Honorary Professorship

Geophysics of Polar Regions

Prof. Dr. Karsten Gohl

1987 Diploma in Geophysics, University of Hamburg
1991 PhD in Geophysics, University of Wyoming, USA
2015 Habilitation, University of Bremen

1987-1991 University of Wyoming, USA
1991-1992 University of Uppsala, Sweden
1992-1996 Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany
1996-1999 Macquarie University, Australia
Since 2000 Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven

Honorary professor at the University of Bremen since 2021

Research areas:
Seismology, geodynamics, tectonics, glacial-marine sedimentation

The polar regions act as main drivers of the global climatic evolution. For the understanding and reconstruction of short- and long-time scaled processes, e.g. between tectonic evolution and ice-sheet and ocean circulation dynamics, we deploy geophysical methods and derive models of the development of glacial-sedimentary and tectonic processes.

Working Area

I mainly work in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. The focus is on West Antarctica which reacts very sensitively to climatic variations in the geological past and the present accelerating climate change. We link seismic profile data with drill hole information and reconstruct ice-sheet dynamics of the past since the beginning of Antarctica’s glaciation, including taking account of tectonic changes.


We use marine seismic survey methods with state-of-the-art hydrophone cables and recording systems. For imaging the deep Earth’s crust, we also use ocean-bottom seismometers. We further measure gravimetric and magnetic data from the ship, airplanes and helicopters. In cooperation with University of Bremen, we derive geothermal heat flow in the polar regions.


Telefon +49 471 4831 - 1361