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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.

  • 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.

The Long Path to Excellence

Geoscientist Bodo Bookhagen speaks about working on the cluster application.

Looking into the past and the future

Geo-researchers investigate prehistoric climate changes

Movement in the Fields - Biologists research interactions between biodiversity and movement patterns

How certain organisms adapt to dynamic landscapes, what consequences this has for biodiversity is being examined amongst other issues by biologists in the DFG Research Training Group BioMove.

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.

From the Partners:

GFZ: Drilling in the Siberian permafrost successfully completed

The permafrost landscapes in the northern hemisphere are regarded as key regions for global change and are, thus, of particular interest for research.

AWI: Changes in permafrost landscapes

Earth's cryosphere is particularly susceptible to climate change. Rising temperatures are certain to result in profound and widespread changes at high latitudes, where the ground remains frozen.