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Helmholtz Centre Potsdam - German Research Centre for Geosciences

The Helmholtz Centre Potsdam - GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences is Germany's national centre for research into the solid Earth. With more than 1,500 employees, the GFZ investigates the physical, geological, chemical and mineralogical properties of our planet. 

The aim of the GFZ is to gain an even more comprehensive understanding of the Earth system and thus better counter global change and its regional effects. The focus is on the dynamics in the Earth's interior and on its surface in order to better understand the development of landscapes and natural hazards such as earthquakes, landslides and floods and to minimise the associated risks.

The researchers at the GFZ are also developing innovative earth observation systems and operating observatories worldwide and on satellites that provide data for research, industry and authorities. The GFZ is also making important contributions in the context of the energy transition, for example to enable the utilisation of the subsurface for the storage of CO₂, hydrogen or nuclear waste, but also for the extraction of critical raw materials or geothermal energy.

With the integration of the Research Institute for Sustainability (RIFS) into the Helmholtz Association in 2023, new research areas and transdisciplinary methods have been added. RIFS conducts research and provides advice with the aim of understanding, promoting and shaping social change processes towards sustainability. Key topics include the energy transition, climate change and socio-technical change, as well as issues of sustainable governance and democratic participation.

Main research areas:

  • Research on the Earth's structure and dynamics
  • Earth observation
  • Risk analysis for natural hazards
  • Energy transition and climate change

GFZ in figures


employees (as of Dec. 31, 2022)


million euros annual budget 2023 - of which 87,6 million euros from program funding & 35,2 million euros third-party funding.


  • Earth & Environment

    An interdisciplinary team led by volcanologist Thomas Walter from the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam - German Research Centre for Geosciences GFZ is investigating in a new way how the slopes of volcanoes…

  • Information, Earth & Environment, Energy

    Helmholtz researchers received seven out of 37 grants in the current call for proposals - more than ever before.

  • High-rise buildings made of mushrooms, with cooling facades and vegetable gardens on the roof: Architecture must change to become more sustainable and climate-friendly, and solutions are coming from…

  • Earth & Environment

    The severe earthquake in Nepal at the end of April shifted the earth’s surface by several metres at many locations. These powerful forces arise from the convergence of two continental plates – and…

  • Earth & Environment

    Ten years ago a tsunami in the Indian Ocean claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. In the mean time, research scientists have constructed one of the most modern tsunami warning systems in the world.…

  • Information, Earth & Environment

    Nobody knows for sure what it is or where to find it: dark energy. Alongside dark matter, it is one of the greatest mysteries of astrophysics


Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam - Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ

14473 Potsdam

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