • Engel, M., Brückner, H., 2021. Holocene climate variability of Mesopotamia and its impact on the history of civilisation. In: Ehlers, E., Amirpur, K. (eds.), Middle East and North Africa: Climate, Culture, and Conflicts. Brill, Leiden, pp. 77–113. DOI: 10.1163/9789004444973_005.
  • Engel, M., Dotterweich, M., Fülling, A., Brill, D., Broisch-Höhner, M., Totschnig, R., Seren, S., Kehl, M., 2021. Syn- and post-eruptive gully formation near the Laacher See volcano. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 46, 1783–1796. DOI: 10.1002/esp.5119.
  • Hensel, E., Vogelsang, R., Noack, T., Bubenzer, O. (2021): Stratigraphy and Chronology of Sodicho Rockshelter – A New Sedimentological Record of Past Environmental Changes and Human Settlement Phases in Southwestern Ethiopia. https://doi.org/10.3389/feart.2020.611700
  • Henselowsky, F., Eichstädter, R., Schröder-Ritzrau, A., Herwartz, D., Almoazamy, A., Frank, N., Kindermann, K., Bubenzer, O.: Speleothem growth phases in the central Eastern Desert of Egypt reveal enhanced humidity throughout MIS 5. Quaternary International, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2021.05.006
  • Henselowsky, F., Rölkens, J., Kelterbaum, D., Bubenzer, O. Anthropogenic relief changes in a long-lasting lignite mining area („Ville“, Germany) derived from historic maps and Digital Elevation Models. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. https://doi.org/10.1002/esp.5103
  • Herzog, M., Henselowsky, F., Bubenzer, O. (2021): Geomorphological map of the Tafilalt Basin, South East Morocco – Implications for fluvial-aeolian dynamics and wind regimes. – Journal of Maps, Vol. 21, No., 2: 823-830. https://doi.org/10.1080/17445647.2021.1990805
  • Kindermann, K., Kuper, J., Bubenzer, O., Henselowsky, F. (2021): Ephemeral but not remote – Insights into the Late Pleistocene of Northeast Africa. – In: LITT, TH., RICHTER, F., SCHÄBITZ, F. (eds.): The Journey of Modern Humans from Africa to Europe. Culture-Environmental Interaction and Mobility, 31-40. Schweizerbart Science Publication; Stuttgart. https://www.schweizerbart.de/publications/detail/isbn/9783510655342
  • Oetjen, J., Engel, M., Schüttrumpf, H., 2021. Experiments on tsunami induced boulder transport – A review. Earth-Science Reviews 220, 103714. DOI: 10.1016/j.earscirev.2021.103714.
  • Stirn, C., Bubenzer, O., Maier, M. (2021): Tracing anthropogenic impact on arsenic mobility in groundwater of Bangladesh and SE Asia – A review of methods and results. – Asien - The German Journal on Contemporary Asia, 156/157: 102-124. http://asien.asienforschung.de/asien-156-157/
  • Engel, M., May, S.M., Garrett, E.G., Pilarczyk, J.E., Brill, D., eds., (2020): Geological records of tsunamis and other extreme waves. Elsevier, Amsterdam, 848 pp. https://doi.org/10.1016/C2017-0-03458-4
  • Orti, M.J., Winiwarter, L., Corral-Pazos-de-Provens, E., Williams, J.G., Bubenzer, O., Höfle, B. (2020): Use of TanDEM-X and Sentinel Products to Derive Gully Activity Maps in Kunene Region (Namibia) Based on Automatic Iterative Random Forest Approach. IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing (14).
  • Parker, A.G., Morley, M.W., Armitage, S.J., Engel, M., Parton, A., Preston, G.W., Russ, H., Drechsel, P. (2020): Palaeoenvironmental and sea level changes during the Holocene in eastern Saudi Arabia and their implications for Neolithic populations. Quaternary Science Reviews 249.
  • Oetjen, J., Engel, M., Pudasaini, S.P., Schuettrumpf, H. (2020): Significance of boulder shape, shoreline configuration and pre‐transport setting for the transport of boulders by tsunamis. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. 45. 2118-2133. https://doi.org/10.1002/esp.4870
  • Willmes, C., Niedzolka, K., Serbe, B., Grimm, S., Groß, D., Miebach, A., Märker, M., Henselowsky, F., Gamisch, A., Rostami, M., Mateos, A., Rodriguez, J., Limberg, H., Schmidt, I., Müller, M., Hölzchen, E., Holthausen, M., Klein, K., Wegener, C., Weninger, B., Kellberg Nielsen, T., Otto, T., Weniger, G.-C., Bubenzer, O., Bareth, G. (2020): State of the art in paleoenvironment mapping for modelling applications in archaeology - Summary, conclusions and future directions from the PaleoMaps Workshop. Quaternary, 3(2), 13;
  • Bubenzer, O., Embabi, N.S., Ashour, M.M.(2020): Sand seas and dune field of Egypt. –Geosciences.10(3), 101.
  • Kock, S. T., Schittek, K., Mächtle, B., Maldonado, A., Vos, H., Lupo, L. C., Kulemeyer, J. J., Wissel, H., Schäbitz, F., Lücke, A. (2020): Multi-centennial-scale variations of South American Summer Monsoon intensity in the southern Central Andes (24-27°S) during the Late Holocene. Geophysical Research Letters 47(4), e2019GL084157. doi:10.1029/2019GL084157.
  • M.V. Maier, Y. Wolter, D. Zentler, C. Scholz, C.N. Stirn, M. Isenbeck-Schröter (2019): Phosphate Induced Arsenic Mobilization as a Potentially Effective In-Situ Remediation Technique—Preliminary Column Tests. Water, 11(11), 2364. doi: 10.3390/w11112364
  • Medialdea, A., May, S.M., Brill, D., King, G., Ritter, B., Wennrich, V., Bartz, M., Zander, A., Hurtado, S., Kuiper, K., Hoffmeister, D., Schulte, P., Gröbner, M., Opitz, S., Brückner, H., Bubenzer, O. (2020): Hillslope activity in the hyper-arid core of the Atacama Desert (northern Chile), as an indicator for humid periods during the Late Pleistocene. –Global and Planetary Change. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2019.103086
  • Ullmann, T., Sauerbrey, J., Hoffmeister, D., May, M.S., Baumhauer, R., Bubenzer, O.(2019): Assessing Spatiotemporal Variations of Sentinel-1 InSAR Coherence on Different Time Scales over the Atacama Desert (Chile) between 2015 and 2018. –Remote Sensing 11, 2960. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11242960
  • May, S.M., Meine, L., Hoffmeister, D., Brill., D., Medialdea, A., Wennrich, V., Gröbner, M., Schulte, P., Steininger, F., Deprez, M., de Kock, T., Bubenzer, O. (2020): Origin and timing of past hillslope activity in the hyper-arid core of the Atacama Desert –the formation of fine sediment lobes along the Chuculay Fault System, northern Chile. –Global and Planetary Change. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2019.103057
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