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Geophysics

The research group Geophysics carries out research in the fields of vadose zone hydrology, soil physics, plant-soil interactions and numerical modelling of coupled processes in soil.

 

Current research topics of the group are:

 

1. Soil physical processes in the rhizosphere

Rhizosphere

  • dynamic hydraulic properties of the rhizosphere
    -> soil hydrology
  • how root exudates affect soil penetration resistance and root growth  
    -> soil mechanics





 

2. Heat dissipation from underground electrical power cables

Kabel
  • numerical simulation of coupled water, vapor and heat flow in soil using finite element methods (DUNE - the Distributed und Unified Numerics Environment)

3. Soil water retention affected by  local hydrophobicity spots

Hydrospots

  • pore scale modelling (Lattice Boltzmann Methods) to quantify how soil water retention and its hysteresis are affected by geo-statistical properties (standard deviation, correlation length, connectivity) of hydrophobic spots in the pore space.

 

 

4. How mucilage bridges the gap

Bridges

  • simulations (Lattice Boltzmann Methods) and experiments to understand how polymeric root exudates form bridges across pores and how these bridges deform during drying