In my group we work on developing mathematical and numerical methods for applications in the geosciences. We are especially interested in situations that are characterized by multi-component, multi-phase, and multi-scale transport processes. Often these are further complicated by the presence of interfaces, e.g. a free-surface of a landslide, or the phase-interface of melting ice. Then, the formulation of a suitable mathematical model itself is challenging and part of the research question. Central aspects to our work are hence the derivation and analysis of mathematical systems of equations based upon simplifying assumptions and available data, as well as the development of tailored and efficient numerical solution strategies. The integrity of the computed results is analyzed by both verifying the numerical code, and validating the mathematical model. Especially the quality of model validation critically influences the predictive power of any simulation. Part of my research is hence also devoted to quantify the model error associated with simplifying assumptions in the context of specific applications.
Our application areas include modeling transport and melting processes in the cryosphere including ice, snow and permafrost, as well as modeling complex mass movements in the context of natural hazards and climate change impact research. My group is part of the Enceladus Explorer Initiative of the DLR German Space Administration, in which we develop innovative exploration concepts for future missions to the icy moons of our Solar System (details can be found here).