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  • Chairs and Work Groups
Physical Geography

Prof. Dr. Christof Kneisel

Chair of Geography I – Physical Geography

Tel.: +49 931 31-85441
Fax: +49 931 31-85544
E-Mail: kneisel@uni-wuerzburg.de

Institute of Geography and Geology
Am Hubland
97074 Wuerzburg

Campus Hubland South
Geography Building
Room 218

Consultation time

during semester break: only by arrangement


Consultation hour for students interested in the Erasmus exchange programme:
by arrangement only erasmus.geographie@uni-wuerzburg.de

Main Research and Research Interests
  • permafrost and periglacial morphodynamics
  • glacier-permafrost-interactions
  • mountain geomorphology
  • natural hazards
  • soil science, soil geomorphology
  • application of geophysical methods in geosciences and geoarchaeology
  • study sites: Canada, Iceland, Swiss Alps, Central German Uplands
Current research projects

Multi-Scale Characterization of Polar Permafrost Landscapes by Airborne and Satellite Remote Sensing and In-Situ Geophysical Measurements

funding German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG; BA1000/33-1, KN542/15-1, UL465/2-1)
duration 10/2017 - 09/2020
project leader
project staffJulius Kunz, M.Sc.
project partner Carleton University Ottawa, Alfred Wegener Institut Bremerhaven

Carbon balance on the renaturation of moor forests exemplified by the National Park Hunsrück- Hochwald

funding Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (Bundeanstalt für Landwirtschaft und Ernährung BMBF, 28WA409604)
duration 05/2016 - 04/2019 (Teilprojekt 05/2016 - 07/2017)
project leading Prof. Dr. Christof Kneisel  
project staff Julian Trappe, M.Sc.

Three-dimensional internal structure and characteristics of periglacial landforms as a key to enhance the understanding of process dynamics and sensitivity to climate change

funding German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG; KN542/13-1)
duration 04/2014 - 12/2018
project leader Prof. Dr. Christof Kneisel  
Concluded research projects

Influence of permafrost on chemical weathering and erosion in high Alpine areas

funding Swiss National Science Foundation (Schweizerischer Nationalfonds, SNF)
duration06/2012 - 06/2015
project leader Prof. Dr. M. Egli (PI, University of Zurich)
contactProf. Dr. Christof Kneisel

Spatial assessment of permafrost characteristics and dynamics in alpine periglacial environments (SPCC)

funding German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft  (DFG; Kn542/8-1)
duration07/2008 - 12/2012
PIProf. Dr. Christof Kneisel

Permafrost in loose sediments (PiLS)

funding German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG; Kn542/7-1)
duration11/2005 - 12/2008
contactProf. Dr. Christof Kneisel
Further research

Geomorphological, sedimentological and pedological prospection of typical Landforms inside the natural and cultural region Spessart

fundingForschungsfonds der Philosophischen Fakultät I der Universität Würzburg
duration06/2016 - 03/2018
project leaderProf. Dr. Christof Kneisel
project staffJulian Trappe, M.Sc.

Boden- und Landschaftswasserhaushalt an Waldstandorten in Unterfranken

fundingForschungsfonds der Philosophischen Fakultät I der Universität Würzburg
duration02/2014 - 03/2015
project leaderProf. Dr. Christof Kneisel

Geophysical, pedological and dendrogeomorphological investigations on gelifluction lobes and associated landforms in subarctic Sweden

fundingEU-Transnational Access Programme
duration2006 - 2008
project partnerDr. Isabelle Roer, Geographisches Institut der Uni Zürich
contactProf. Dr. Christof Kneisel
Curriculum Vitae

2007
Professorial Dissertation (German Habilitation) at the University of Würzburg
Title: The nature and dynamics of frozen ground in alpine and subarctic periglacial environments

since Feb. 2006
Lecturer at the Department of Physical Geography at the University of Würzburg

2002 - 2006
Assistant lecturer at the Department of Physical Geography at the University of Würzburg

2000 - 2002
Assistant lecturer at the Department of Physical Geography at the University of Trier

1999 Dissertation (Dr. rer. nat)
Title: Permafrost in glacier forefields – a comparative study in the eastern Swiss Alps and northern Sweden (in german)

Publications - selected publications since 2008

HELLEBRAND, H.,  MÜLLER, C., KNEISEL, C., KREITER, T. (2016):  Nicht invasive Untersuchungsmethoden zur Entwicklung von Sanierungsmaßnahmen im Wasserbau. In: Herrmann, R.A. & Jensen, J. (Hrsg.): Sicherung von Dämmen, Deichen und Stauanlagen, Handbuch für Theorie und Praxis (Vol. V, 2015), S. 121-133.

EMMERT, A., KNEISEL, C. 2016: Internal structure of two alpine rockglaciers investigated by quasi-3D electrical resistivity imaging (ERI), The Cryosphere Discuss., doi:10.5194/tc-2016-135.

ZOLLINGER, B., ALEWELL, C., KNEISEL, C., BRANDOVA, D., PETRILLO, M., PLÖTZE, M., CHRISTL, M., EGLI, M. (2016): Soil formation and weathering in a permafrost environment of the Swiss Alps: a multi-parameter and non-steady-state approach. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms: DOI 10.1002/esp.4040.

