Research Group

Petrology of the Ocean Crust

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Bach

The continuous construction and destruction of seafloor is a hallmark of the dynamic Earth. The group studies various aspects of mass and energy transport in this important part of the plate tectonic cycle that controls the chemical evolution of Earth and its reservoirs. Sampling is conducted using research vessels and deep-submergence vehicles and is followed by geochemical and mineralogical analyses in the lab in order to unravel how ocean crust and oceanic islands form. The group also studies hydrothermal systems that form when seawater interacts with hot ocean crust and that host massive sulfide deposits as well as unique chemosynthetic ecosystems.

Working Area

Mid-oceanic ridges where new oceanic crust is produced by seafloor spreading – subduction zones where oceanic crust descends into the mantle – seamounts and oceanic island volcanoes.


Microscopic investigation of rocks – preparation of samples in clean rooms – geochemical analysis using electron microprobe, laser-plasma mass spectrometry, and thermal ionization mass spectrometry.


Telefon +49 421 218 - 65400