The Faculty of Geosciences of Utrecht University is the largest academic institute for geosciences in the Netherlands. The research program of the Earth Sciences department is characterized by a close coupling of data acquisition, advanced laboratory techniques, innovative process modeling and field work. Research focuses on forecasting future behavior of geologic systems and prediction of geological patterns, which are highly relevant for the basic needs of humanity: supply of resources, protection against natural hazards, and control of the environmental degradation.
The Tectonics research group is a one of the world leading groups in quantitative research of sedimentary basin (de)formation and evolution, and of the thermo-mechanical coupling of lithosphere processes with surface processes. Research focuses on the understanding and prediction of the geological processes that control the formation and thermo-mechanical evolution of sedimentary basins through an integration of structural geological field studies, tectonic analogue experiments and numerical modeling. Deciphering the complex interplay between tectonics, volcanism, climate change, sedimentary routing systems and geomorphic processes, operating at different spatial and temporal scales is vital for understanding how system Earth functions and for understanding the nature of global change. Progress in this challenging field has a major impact on the intellectual development of the solid-Earth sciences as well as exploration for natural resources, geothermal energy, water, and risk assessment of natural and anthropogenic induced hazards.
The Petrology research group studies melt inclusions and a range of volcanic products to understand magmatic processes, they explore crater lakes and the effects of harmful volcanic emissions, and investigate the origin of mineral resources. The group is also active in the development of new analytical techniques, and have a variety of lab facilities available including Laser Ablation ICP-MS. Relevant fields of expertise are: magmatic processes, volcanism.