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To the Institute of Geochemistry and Petrology at ETH Zurich

Research within our institute combines theoretical, experimental and analytical work on a wide range of samples to better understand the fundamental principles behind the formation and evolution of planet Earth.

Our goals include reaching a deeper understanding on:

  1. how did the Earth and its atmosphere form and evolve through time,
  2. how it functions today,
  3. how we can sustainably extract raw material from it, and
  4. how we can reduce the effect of natural disasters.

The Institute is structured into principal research groups

Earth Surface Geochemistry

Prof. Derek Vance

The Earth Surface Geochemistry group uses geochemistry to characterise, understand and quantify the processes involved in the evolution of the Earth’s surface, its environment, climate and biosphere.

Fluids and Mineral Resources

Prof. Christoph Heinrich

Quantitative field investigations, advanced micro-analytical techniques, numerical process modeling and geochronological methods are used to study the formation of ore deposits from magmatic-hydrothermal systems.

High Pressure Geology

Prof. Max W. Schmidt

The high-pressure Group simulates physical and chemical conditions in the interior of the Earth, Moon and planets, in order to better understand their origin and evolution.

Isotope Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry

Prof. Maria Schönbächler

Isotopes in natural materials are measured with cutting edge mass spectrometers to study a number of fundamental issues in earth sciences, including the formation of the solar system, earth, and moon.

Magmatic Petrology and Volcanology

Prof. Olivier Bachmann

The group studies magmatic rocks in many location worldwide to better understand the differentiation of our planet, the generation of the earth's crust, and the hazards related to volcanic activity.

Marine Geology and Geochemistry

Prof. Gretchen Bernasconi-Green

Fluid rock interaction on the sea floor as well as on continents is being studied to gain insight into tectonics and the formation of ore deposits.

Petrology of Lithospheric Processes

Prof. Lucie Tajcmanová

A key to understanding the processes operating in the outer part of the Earth is to look at the metamorphic rocks exhumed to the Earth's surface.


3 December 2015, Colloquium

GeoPetro Seminar - Coupled stress generation and mass transfer during non-equilibrium metamorphism: An example from the Bergen Arcs, Norway

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A selection of articles from ETH and the Department of Earth Sciences news.


Graduation ceremony

Master degree graduation ceremony 2015 Read more 


The countdown to the quest for gravitational waves is on

Some 100 years ago, Albert Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves in his general theory of relativity. In spite of intense efforts, experimental proof of these waves has so far eluded scientists. The LISA Pathfinder space probe from the European Space Agency ESA aims to change this – with the participation of the Institute of Geophysics at ETH Zurich. Read more 

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