Jan Blöthe

Jan Blöthe is currently working as a Post-Doctoral Researcher in the Geomorphology and Environmental Systems working group at the University of Bonn, Germany. His primary research interests are in the field of sediment dynamics, natural hazards and geomorphometry. During his PhD he worked on valley fills and large landslides in the Himalayas.

ESURF – Special Issue on 4-D reconstruction of earth surface processes

Special Issue in “Earth Surface Dynamics” (interactive, open-access and public peer reviewed journal): 4-D reconstruction of earth surface processes: multi-temporal and multi-spatial high resolution topography.

The special issue aims to demonstrate the advantages of High Resolution Topography (HiRT) to measure and understand earth surface processes at multiple temporal scales and varying spatial resolutions. The focus is on how HiRT data enhances and supports geomorphic process understanding, thereby demonstrating its capability to capture and monitor earth surface processes at unprecedented scales and, consequently, to provide new insights into how landscapes evolve in relation to forces of variable frequency and magnitude. More details are available at


From process to signal – A Galileo conference on environmental seismology (6-9 June 2017)

Galileo flyer cover image 2

I would like to draw your attention to the EGU Galileo conference (

“From Process to Signal – Advancing Environmental Seismology” 

taking place in Ohlstadt, Bavaria, Germany from 6-9 June 2017.

The workshop is orgnized by a team from the GFZ Potsdam (Jens Turowski, Michael Dietze, and Anne Schöpa), and aims to discuss the current use of seismic techniques in the study of the Earth’s surface and the processes that act upon it, a field that is collectively refered to as ‘Environmental Seismology’. In a series of keynote lectures, the state of the art will be surveyed. Presentations by attendees will address the breadth and novelties of current research. Individual break-out groups will discuss pressing scientific issues in small workshops. All scientists are invited who currently use seismic techniques to study geomorphological processes, the cryosphere, the weather, the shallow subsurface and other phenomena at or near the Earth’s surface. Also, those who are interested in the potential of seismic techniques and would like to link with the pioneering community or who wish to use seismic approaches in future are more than welcome to join.

Abstract submission is open from now until March 13, 2017. Please see the EnviroSeis website for details about the slightly different flavour of abstract handling and workshop activities.

Find out more about the event from Jens Turowski (, and feel free do distribute the flyer.


10th international Young Geomoprhologists’ Workshop

10th international Young Geomoprhologists’ Workshop

We’re happy to announce the 10th international young geomorphologists’ workshop, organized by the “Junge Geomorphologen” from Germany.

The workshop will take place on 27.-29. May 2016 in Werbellinsee, near Berlin, Germany (see flyer).

The meeting will provide an ideal opportunity to present your current work, to discuss problems and receive constructive feedback! We want to highlight our interest in solving problems that occur during the empirical or writing period of your research.

Preliminary selection of events:

  • Your BSc/MSc and PhD studies: oral or poster presentation and extensive discussions in a benevolent environment
  • Keynote lecture on “The geophysics and geochemistry of geomorphology” (Prof. Niels Hovius, GFZ Potsdam)
  • Field trip to geomorphological highlights of the surrounding area (Dr. Knut Kaiser, GFZ Potsdam)

Even though the program is quite dense, you’ll find time to get to know the other young researchers and share a beer with them! No worries!

Logistics: Workshop fee will be 35 € for full board!!!

Registration: Please visit our website and send the application form to until Friday, 15th of April 2016.

Thus, save the date! And feel free to register with our mailing list to receive updates on the workshop and additional activities of the Young Geomorphologists! (Email to

The organization team

Jan Blöthe (Uni Bonn)
Andrea Junge (Uni Gießen)
Christoph Kappler (GFZ Potsdam)
Julia Meister (FU Berlin)
Karoline Meßenzehl (Uni Bonn)
Veit Nottebaum (RWTH Aachen)
Steffen Pötsch (Uni Greifswald)
Anna Schoch (Uni Bonn)
Philipp Schulte (RWTH Aachen)

Joint MSc field course in geomorphology (Universities of Bonn and Salzburg)

Joint MSc field course in geomorphology (Universities of Bonn and Salzburg)

From Wednesday to Saturday 9-12 September 2015, the geography departments of the Universities of Bonn/Germany and Salzburg/Austria, held a joint field course in geomorphology in the eastern European Alps. During these four days, 24 students master students, half from each participating university, gathered in Gmunden, Austria. Here, in the beautiful Salzkammergut, the course addressed topics of geomorphology, geoarchaeology and natural hazards. During field trips and hands-on workshops, the students conceptualized and conducted traditional drilling techniques, geophysical surveys and terrestrial laserscanning to investigate surface and subsurface characteristics in several key sites.

In the Gschliefgraben, a complex and currently reactivating landslide at the northern foot of Mt. Traunstein, the depth of the failure plane and the subsurface moisture distribution was investigated using electrical resistivity tomography. Within a nearby Weichselian sandur plain the students sought to determine the extent of the so-called Roman Villa Engelhof using ground-penetrating radar.

Wenner_129m_P2The shape and infill of a nearby located kettle hole mire (Krottensee) was investigated using electrical resistivity tomography. The figure below shows one of the resulting tomographies clearly indicating three layers with a floating mat on top in red, a body of water/gyttija underneath in blue, and the morainic kettle hole base in green colours.

P1080822Recent rockfall activity at the south face of Mt. Plassen (see picture to the left, nearby Hallstatt) and the north face of Mt. Traunstein was finally investigated and quantified by means of terrestrial laserscanning.

The field course was hosted by five lecturers from the Universities of Bonn and Salzburg, Dr. Johannes Weidinger, Prof. Lothar Schrott, Dr. Joachim Götz, Dr. Thomas Hoffmann and Dr. Jan Blöthe. This was the first joint field course between two European Universities that we organized and even though the courses in both departments had a slightly different focus, bringing these ideas together in the field was easy. We have the feeling that students from both universities benefited from the discussions and the exchange of thoughts during field work. After this very positive experience, it probably won’t be the last joint MSc course we organized.

– Written by Jan Blöthe (University of Bonn, Germany) and Joachim Götz (University of Salzburg, Austria);
Featured image courtesy of Christoph Baumgartner