Welcome to the Applied Geophysics Group of the University of Münster!
The focus of applied geophysics is the exploration of the earth's crust using a wide range of geophysical measurement methods. The development and optimization of innovative measuring techniques, their use for deposit exploration, lithosphere research and their application to complex problems in archaeo-physics are the main focuses of our working group.
Oktober 2023: News from the working group
We congratulate Hannah Treppke and Sebastian Schwind on the completion of the Master of Science Geophysics and at the same time are pleased to welcome Hannah as a PhD student starting October 01.
Prof. Matthew Comeau has accepted a position as Assistant Professor at TU Delft. We congratulate Matthew, wish him good luck for the future and thank him for the successful and enjoyable collaboration during the last years!
September 2023: Helicopter survey in the upper Harz mountains
Once again, semi-airborne EM data were collected in the Upper Harz Mountains around Schulenberg. The measurement campaign is part of the DESMEX-Real project, in the context of which the entire mining region of the Upper Harz is surveyed. In previous years, flights were carried out in the area of Lautenthal, Bad Grund and Goslar.
September 2023: Semi-airborne measurements in Argentina
In cooperation with the French company ERAMET and the German company DEM, two pilot studies were carried out in Argentina. The aim of the measurements was the detection of highly conductive lithium brine in the subsurface. Both test areas were located in the Argentine Andes at an altitude of 3500 m. One test site was a dry salt lake (salar) and the other was located in a volcanic area. The processing of the data obtained will show the suitability of the DESMEX method for this type of deposits.
July/August 2022: Further archeo-geophysical measurements at the Amyklaios sanctuary, Sparta, Greece
As a continuation of the archaeo-geophysical measurements last summer, further measurements were carried out near Sparta, Greece. The aim is to discover archaeological structures at the sanctuary of Apollo Amyklaios in cooperation with the Institute for Classical and Christian Archaeology at WWU Münster and the Ionian University of Corfu.
July/August 2023: Magnetotelluric measurements in western Mongolia
This year's magnetotelluric measurements took place in western Mongolia in collaboration with partners from the Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics (IAG) in Ulaanbaatar. These measurements add 150 stations to the existing data set and contribute to the development of possible geodynamic scenarios for the origin and understanding of the lithospheric deformation at hand.
June 2023: Canoeing day on the river Werse
11. & 12. May 2023: DESMEX II and DESMEX-REAL project meeting in the Harz
On May 11 and 12, a project meeting of the project partners involved in DESMEX II and DESMEX-REAL took place in the Hotel zum Harzer not far from the airborne survey areas in the Harz Mountains. On the agenda were various reports on the status of the work, an introduction to the geology of the Harz, as well as the planning and selection of future measurement and model areas. Accompanied by a renowned mineralogist, a geological hike was organized.
Mai 2023: Gauß-Lecture of the DGG at the EGU on the topic "Resources for tomorrow"
This year's Gauss Lecture at the EGU conference in Vienna was held by Prof. Michael Becken. With the title "Resources for tomorrow - how airborne geophysics can contribute for the exploration of deep mineral deposits" he presented the functionality and representative case studies of the semi-airborne EM techniques developed in the DESMEX projects.
Used slides for download as well as a video recording (in English) can be found on the DGG website.
April 2022: We congratulate André on his successful master's degree!
André Bredeck successfully defended his master thesis with the title "Development of methods for UXO detection with omnidirectional borehole GPR" and now holds his master's degree.
We congratulate and wish all the best for the future!
April 2023: GeoMetEr project star and kick-off meeting
The Bundesgesellschaft für Endlagerung (BGE) announced the start of the research project “GeoMetEr” through a kick-off meeting on 5. April 2023. The project coordinator, TU Bergakademie Freiberg, hosted the meeting on their premises. All ten project partners, including WWU Münster, participated in the meeting to discuss the future aspects of the scientific and logistic workflows throughout the project.
The discussion addressed the working phases during the project, starting with a detailed illustration of the proposed exploration techniques such as 3D seismics, airborne geomagnetics, and semi-airborne electromagnetics. The project members also reviewed the validation techniques that will be used to provide more confidence in the exploration results, in addition to introducing the innovative joint inversion and modeling schemes that will be implemented for a compressive understanding of the subsurface.
During the meeting, the WWU Münster team presented results of the previously conducted test measurements in the Sigmaringen area. The results provided insights into the distribution and intensity of the electromagnetic disturbances in the area that will be taken into account while conducting the electromagnetic survey.
