Institute from the point of view of the Kernberge mountains


The Institute of Geosciences represents the merger of the disciplines of geology, geophysics and mineralogy. A special feature of the institute is a close interdisciplinary integration with chemistry, biology and physics.
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Institute from the point of view of the Kernberge mountains
Image: IGW

Welcome to the Institute for Geosciences at the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena!

Geology, mineralogy and geophysics are sciences that deal with the coupled processes between the different parts of the earth in different spatial and temporal dimensions, from fractions of a nanometer to thousands of kilometers. 

From the smallest structures of minerals, rocks and organic (macro)molecules to the global scale, for example with the motion and dynamics of huge lithosphere plates.

In order to understand the complex interrelationships of processes that transcend scales, the geosciences have undergone a profound transformation over the last 20 years into an exact quantitative science.

Processes that occur on the earth's surface or in the earth's interior can now be mathematically modeled in many cases from the atomic to the planetary scale.

With the help of experiments, extreme conditions can be simulated up to those that prevail in the earth's core. State-of-the-art high-resolution microscopic, tomographic and spectroscopic investigation methods allow a fundamental understanding of the structure-property relationships of geomaterials.

The Institute of Geosciences (IGW) represents the merger of the disciplines geology, geophysics and mineralogy. A special feature of the IGW in Jena is the close interdisciplinary integration with chemistry, biology and physics. The research groups of the institute investigate fundamental geological and environmental processes, especially the interrelations, interactions and feedbacks between litho-, pedo-, hydro- and biosphere.


investigates the structure and history of the earth, the development of the continents and oceans, the formation and erosion of mountains and the formation of depositional spaces and sedimentary rocks. It provides the basic information for the extraction of raw materials. It has the task of securing the basis of human life - such as soil and water - in a long-term and sustainable manner.


investigates the physical properties of the earth and answers fundamental questions about the physical and thermal development of the earth and the structure of the continents. The structure of the earth is investigated with geophysical and numerical models.


studies the composition, structure and properties of natural minerals and rocks that make up the earth's crust. These investigations provide important stimuli for the development of technically significant solids such as glasses, ceramics or semi-metals and new functional materials that have become essential components in everyday life.


The range of courses de offered at the IGW includes the two bachelor and master courses of study in Earth Sciences and Biogeosciences as well as the additional specialization Applied Environmental Sciences with the degree of Bachelor of Science.

Maybe we can win you over by giving you an insight into research and teaching de as a student, but also as an interested party/supporter of the Institute of Geosciences Jena for our offers such as Rent-A-Prof de for schools and educational institutions in Thuringia, or welcome you personally here at the institute. In addition, lectures and other events de take place at regular intervals, to which the public is also cordially invited.


Institute of Geosciences
Janet Kreßler
+49 3641 9-48600
+49 3641 9-48602
Room H 208
Burgweg 11
07749 Jena

Teaching and research areas

General and historic geology Show content
Balanced Rock nr CO Springs Image: IGW

Our research focuses on continental sedimentation systems and their delivery areas, diagenesis and pore systems of clastic rocks as well as interactions of fluids and microorganisms with sedimentary rocks.

Temporal and spatial changes of continents and oceans are the main focus of regional and historical geology. Our team includes geoscientists with expertise in facies analysis, sediment petrology, provenance analysis, reservoir modeling and paleontology.

General Geophysics Show content
Sandbox Experiment 2D Image: IGW

The Chair of General Geophysics is mainly concerned with the structure and physical processes in the earth's crust.

Our current research focuses on the geophysical exploration of sedimentary basins, the investigation of subduction zones and the operation of the Geodynamic Observatory Moxa. Further focal points are field-based methods and potential methods.

In order to understand tectonophysical processes, it is important to know the geomaterials in detail. Therefore we investigate rock samples as well as geoprocesses

General and Applied Mineralogy Show content
Tenerifa_mag_ts_x Image: IGW

Mineralogy explores the chemical, physical and biogenetic properties of matter and its role in the processes of System Earth.

In order to achieve a detailed understanding of these processes, field observations and laboratory measurements are aimed at studying natural and synthetic substances and their applications.

Our work focuses on environmental mineralogy, thermodynamics of minerals, ore mineralogy, and bio-geo-interactions between minerals and organisms. The mineralogical collection in Jena is firmly integrated in the research and teaching of the chair.

Analytical mineralogy of micro- and nanostructures Show content
Live analyses on the TEM Image: Jan-Peter Kasper (University of Jena)

The basic physical and chemical properties of the earth's matter can be derived from the atomic structure of minerals. As a material science among the earth sciences, mineralogy explains the phenomena of the system earth.

The focal points include meteorite and impact research, the formation and weathering of minerals as an interaction between the bio- and geosphere, and the analysis of high-pressure phases as an indicator of processes in the Earth's interior.

Applied geology Show content
drill core Image: IGW

The hunger for raw materials and energy has reached a new dimension and determines the politics of tomorrow. The question to what extent fossil geo resources are available is becoming more and more urgent.

Applied geology minimizes the negative impact on nature and searches for alternatives. It makes geological research useful for practical applications. It explores and extracts groundwater, investigates the subsoil suitable for construction (engineering geology) and prospects, explores and exploits deposits (raw materials geology).

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Applied Geophysics Show content
seismic activity of a swarm earthquake Image: Marcel van Laaten

Applied geophysics uses physical methods to explore the material properties of the subsurface.

Applications range from subsoil and groundwater investigations to reservoir prospection. Important methods are the excitation and recording of seismic and electromagnetic waves as well as the measurement of the earth's gravity and magnetic field.

