HELGES: Helmholtz Laboratory for the Geochemistry of the Earth Surface

Friedhelm von Blanckenburg, Hella Wittmann, Jan A. Schuessler

Abstract


New developments in Geochemistry during the last two decades have revolutionized our understanding of the processes that shape Earth's surface. Here, complex interactions occur between the tectonic forces acting from within the Earth and the exogenic forces like climate that are strongly modulated by biota and, increasingly today, by human activity. Within the Helmholtz Laboratory for the Geochemistry of the Earth Surface (HELGES) of the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, it is our goal to quantify the rates and fluxes of these processes in detail and to develop new techniques to fingerprint them over various temporal and spatial scales. We use mass spectrometry facilities to analyze metal stable isotopes, element concentrations and cosmogenic nuclides to fingerprint and quantify geomorphological changes driven by erosion and weathering processes. We use these novel geochemical tools, to quantify, for example, the recycling of metals in plants after their release during weathering of rocks and soils, soil formation and its erosion rates, and mechanisms and speed of sediment transport through drainage basins. Our research is thus dedicated towards understanding material turnover rates at the Earth's surface by using geochemical fingerprints.


References


Cite article as: GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences. (2016). HELGES: Helmholtz Laboratory for the Geochemistry of the Earth Surface. Journal of large-scale research facilities, 2, A84. http://dx.doi.org/10.17815/jlsrf-2-141




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17815/jlsrf-2-141

URN: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0001-jlsrf-2-141-6

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