March 2023: First test measurements to evaluate potential noise sources in the context of the GeoMetEr research project
GeoMetEr is a research project of the Bundesgesellschaft für Endlagerung (BGE) in cooperation with a project group led by the University of Freiberg, in which the Applied Geophysics Group of the University of Münster is also involved. The objective is to test various minimally invasive, surface geophysical measurement methods, such as airborne EM, for the subsequent selection of a repository site. Further information on the project and the search for a final repository can be found on the website of the BGE.
In March 2023, the University of Münster carried out the first test measurements in the Sigmaringen district to assess the influence of potential EM noise sources, such as transmission towers. This information will be used to define a research area for testing further exploration methods.
February 2023: AFMAG measurements near Gobabis, Namibia
In February, the first helicopter-based AFMAG measurements were carried out as part of the DESMEX II project. AFMAG stands for audio frequency magnetics and, like magnetotellurics, is based on natural electromagnetic sources. Participating partners are the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) and the Leibniz Institute for Photonic Technologies (IPHT).
To demonstrate the method, a region near Gobabis in Namibia was selected for which a coarsely resolved AFMAG comparison data set already exists.
January 2023: sAEM measurements in south-western Namibia
In the first weeks of January, complementary investigations of the Hope copper mine in Namibia were carried out in collaboration with terratec Geophysical Services, following on from the successful sAEM measurements in 2021.
The semi-airborne electromagnetic methods developed within the DESMEX projects are particularly well suited for deep exploration of deposits, such as the exploration of this shallow-dipping massive sulphide deposit
January 2023: Discovery of rare-earth elements in Kiruna, Sweden
On 12 January 2023, Swedish mining company LKAB announced the discovery of a large deposit of rare earth metals in Kiruna - a site that was used to test DESMEX methods in 2018.
At that time, the iron ore deposit located there was investigated, which is considered one of the largest in the world and a suitable target for validating the DESMEX exploration methods. The resulting geological subsurface models also contributed to the exploration of the rare earth metal deposits.
Click here for the article in the news portal of the University of Münster:
January 2023: MT-station check in the Sauerland
December 2022: Tests for long-term MT measurements in the Sauerland
The working group installed stations for telluric broadband measurements and magnetic field measurements with fluxgate magnetometers in the Sauerland. The aim is to check the feasibility of long-term magnetotelluric measurements to obtain long-period H- and E-field data with regard to temperature-related sensor instability.
September 2022: Helicopter survey in the upper Harz mountains
New helicopter-borne semi-airborne EM data will be acquired in the upper Harz mountains. The measurements are part of the DESMEX-REAL project and will be centered around Lautenthal.
August 2022: New papers published
Comeau, M. J., Becken, M., and Kuvshinov, A. V. (2022). Imaging the whole-lithosphere architecture of a mineral system—Geophysical signatures of the sources and pathways of ore-forming fluids. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 23, e2022GC010379. https://doi.org/10.1029/2022GC010379
Becken, M., Kotowski, P.O., Schmalzl, J., Symons, G., Brauch, K., 2022. Semi-Airborne Electromagnetic Exploration Using a Scalar Magnetometer Suspended below a Multicopter. First Break, 40(8), 37-46. https://doi.org/10.3997/1365-2397.fb2022064
Stolz, R., Schiffler, M., Becken, M., Thiede, A., Schneider, M., Chubak, G., Marsden, P., Bergshjorth, A.B., and Schaefer, M., and Terblanche, O. (2022). SQUIDs for magnetic and electromagnetic methods in mineral exploration. Miner Econ. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13563-022-00333-3
August 2022: Magnetotelluric measurements in the Hovsgol region, Mongolia
The working group has carried out new magnetotelluric measurements in the Hovsgol region in northern Mongolia together with partners from the Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics (IAG), Ulaanbaatar. New data at 86 sites were acquired and complement the existing array. The new and existing data will be used to test geodynamic hypotheses for lithospheric deformation at the edge of the Siberian platform.
July/August 2022: Archeo-geophysical measurements at the Amyklaios sanctuary, Sparta, Greece
Archeo-geophysical measurements were carried out near Sparta, Greece, to unravel hidden archeological structures at the Apollon Amyklaios sanctuary near Sparta. Measurements were conducted in cooperation with the Institute for Classical and Christian Archaeology of the WWU Münster and the Ionian University of Corfu.