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Geophysical Institute (GPI)

Department of Physics

Hertzstr. 16
Bldg. 6.42
76187 Karlsruhe

Tel.: +49 (0)721 608 - 44558

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The three research sections of the Geophysical Institute (GPI), Applied Geophysics, Natural Hazards and Risks, and Seismology, contribute to the KIT Centers in many ways, and are interconnected within KIT along several lines. Scientists of the GPI contribute to the Karlsruhe Geosciences Colloquium at KIT.


Applied Geophysics at KIT

The research section Applied Geophysics focuses on the further development of seismic imaging methods and their application to shallow targets in environmental geophysics, as well as their application to the exploration of hydrocarbon reservoirs. The Applied Geophysics discipline Along these lines the section contributes to the KIT Centers Energy and Climate and Environment. The KIT-relevant research projects are concerned with localisation and monitoring of CO2 sequestration in saline aquifers, imaging within the subsurface (exploration around and ahead of boreholes and tunnels), and the characterisation of sub-marine gas reservoirs.


Natural Hazards and Risks at KIT

The research area Natural Hazards and Risks is established in the topic 'Geo-risks and Risk Management' in the KIT-Center Climate and Environment. The topics 'Vulnerability and Damage of Earthquakes' are part of the research of the „Center for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology“ (CEDIM), a joint initiative of KIT and the German Reseach Centre for Geosciences Potsdam (GFZ). Financial support is provided by KIT-funding, FP6- and FP7-programmes, the Geotechnology-Programme of the Ministry of Education and Sciences, and funds of the Global Earthquake Models (GEM).


Seismology at KIT

The research section Seismology is widely connected within KIT across several lines. Seismology contributes to the KIT Centers Energy and Climate and Environment. Seismology research contributions fit within the research and training activity themes geoenergy, monitoring of the environment and Earth structure. Examples of several recent joint projects conducted with other KIT institutes include:


  • Determination of seismic site effects in Bucharest together with the Institute for Rock and Soil Mechanics and the Institute for Applied Geosciences,
  • Study of the relationship between seismic noise and meteorologic events with the Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research (KIT Start Up Budget Project),
  • Study of deformations in the Upper Rhine Graben with the Geodetic Institute, the Institute for Rock and Soil Mechanics and the Institute for Applied Geosciences,
  • Induced seismicity in the framework of the Centre for Deep Geothermal Energy at KIT
  • Investigations of fault frictional properties via the relationship between microseismicity and tremor source parameters on the San Andreas fault in Cholame, California (KIT Young Investigator Group Project).


The Black Forest Observatory (BFO, Geowissenschaftliches Gemeinschaftsobservatorium des Karlsruher Instituts für Technologie und der Universität Stuttgart) is jointly operated in a long-lasting cooperation by the Geophysical Institute and the Geodetic Institute at KIT as well as the corresponding institutes at the University of Stuttgart. The data is distributed through international data centres. It is also used within projects at KIT (as reference data in some cases), such as METSEIS, the investigation of recent deformation in the Upper Rhine Graben, and others.


Seismology research is funded via sources such as KIT Start Up Budgets, KIT Feasibility Studies for Young Scientists, and a KIT Young Investigator Group. Seismology research is presented at the „Karlsruhe Geosciences Colloquium“ at KIT.