Research focuses include the application of such methods, the numerical modeling of relevant physical processes and the development of suitable inversion methods.

Hydrogeology Show content
Cover picture Hydrogeology Image: IGW

Teaching and research are aimed at a deeper understanding of the area of the Earth's crust formed by the superposition of the atmosphere, hydro-, bio- and lithosphere.

The aim is to preserve this area of the soil and aquifers, which is so important for human survival, for future generations through intelligent scientific solutions.

Some of the focal points here are precautionary soil and groundwater protection, the restoration of functions and the development of utilization potentials.

Structure Geology Show content
Folded pelagic limestones in northern Albania Image: Kamil Ustaszewski

Structural geology deals with tectonic structures such as folds, ductile shear zones and brittle fractures.

Our investigations are based on careful lithological and structural mapping in the field and the evaluation of borehole or seismic data. The two- and three-dimensional geometric recording of structures is often of economic interest, e.g. for the targeted exploration of strata or structure-bound deposits during raw material exploration or to identify suitable locations for geothermal energy production.

Terrestrische Ökohydrologie Show content
Moss Image: IGW

Our research group focuses on processes that take place in the rooted soil zone.

We investigate to what extent plants influence the near-surface soil water flow and how subterranean interactions and root water uptake influence substance flows and the soil water storage below the root zone.

We use experiments and models to better interpret the processes of water transfer through plant stands and their root water uptake.


Geodynamic Observatory Moxa Show content
Sign Moxa Image: IGW

Geodynamic Observatory Moxa

In the geodynamic observatory Moxa, among other things, the deformations of the earth's surface and gravity field are recorded, evaluated and interpreted.

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Mineralogical collection Show content
Aragonite on azurite Image: Jan-Peter Kasper (University of Jena)

Mineralogical collection

The Mineralogical Collection, founded in 1779, has a stock of about 80,000 objects and is intensively involved in research and teaching in the field of geo and biogeosciences.

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Thuringian Seismic Network Show content
Earthquakes in the TSN Image: Marcel van Laaten

Thuringian Seismic Network

The task of the Thuringian Seismic Network (TSN) is to carry out seismological monitoring in the region of Thuringia and Western Saxony.

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weather station Show content
solar autograph Image: Jürgen Scheere (University of Jena)

weather station

The climate station at the University Observatory has been recording Jena weather data at the same location (almost continuously) since 1813.

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Geological collection Show content
Special exhibition "Granite and its minerals" Image: Jan-Peter Kasper (University of Jena)

Geological collection

The most complete regional geological collection in Thuringia has existed since 1779 and comprises about 50,000 objects. The rocks, minerals and fossils were collected since the 18th century.

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Collection of maps Show content
Historical globe from 1928 Image: IGW

Collection of maps

Geological maps form the most important data basis for scientific, economic and technical questions, such as raw material searches, soil investigations or civil engineering projects.

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Teaching collection of models for mineralogy Show content
Mineralogy-Models Image: IGW

Teaching collection of models for mineralogy

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historical collection of geophysical/seismological instruments Show content
GDR-Seismometer Image: IGW

historical collection of geophysical/seismological instruments

The extensive and unique collection of measuring instruments for recording ground movements, which is supervised by the geophysicists of the Geodynamic Observatory Moxa and the Department of Applied Geophysics of the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, is attracting worldwide attention.

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Seismogram Archive Show content
Historical picture of the effects of an earthquake Image: IGW

Seismogram Archive

Around 1900 the recording of earthquakes worldwide begins. The seismogram archive of the Department of Applied Geophysics of the Friedrich Schiller University contains records of earthquake waves from 1903 to the present day.

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Addresses of buildings and facilities

Address Facilities, Laboratories, Collections
Institute of Geosciences
Burgweg 11
07749 Jena
  • hydrogeochem. Laboratory (Applied Geology)
  • Atomic force microscope. Laboratory (Hydrogeology)
  • X-ray fluorescence (geochemistry)
  • Sediment laboratory (General and Historical Geology)
  • petrophysical laboratory (General Geophysics)
  • geophysical analog laboratory (General Geophysics)
  • Geological collection
  • Map collection
  • Teaching collection of models for mineralogy
Institute of Geosciences
Wöllnitzer Str. 7
07749 Jena
  • hydrogeochem. Laboratory (Hydrogeology)
  • soil physics.measuring rooms (hydrogeology)
  • Experimental room (Hydrogeology)
Institute of Geosciences
Carl-Zeiss-Promenade 10
07745 Jena
  • X-ray diffraction (General and Applied Mineralogy)
  • Microprobe (General and Applied Mineralogy)
  • Calorimetry (General and Applied Mineralogy)
  • Thermogravimetry (general and applied mineralogy)
  • Transmission electron microscope (Analytical mineralogy)
  • Scanning electron microscope with focused ion beam (Analytical mineralogy)
  • Thermal Analysis (Analytical Mineralogy)
  • Chemical laboratory (mineralogy)
  • Microthermometry (General and Hist. Geology)
Institute of Geosciences
Mineralogische Sammlung
Sellierstraße 6
07745 Jena
  • Mineralogical collection
  • Teaching collection of models for mineralogy
Geodynamical Observatory Moxa
Ortsstraße 30
D-07381 Moxa/Thüringen
  • Geodynamic Observatory

    • seismological observation (worldwide)
    • Measurement of gravity field variations
    • high-resolution deformation measurements
  • Seismogram Archive
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