Ruprecht-Karls-Universitšt Heidelberg

Groundwater and Paleoclimate

Groundwater and Paleoclimate


Welcome to G&P!

The scarcity of water resources and climate change are inextricably related global problems of the present and the future. Especially in arid regions of the Earth, groundwater is the decisive and often overutilised basis of food production. As a consequence of the expected climate change, the water shortage may be aggravated in many places. The research group "Groundwater and Paleoclimate" at the Institute of Environmental Physics deals with applications of isotope and environmental tracers, in particular noble gases, to study groundwater recharge and flow, as well as for the reconstruction of paleoclimate.

Measurements of isotopes such as 2H, 3H, 18O and 14C, as well as of trace gases such as noble gases and SF6, enable on the one hand conclusions on the age and origin of groundwater, which provides foundations for a sustainable resource management. On the other hand, reliable temperature information back to the last ice age can be gained, which contributes to our understanding of the climate system.

We also work continuously on the further development of our methods. Present goals are e.g. a more concrete paleoclimatic interpretation of the excess air component in groundwater, the application of the noble gas method to fluid inclusions in stalagmites, and the establishment of new analytical techniques for noble gas radioisotopes.


Prof. Werner Aeschbach

Phone: +49 6221 54 6331


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