You are using an old browser with security vulnerabilities and can not use the features of this website.

Here you will see how you can easily upgrade your browser.

Beyond the Critical Zone

Focus on the coupled geo, bio, and climate spheres at and near the Earth’s surface

Event Cascades

Unterstanding event cascades of the past, present, and future.


Ecologic and geomorphologic impact

Remote Sensing of the Environment

Satellite-derived rainfall amounts and time series

  • NEXUS: Earth Surface Dynamics

Earth System Surface Dynamics

The terrestrial Earth Surface System (ESS) is driven by geological, biological, and climatic forces. They form a complex system of closely coupled processes and feedbacks that is not yet sufficiently understood. Knowledge of these interactions is essential because the Earth’s surface is the foundation for all human activity and its dynamics impact all facets of life, habitability, and sustainability.

Through UP's research initiative NEXUS: Earth Surface Dynamics the renowned earth, environmental, life and data sciences of the Potsdam-Berlin area will intensify existing collaboration and liaise with
new partners to form a network to understand Earth-Surface processes. UP’s science campus Golm will be the center of NEXUS providing modern infrastructure and a concentration of interdisciplinary expertise.

The NEXUS research initiative is coordinating the UP application for a Cluster of Excellence in the context of the Excellence Strategy of the German Federal and State Governments.

Tales as Old as the Hills

If earthquakes, landslides, floods and debris avalanches cannot be prevented, then people in the affected regions want to know at least how often such events might happen.

On Precipices – Landscape Response to Climate Change

Landscapes change over hundreds of thousands, even millions of years. Tectonic events and erosion create mountain ranges and remove them again.

Thaw in the Permafrost – Will the Siberian tundra become a source of carbon emissions?

The permafrost soils of the Arctic are the cold stores of the North. What they shut in over thousands of years is kept safe: plant remains, animal bones, microorganisms.

Rapid Bloomers of Evolution – Humboldt Research Fellow Dr. Luis Valente Researches Biodiversity on I

A team headed by the Portuguese evolutionary biologist Dr. Luis Valente, who is currently conducting research at the University of Potsdam, has tested a model using the example of Darwin's finches.