Research Activities

Our Objectives

Unsaturated flow and transport dynamics in fractured-porous media and karst systems remains one of the most challenging topics in modern hydrogeology in the face of climate change. Aquifer recharge dynamics in such systems often exhibit erratic and non-uniform behavior. Specifically in (semi-)arid regions the predictive power of modeling tools to a large degree depends on the thorough understanding and parameterization of the underlying preferential flow processes. With our research we want to address some of the outstanding issues and challenges:

  • Under which hydraulic conditions do fracture networks provide preferential pathways and how are they linked to topographical features and hydrological components?

  • How does the porous matrix contribute to percolation dynamics within fracture networks under equilibrium and non-equilibrium conditions?

  • How are the geometric and topological fracture network properties linked to rapid non-uniform flows?

  • To what degree can integral spring signals contain information about the distribution and magnitude of preferential percolation dynamics?


  • DFG project „Preferential flow dynamics in unsaturated fractured porous media: Relationship between fracture network topology and dual-domain model parameterization“ (DFG 412940616) in cooperation with USGS (2018-2021)
  • DFG project „iKarst“ (DFG 397516788) in cooperation with TU Dresden (2018-2021)
  • DFG project „Multi-scale Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics model for flow and transport in unsaturated fractured porous media“ (DFG 320402845) in cooperation with PNNL (2015-2019)
  • DFG project „Process-based characterization of flow in unsaturated fractured rocks“ (DFG 251078144) in cooperation with PNNL (2013-2017)
  • BMBF project „GRaCCE“ (BMBF), led by University of Goettingen (2021-2024)
  • BMBF project „MedWater“ (BMBF), led by TU Berlin (2017-2021), involved as a supervisor not applicant

How we work