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


  • 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

  • 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


  • 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


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