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Faculty of Biology, Chemistry & Earth Sciences

Chair of geomorphology - Professor Dr. Oliver Sass

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Near-surface geophysics (georadar, geoelectrics, seismics)

During the last decade, the use of geophysical techniques has become an important tool in many geomorphological studies. We apply the most frequently used techniques:

  • Ground penetrating radar (MALA GS)
  • 2D/3D geoelectrics (geotome)
  • Seismic refraction (GEODE24)

Depending on the task, we use a combination of techniques wherever possible to avoid ambiguities in interpretation. We apply these techniques in a number of different environments:

  • valley fillings
  • landslides
  • mires and bogs
  • solifluction lobes
  • permafrost
  • rockwalls and fractures
  • building facades
  • stone walls

Exemplary Publications:

  • Götz, J., Salcher, B., Starnberger, R. & R. Krisai (2018): Geophysical, topographic and stratigraphic analyses of perialpine kettles and implications for postglacial mire formation. - Geografiska Annaler: Series A, Physical Geography, Vol. 100, No. 3: 254-271. DOI: 10.1080/04353676.2018.1446638
  • Draebing, D. & J. Eichel (2017): Spatial controls of turf-banked solifluction lobes and their role for paraglacial adjustment in glacier forelands. Permafrost and Periglacial Processes 28: 446-459. DOI: 10.1002/ppp.1930
  • Draebing, D. (2016):  Application of Refraction Seismics in Permafrost Studies: A review. Earth Science Reviews 155: 136-152. DOI: 10.1016/j.earscirev.2016.02.006
  • Götz, J., Otto, J.-C., Salcher, B & J. Buckel (2015): Methodische Potentiale der modernen Geomorphologie für die Analyse, Quantifizierung und Rekonstruktion von Erdoberflächenprozessen. - In: GW-Unterricht (Fachwissenschaft) 138: 5-26.
  • Stiegler, C., Rode, M., Sass, O. & J.-C. Otto (2014): Sporadic permafrost below 1000 m a.s.l. in central Austria: Evidences at an undercooled scree slope detected by geophysical investigations. Permafrost and Periglacial Processes 25: 194–207.
  • Krautblatter, M. & D. Draebing (2014): Pseudo 3D - P-wave refraction seismic monitoring of permafrost in steep unstable bedrock. Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface 119 (2): 287-299. DOI: 10.1002/2012JF002638
  • Schrott, L., Otto, J.-C., Götz, J. & M. Geilhausen (2013): Fundamental classic and modern field techniques in geomorphology – an overview. - In: Shroder, J. (Editor in Chief), Switzer, A.D., Kennedy, D. (Eds.), Treatise on Geomorphology. Academic Press, San Diego, CA, vol. 14, Methods in Geomorphology: 6-21. DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-374739-6.00369-9
  • Sass, O., Friedmann, A., Wetzel, K.-F. & G. Haselwanter (2010): Investigating thickness and structure of alpine mires using conventional and geophysical techniques. Catena 80: 195-203.
  • Sass, O. & H.A. Viles (2010): Wetting and drying of masonry walls:  2D-resistivity monitoring of driving rain experiments on historic stonework in Oxford, UK. Journal of Applied Geophysics 70: 72-83.
  • Schrott, L. & O. Sass (2008): Application of field geophysics in geomorphology: advances and limitations exemplified by case studies. Geomorphology 93: 55-73.
  • Sass, O. (2007): Bedrock detection and talus thickness assessment in the European Alps using geophysical methods. Journal of Applied Geophysics 62: 254-269.

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