Earth Surface Dynamics Geneva

We study the production, transport and deposition of sediments from mountains to basins.

Sedimentary layers record the history of the Earth. They contain stratigraphic cycles and patterns that precisely reveal the succession of climatic and tectonic conditions that have occurred over millennia, thereby enhancing our ability to understand and predict the evolution of our planet.


"Autogenic delta progradation during sea-level rise within incised valleys"

A new article in Geology by Laure Guerit and coauthors

Also check out this video from their modelling

Congratulations to Anna Rauch for completing her PhD!

Anna Rauch has successfully completed her PhD thesis entitled "Dealing with Uncertainty and Ambiguity in Geological Maps – with Focus on Bedrock Geology".

She analysed the complexity and the inevitable uncertain and ambiguous character of geological information in maps, and then she provided useful resources.

Anna and co-authors propose two approaches to face ambiguous or uncertain data in maps. The first is a new method to assess and communicate the general reliability of bedrock information. The second proposes an algorithm that helps understand and manage the ambiguous character of geometrical information (i.e. traces) stored in geological maps.

Further information:

Louis Honegger completed his PhD

On May 2020, Louis Honegger successfully completed his PhD thesis entitled "Climate and tectonic controls on stratigraphy in the Early Eocene Pyrenean foreland basin: new constraints from stable isotopes of carbon and oxygen"

In his thesis he used carbon and oxygen isotopes in the Early Eocene Pyrenean foreland basin to discuss the climatic and tectonic control on stratigraphy.

In more detail, he explored:

1) the origin of multi-millennial (~400 k.y.) stratigraphic cycles in the Ainsa deep-marine basin

2) the climatic impact and preservation potential in continental environments of short-lived (~40 k.y.) climatic events known as hyperthermals

3) the impact of the rising Pyrenean topography during the Eocene on the long-term isotopic foreland basin record.

Further information in his papers:

(Positions already filled)

2 new PhD Positions (ESR for Early Stage Researcher) at ESD Geneva within the framework of Marie Curie ITN project S2S-FUTURE:

ESR 9: Impact of extreme hydrological perturbation on sediment distribution from source to sink, PETM, SpainESR9
ESR 10: Chemical weathering response to extreme global warming during Paleocene Eocene Hyperthermals, Southern Pyrenees, Spain ESR10

The Earth Surface Dynamics group wishes you a

very happy new year!

Check the incredible achievements of the University of Geneva in 2019.


# Luca Malatesta visit

Yesterday we had a visit from Luca Malatesta (University of Lausanne).

Luca met with many of us in the group and we had a very productive day discussing science!

Also a big thanks to Luca for his talk (see pic below) on long-term deformation of subduction margins! Super interesting!

Thanks for visiting Luca! Come again soon!


# A very successful Swiss Geoscience Meeting in Fribourg

An incredibly successful set of presentations by everyone in the group at SGM 2019 in Fribourg! Well done everyone!

Great to see all the different research being carried out across Switzerland!

Also a special congratulations to Sabi Peris Cabre on winning the Best Masters Poster! Well deserved Sabi!

Carousel imageCarousel imageCarousel image


# Swiss Geoscience meeting 2019 Fribourg

Anna RauchTracking mapping style in the Swiss Geological Atlas data set and what we can learn from it”

09:00-09:20, Geoscience and Geoinformation – From data acquisition to modelling and visualization, F205 (second floor)

Maxime Tremblin “Documentation of the first stable isotopic records of the North Pyrenean foreland basin”

11:30-11:45, Stratigraphy, B205 second floor

Nikhil Sharma “Upstream versus downstream controls on a natural sediment routing system from source-to-sink”

11:45-12:00, Stratigraphy, B205 second floor

Abdallah S. Zaki “Late-Quaternary inverted palaeochannels record high precipitation rates and episodic flooding in the Sahara:

Implications for Holocene human dispersal”

16:15-16:30, Quaternary environments: landscapes, climate, ecosystems, human activity during the past 2.6 million years, C140 (first floor)

Stephen Watkins “Fluvial deposits: is there a fundamental difference in architecture between upstream and downstream driven aggradation?”

Poster Session 5 (Stratigraphy)

Luis Valero “A new completely dated source-to-sink profile”

Poster Session 5 (Stratigraphy)


# 13.08.2019 - FIVE new papers of group members!! Congratulations to Lucas, Anna, Abdallah, Pietro and Louis!

#1: Chevrons: Origin and relevance for the reconstruction of past wind regimes (by Lucas Vimpere)

#2: Trace Information Extraction (TIE): A new approach to extract structural information from traces in geological maps

#3: Inverted Channels in the Eastern Sahara—Distribution, Formation, and Interpretation to Enable Reconstruction of Paleodrainage Networks

#4: Present-day uplift of the European Alps: Evaluating mechanisms and models of their relative contributions

#5: Alluvial record of an early Eocene hyperthermal, Castissent Formation, Pyrenees, Spain (under review)


# 24.05.2019 - New paper about dating in the SW Pyrenees

# 18.05.2019 -Nikhil Sharma and Luis Valero (Earth Surface Dynamics Geneva) sampling for isotopes and logging in the Ainsa basin (Southern Pyrenees)

# 16.05.2019 - Stephen Watkins and Maxime Tremblin (Earth Surface Dinamics Geneva) enjoying field work and paleohydraulics

...they are tough and fearless, always facing the dangers!

# 03.05.2019 - The Earth Surface Dynamics group and collaborators visited key outcrops in the Aragonese Pyrenees

# 12.02.2019 - Jean Vérité (master Rennes University) and Sabi Peris (master Geneva University) enjoying their field work in the Southern Pyrenees.

#COP24: Camille Adaoust of french news channel France Info refers to Chen's findings in the Southern Pyrenees in a narrative of the last warmest global conditions (PETM):

Department of Earth Sciences, University of Geneva

Rue des Maraichers 13, 1205 Geneva


Institutional ESD Webpage