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Main Laboratory:

Geochemical and soil science leboratory

Soil and water sampels analysed in the geochemical and soil science laboratory. Analyses areGeochemical and soil science laboratory carried out for degree theses and PhD-thesis and for ongoing research projects. Samples from other departments are examined for interdisciplinary projects.

The following table lists a selection of the analyses that can be carried out in the laboratory:

Soil physical analyses

  • Grain size analyses (Sedimentation analysis after KÖHN and Laser Horiba L950)
  • Analysis of unsaturated and saturated hydraulic conductiviy
  • Analysis of soil suction
  • Pore volumes

Soil chemistry analyses

  • Carbonate analyses (Scheibler)
  • Organic substances (Lichterfeld)
  • Nitrogen Content
  • pH values
  • electrical conductivity
  • Orthophospahte in soils

Water chemistry analyses

  • Acid/ alkali capacities
  • Total and orthophosphate
  • Cations and anions
  •  pH values
  • electrical conductivity

The geochemistry and soil science laboratories are located:

  • Geochemistry laboratory: Room 042
  • Soil physical laboratory: Room 044
  • Sample processing: Room 043
Dr. Simone Giertz
Technical staff:
Camilla Kurth

Laboratories of the working groups:

Geomechanical and geophysical freezing laboratory

The geomorphology and environmental studies laboratory was converted to a freezing laboratory for permafrost stability tests in 2007. Here samples from numerous Alpine permafrost sites are subjected to geomechanical and geophysical tests. The laboratory is currently used for teaching bachelor modules, Diplom courses on slope instability and by four PhD students.Geomechanical freezing laboratory

The laboratory receives research funding from the German Science Foundation SPCC project cluster (Sensitivity of Permafrost to Climate Change) and the Austrian K1 competence initiative "MOREXPERT" (Monitoring potential hazardous rock walls and slopes in mountain regions) and is a co-operation partner of the NERC (UK) technology bid "Monitoring the thermal state of permafrost" at the University of Sussex (J. Murton and O.Kuras). As well as examining its own rock samples, the laboratory also tests samples from the cooperating universities of Fribourg, Jena, Salzburg, Oslo, Sussex, Zürich and Université de Savoie. The laboratory’s work is supported by the sub-departments Applied Geophysics (Prof. A. Kemna) and Petrophysics (Dr. G. Nover, N. Zisser) at the Steinmann Institute.

Geophysical measurement of frozen rock samples

  • Continuous current electricity: Determination of temperature resistivity paths in thawed, supercooled and frozen rock samples
  • Laboratory seismicity: Determination of temperature p-wave speed paths in thawed, supercooled and frozen rock samples
  • Spectral-induced polarisation (new): Determination of frequency-dependent resistance and phase value in thawed, supercooled and frozen rock samples (cooperation with Prof. A. Kemna, Applied Geophysics)

Geomechanical measurement of frozen/thawing rock samples

  • Surface roughness and friction of permafrost rocks
  • Mechanical properties of crevice fillings in permafrost conditions
  • Fissures in rock arches in permafrost conditions (new)

The geomechanical and geophysical laboratory is located in Room 033.

Prof. Dr. Lothar Schrott
Dr, Jan Blöthe
Click here for further information on the freezing laboratory:


Dendroecology laboratory

Dendroecological laboratoryThe dendroecology laboratory carries out analyses of growth rings in ligneous plants (trees, bushes and perennial plants). The aims of the analyses can be subdivided into two general groups: Firstly, to determine the age of a plant and/or wood sample. These are classical dendrochronological dating techniques frequently used in historical disciplines.

Secondly, and this is the main focus of the laboratory in Bonn, dendrochronology can be used to reconstruct environmental conditions for specific years using growth rings. Of particular interest are the dominant climatic and weather conditions at the time that the rings were formed. Also of interest are mechanical influences such as land slides, mudflows or avalanches.

The following analyses can be carried out in the dendro laboratory:

  • Wood sample preparation (various types of microtome)
  • Counting, synchronisation and dating of annual ring sequences (binocular)Recording of wood anatomy characteristics (digital photography, DIN-A3 scanning)
  • Width measurement of annual rings (LINTAB  measurement tables)
  • Density measurement of annual rings using microwave scanner (LIGNOSTATION)
  • Analysis and presentation of dendroecological findings (specialised software such as: TSAPWin, ARSTAN, Cofecha, LignoVision etc.) 

The dendroecology laboratories are located  in Rooms 009 and 042. 

Stef Weijers

Climate laboratory 

A climate laboratory is currently being developed for Professor Löffler’s working group. It will carry out climate ecology experiments, concentrating on the manipulation of ecosystems processes in materials from high mountain regions.

The climate laboratory is located in Room 025.


Calorimeter laboratory 

CalorimeterProfessor Löffler’s working group has a calorimeter (Parr Instruments 6100) which is used to determine the calorimetric values of various substances (esp. plant samples).



The calorimeter laboratory is in Laboratory Room 045.


Hydraulic test channel

hydraulic test flumeProf. Herget’s working group has two hydraulic test channels which are installed at the Frankenforst site. They are used for teaching and research in process studies in fluvial morphology.



Further information on Professor Herget’s working group website AG Herget


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