KNEISEL, C. Emmert, A., Polich, P., Zollinger, B., Egli, M. (2015): Soil geomorphology and frozen ground conditions at a subalpine talus slope having permafrost in the eastern Swiss Alps. Catena, 133: 107-118

KNEISEL, C., Emmert, A., Kästl, J. (2014): Application of 3D electrical resistivity imaging for mapping frozen ground conditions exemplified by three case studies. Geomorphology, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2013.12.022

KNEISEL, C., RÖDDER, T. & SCHWINDT, D. (2014): Frozen ground dynamics resolved by multi-year and year-around electrical resistivity monitoring at three alpine sites in the Swiss Alps. Near Surface Geophysics, 12, 117-132.

ZOLLINGER, B., ALEWELL, C., KNEISEL, C., MEUSBURGER, C., GÄRTNER, H., BRANDOVA, D., IVY-OCHS, S., SCHMIDT, M., EGLI, M. (2013): Effect of permafrost on the formation of soil organic carbon pools and their physical–chemical properties in the Eastern Swiss Alps. Catena, 110:70-85.

RÖDDER, T., KNEISEL, C., (2012): Influence of snow cover and grain size on the ground thermal regime in the discontinuous permafrost zone, Swiss Alps.- Geomorphology,  175-176:176-189.

KNEISEL, C., RÖDDER, T., ROTH, N. & SCHWINDT, D. (2012): Electrical resistivity monitoring for the detection of changes in mountain permafrost at different time scales. In: Geological Survey of Austria, 92: GELMON, 1st International Workshop on Geoelectrical Monitoring, Vienna, 51-56.

SAEMUNDSSON, T., ARNALDS, O., KNEISEL, C., JONSSON, H., & DECAULNE, A. (2012): The Orravatnsrustir palsa site in Central Iceland – Palsas in an aeolian sedimentation environment.- Geomorphology 167–168: 13-20.

RÖDDER, T., KNEISEL, C. (2012): Permafrost mapping using quasi-3D resistivity imaging, Murtèl, Swiss Alps. Near Surface Geophysics, 10: 117-127.

EGLI, M., WERNLI, M., BURGA, C., KNEISEL, C., MAVRIS, C., VALBOA, G., MIRABELLA, A., PLÖTZE, M. & HAEBERLI, W. (2011): Fast but spatially scattered smectite-formation in the proglacial area Morteratsch: An evaluation using GIS.- Geoderma 164: 11-21.

BAUMHAUER, R., KNEISEL, C., MÖLLER, S., SCHÜTT, B. & E. TRESSEL (2011): Physische Geographie 2 - Klima-, Hydro-, Boden- und Vegetationsgeographie (=Geowissen kompakt). 2. durchgesehene Auflage. Darmstadt (Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft), 154 p.

HAEBERLI, W., NOETZLI, J., ARENSON, L., DELALOYE, R., GÄRTNER-ROER, I., GRUBER, S., ISAKSEN, K., KNEISEL, C., KRAUTBLATTER, M., PHILLIPS, M. (2011): Mountain permafrost: development and challenges of a young research field.- Journal of Glaciology 200: 1043-1058.

KNEISEL, C.  (2010): The nature and dynamics of frozen ground in alpine and subarctic     periglacial environments. The Holocene 20: 423-445.

KNEISEL, C. (2010): Frozen ground conditions in a subarctic mountain environment, northern Sweden. Geomorphology 118: 80-92.

BEYLICH, A.A. & KNEISEL, C. (2009): Sediment budget and relief development in Hrafndalur, Subarctic oceanic, eastern Iceland.- Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research 41: 3-17.

KNEISEL, C., HAUCK, C., FORTIER, R. & MOORMAN, B. (2008): Advances in geophysical methods for permafrost investigations.- Permafrost and Periglacial Processes 19/2: 157-178.

HAUCK, C. & KNEISEL, C. (eds.) (2008): Applied geophysics in periglacial environments.- 240pp Cambridge University Press

Research Group: EaSy - Environmental Systems - Assessment, Monitoring, and Modelling

Our field of research includes surface and subsurface processes and interactions of different environmental factors in various environmental systems on diverse temporal and spatial scales. With the assessment, the monitoring and the modeling of the predominantly in-situ collected data being the three mainstays of our integrated research approach, we focus on the assessment of heterogeneities in surface and subsurface parameters at sites in mid-latitudinal, high-altitudinal and subarctic environments.

Applied methods include near-surface and subsurface temperature and soil moisture measurements, pedological, ecological and geomorphological mapping, GIS-based terrain analysis and data regionalization combining field data and remotely sensed data. Near surface geophysics comprising 2D and 3D geophysical mapping and monitoring are used to characterize the oftentimes heterogeneous subsurface. Currently, our main methodological focus lies on the application of 3D electrical resistivity imaging to assess, monitor and visualize time-dependent subsurface processes.

Based on field observations and collected in-situ data, geophysical models of the subsurface as well as conceptual models of the different environmental systems are deduced in order to develop future scenarios. These scenarios describe the reaction of processes to changing environmental conditions as a function of constant and variable components of the environmental systems.

Responsibilities at University

Erasmus departmental coordinator

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Contact

Chair of Physical Geography
Am Hubland
97074 Würzburg

Phone: +49 931 31-85555
Fax: +49 931 31-85544
Email

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Hubland Süd, Geb. G1 Hubland Nord, Geb. 86