VolcanoTectonics Network Emmy-Noether GFZ Potsdam







  Dr. Thomas R. WALTER


Postal Addr.

Section 2.1 Physics of the Earth

Natural Hazards

GFZ Potsdam


14473 Potsdam



E 461

+49 (0)331 - 288 - 1253

+49 (0)331 - 288 - 1204
E - mail:
twalter <AT> gfz-potsdam.de

link to personal website

My top-5 research interests are:

Mechanisms of dike intrusions

Flank instability and effects of giant landslides

Evolution of magma chambers and calderas

Stress field development and stress transfer in volcanic regions

Modelling of above


klick here


My work about digital image correlation at Mount St. Helens is published in Geology and in Geophysical Journal Internatioal.

Read the Geology highlights text

Structural architecture of the 1980 Mount St. Helens collapse: An analysis of the Rosenquist photo sequence using digital image correlation
Thomas R. Walter, Dept. 2, Physics of the Earth, Helmholtz-Centre Potsdam, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam 14473, Germany; doi: 10.1130/G32198.1.

The accurate detection of volcanic activity, and of the dynamic developments that occur immediately prior to eruptions, is among the main scientific results that are achieved using modern monitoring instrumentation. In many cases, however, simple photographs are the only information available from erupting volcanoes. Thomas R. Walter of the German Research Centre for Geosciences describes the technique of digital image correlation that can be applied to almost any photographic time lapse dataset at active volcanoes. Similarly, older archives might be reanalyzed, as this study exemplifies for Mount St. Helens, which collapsed more than 30 years ago. Through the digital image correlation method, Walter shows that photographs of this event can be analyzed at a high level of detail, revealing complexly slumping and rotating rock masses.

Current research projects:

Project title: VOLCANOSTRESS - Stress field development and stress transfer at volcanoes
Funding period: 01/09/2003 -- 30/08/2009, Funding: DFG Emmy Noether
Project title: CEVI - Chile earthquake-volcano interaction : A radar satellite interferometric time series analysis of volcanoes in Chile.  Postdoc project with Dr. M. Motagh
Funding period: 01/01/2007 -- 30/12/2009, Funding: DFG

Project title: VOLCANORIFT - Interaction between rift zones and unstable flanks on ocean island volcanoes. Joint project with Dr. A. Freundt, Geomar Kiel
Funding period: 01/01/2008 -- 30/12/2011, Funding: DFG

Project title: EXUPERY - Managing Volcanig Unrest - The Volcano Fast Response System
Funding period: 01/07/2007 -- 30/09/2010, Funding: BMBF, Geotechnologien

Project title: The 26 May 2006 Yogyakarta Earthquake, its associated aftershocks and stress diffusion
Funding period: 01/06/2007 -- 30/5/2010, Funding: by BMBF within project GITEWS

Project title: TerraSAR-X satellite radar pre launch proposal: Volcano-earthquake interaction in Nicaragua GEO0141, data
Funding period: 2006 -- 2010

Project title: ALOS ADEN AO satellite radar pre launch proposal: Understanding volcano-earthquake interaction in African Rift Valleys through space geodesy.
Funding period: 2007 -- 2012, Funding: European Space Agency

Project title: ENVISAT Category-1 Project: Stress transfer and volcano-earthquake interaction analyzed by ASAR interferometry.
Funding period: 2006 -- 2010, Funding: European Space Agency

Project title: ESA Category-1 Project: InSAR observations of flank deformation and giant landslides on ocean island volcanoes
Funding period: 2005 -- 2008, Funding: European Space Agency 

2006 Hans - Cloos - Prize by the Deutsche Geologische Vereinigung
2005 Emmy Noether Junior Research Group Posts
2003 Emmy Noether Stipend I
1999 Stipend by the Graduiertenkolleg "Dynamik Globaler Kreislaeufe"


IAVCEI International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior
GV - Deutsche Geologische Vereinigung
American Geophysical Union
CEDIM Center for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology


EPSL, Geology, JVGR, Bull. Volc., JGR, GRL, TerraNova
NSF (US national science foundation)


last updated: 4.1.2006