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.


  • 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.

    © Institut fuer Geophysik
  • 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.

    View from helicopter cockpit on the return flight from the measurement area.
    © Institut fuer Geophysik
  • 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

    Drone-based exploration in the Namibian desert.
    © Institut fuer Geophysik
  • January 2023: Discovery of rare-earth elements in Kiruna, Sweden

    Semi-airborne electromagnetic exploration of iron ore deposits in Kiruna in 2018.
    © Institut fuer Geophysik

    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

    Deeply covered in snow, the magnetotelluric station in the Sauerland survived the turn of the year well.
    © Institut fuer Geophysik
  • 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.

    To minimise effects of temperature fluctuations, the electrodes were deeply buried.
    © Institut fuer Geophysik
  • 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.

    Press release: https://www.bgr.bund.de/DE/Gemeinsames/Oeffentlichkeitsarbeit/Pressemitteilungen/BGR/bgr-2022-08-31_projekt-desmex-real-startet-mit-erster-flugkampagne-im-west-harz.html?nn=2061574

    WWU team members, 2022
    © Institut fuer Geophysik
  • 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.

    WWU and IAG team members, August 2022.
    © Institut fuer Geophysik
  • 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.

    DC-resistivity measurements in Greece, 2022.
    © Institut fuer Geophysik