Research Areas

At the Institute of Soil Science - in the individual working groups of soil ecology, soil chemistry, soil physics and, more recently, soil biophysics - research fields have developed over the last few years that clearly go beyond the classical soil science disciplines: The interdisciplinary analysis of the spatial structure of the soil system with its corresponding heterogeneous interfaces is at the centre of soil science research at our institute, which is demonstrated by numerous joint projects.

At the Institute of Soil Science - in the individual working groups of soil ecology, soil chemistry, soil physics and, more recently, soil biophysics - research fields have developed over the last few years that clearly go beyond the classical soil science disciplines: The interdisciplinary analysis of the spatial structure of the soil system with its corresponding heterogeneous interfaces is at the centre of soil science research at our institute, which is demonstrated by numerous joint projects.

BASIC RESEARCH AND APPLICATION

Physical and biogeochemical processes at interfaces are crucial for the diverse functions of soils. The thematic focus of the subject areas results from the scale levels considered.

Research questions arise, for example, in connection with global change and resource management, and the corresponding projects range from innovative basic research to applied issues. Intensive research and teaching is carried out on the following soil science focal points at the Hannover site:

  • Mineral transformations and formation of mineral-organic associations
  • Properties (charge, wetting properties) of particle surfaces in soil
  • Influence of interface properties on (micro)hydraulic processes in soils
  • Mobilisation and immobilisation processes of substances in soils
  • Heterogeneity in soils
  • Water movement and solute transport from the mineral to the landscape scale
  • Impairment of soil functions
  • Substance exchange with atmosphere and hydrosphere
  • Global impact of agricultural land use and C-friendly soil management

Facilities and equipment

The new investigation techniques introduced at the Institute in recent years (e.g. determination of surface charge and contact angle, colloid analysis, biomarker and stable isotope analysis as well as various microscopy techniques) including the large-scale laboratory equipment ESEM and XPS and the extensive experience with terrain measurements in the field of water and matter balance are important components of this concept.

Devices and equipment for our research