The Geology, Mineralogy and Sedimentology Section

The Geology, Mineralogy and Sedimentology section represents several branches of the geological sciences. Geology is the scientific study of the earth. Geologists deal with the internal construction of the earth and the processes within the earth (e.g., earthquakes, magmatism) and on its surface (e.g., weathering, volcanism) which result in the formation of different rocks. Sedimentology is a branch of geology and deals with the genesis of sedimentary rocks, from which the geological development of ancient landscapes and climate can be reconstructed. The science of mineralogy is the chemical composition of the earth and the natural laws which lead to the formation of minerals and deposits. The Geology, Mineralogy and Sedimentology section administers a variety of tasks as part of the SMNK's research program:

  • Collecting, preparing, identifying and describing rocks and minerals, including those found during our own excavations.
  • Archiving and providing collection and field data for the scientific community and the interested public – if possible via databases and Internet gateways.
  • Scientifically and technically curating the mineralogical and the geological-petrographical collections; filing and inventorying scientific reference specimens.
  • Stratigraphy: studying the depositional history of rocks and using this information to reconstruct the geological history of regions such as the Upper Rhine Graben or the Black Forest.
  • Facies analysis: reconstructing the genetic history of rocks; in the case of sediments, for instance, reconstructing paleolandscapes and paleoclimate during deposition. By working with paleontologists, the paleoenvironment of fossil organisms can be studied.
  • Mineralogy: Investigating the chemical compositions of minerals and their parageneses.
  • Discussing and presenting research results in conferences and workshops as well as publications in scientific journals, books and the Internet.

  • Planning and presenting exhibits with geological and mineralogical content; a general support of the museum's exhibition work with current research data.

  • Providing consultation to authorities and institutions.

  • Working with geological state authorities and universities; scientific supervision of exams, PhDs and post-doctoral theses; writing expert assessments and reviews.

  • Providing consultation to the public in all aspects of geology and mineralogy.