Expeditions and field trips


Field trips

Field education is a central component of geoscience education. It serves the goal of practical competence acquisition in the field. Theoretical knowledge acquired in the lecture hall is to be illustrated and applied in practice in one-day or multi-day field events at Bachelor's and Master's level, and field methods are to be learned. Field trip destinations include the Eifel, southern Germany, Luxembourg, Sicily, Greece, Oman and many other countries. During the program, each student must complete ten days in the field.


This is a travel short film of all the highlights from an insanely adventurous field trip to Southern Italy in 2017! You almost can't believe that this excursion was actually a university trip.



With a little luck, doctoral and master's students have the chance to take part in a research trip abroad. Geoscientists at RWTH Aachen University conduct research not only on land, but also on water: This is shown by the research expedition with the research vessel "Meteor", which a team of students and scientists around Professor Klaus Reicherter had undertaken in 2018.

The goal of this unique, interdisciplinary expedition was the geoscientific investigation of two segments off the Portuguese Algarve coast. This part of the coast was heavily affected by the tsunami inundation 265 years ago. At that time, in 1755, a strong earthquake triggered major destruction in the coastal towns of the Algarve, and a tsunami inundated the southern coast of Portugal all the way inland. While the tsunami waves literally rolled over the rocky coast of the western part of the Algarve coast, the eastern Algarve coast, characterized by sandbanks, remained spared from the waves.


The main focus of the scientists was to explain the "back-wash", i.e. the backflow of water into the ocean after a tsunami. For this purpose, hydroacoustic measurements and drilling into the coastal sediments were carried out. The shells and plant remains in the cores provide clues to the strength and timing of the "back-wash" in 1755.

The field trip lasted a total of nine days. The 30-member research team consisted mostly of RWTH scientists, but also included scientists from Bremen, Mainz, Madrid and Lisbon.


You can find more videos of the expedition on YouTube.

  Nicole Richter flies a drone © N. Richter

Junior professor Dr. Nicole Richter left for a research expedition to the South Sandwich Islands in January 2023 to collect photogrammetric data using a drone, among other things. She reports here about her mission and the work on one of the most remote islands in the world.


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