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. 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?

  • 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)
  • BMBF project „MedWater“ (BMBF), led by TU Berlin (2017-2020), involved as a supervisor not applicant
  • DFG project „Process-based characterization of flow in unsaturated fractured rocks“ (DFG 251078144) in cooperation with PNNL (2013-2017)

How we work