Hydrogeochemistry and Hydrogeology
More than two third of the earth´s surface are covered with water. The major part of it is sea water in the oceans and less than 4 % of it is fresh water. Besides the polar ice, groundwater is the most important reservoir of fresh water and is predominantly used for drinking water abstraction in Germany. The quality of groundwater, however, is endangered by uncontrolled inflow of anthropogenic substances both in industrialised and developing countries.
The research group Hydrogeochemistry and Hydrogeology of the Institute of Earth sciences Heidelberg is mainly focused on studies on the groundwater quality. Pollutant dispersal in groundwater and its interaction with the geochemical milieu are of major interest in applied research projects. In the area of Hydrogeochemistry inorganic processes are predominantly studied with experimental investigations in the laboratory and the field. The results are then interpreted and integrated into geochemical models. In the area of Hydrogeology, the geochemical processes are combined with geological facts, where groundwater flow and transport processes, concepts of groundwater management and remediation of groundwater contaminations are worked out.
The Hydrogeochemical research on limnetic and marine systems is focused on primary and secondary processes concerning the organic matter transformation. Areas under investigation are the Willersinnweiher, an artificial lake near Ludwigshafen based on groundwater, and the German Bight in the North Sea.