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© Prof. Martin Melles

Melles, Martin

Prof. Dr., Department of Geosciences, Institute of Geology and Mineralogy, University of Cologne


University of Cologne
Institute of Geology and Mineralogy
Zülpicher Straße 49a
50674 Köln


Fon: +49 221 470 2262

Research topics

  • Polar Research: Has extensively investigated the climatic and environmental history of both the Arctic and Antarctica during Pliocene and Quaternary times, using marine and, more recently, lake sediment records
  • Paleoclimatology: Much of the research has focused on a better understanding of the drivers of natural climatic change within Quaternary times (last 2.6 Ma), and the impact of climate change on the environment settings
  • Paleolimnology: Carrying projects in all climate zones on Earth, he has investigated the strengths and weaknesses of lake sediments to reconstruct the climatic and environmental settings in the past wih high sensitivity and good age control


  • Shallow Seismic: Innomar echosounder that provides high-resolution information concerning the upper up to 50 m of sediments at the bottom of lakes or marine basins
  • Lake sediment coring devices: A variety of coring techniques, which allow to recover up to more than 50 m long sediment sequences from extant lakes and near-shore marine basins
  • X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) Scanning: Two XRF scanners, which allow for semiquntitative analyses of the elemental composition of sediment recors with spacial resolutions as low as 0.2 mm
  • Multi-Sensor Core Logging (MSCL): Allows to measure physical properties such as magnetic susceptibility, density and p-wave velocity, on closed or opened sediment cores
  • Sedimentology Lab: Is equiped with various technologies that allow to investigate grain sizes (sieving, laser-particle analyser), grain shapes (FlowCam), and carbonate, TOC, TN, and TS comtents (element analysers) of sediments


  • Melles M., Brigham-Grette, J., Minyuk, P.S., Nowaczyk, N. R., Wennrich, V., DeConto, R. M. Anderson, P. M., Andreev, A. A., Coletti, A., Cook, T. L., Haltia-Hovi, E., Kukkonen, M., Lozhkin, A. V., Rosén, P., Tarasov, P., Vogel, H., and Wagner, B. (2012): 2.8 million years of Arctic climate change from Lake El’gygytgyn, NE Russia, Science, 337: 315-320
  • Melles, M., Brigham-Grette, J., Glushkova, O. Yu., Minyuk, P., Nowaczyk, N. R., and Hubberten, H.-W. (2007): Sedimentary geochemistry of a pilot core from El´gygytgyn Lake - a sensitive record of climate variability in the East Siberian Arctic during the past three climate cycles, J. of Paleolimnology, 37: 89-104
  • Melles, M., Kulbe, T., Verkulich, S. R., Pushina, Z. V., and Hubberten, H.-W. (1997): Late Pleisto-cene and Holocene environmental history of Bunger Hills, East Antarctica, as revealed by fresh-water and epishelf lake sediments. - In: C.A. Ricci (ed.): The Antarctic Region: Geological Evolution and Processes, Terra Antarctica Publication, Siena, 809-820
  • Melles, M., Verkulich, S., and Hermichen, W.-D. (1994): Radiocarbon dating of lacustrine and marine sediments from the Bunger Hills, East Antarctica, Antarctic Science, 6(3): 375-378
  • Melles, M., and Kuhn, G. (1993): Sub-bottom profiling and sedimentological studies in the southern Weddell Sea, Antarctica: evidence for large-scale erosional/depositional processes, Deep-Sea Research, 40(4): 739-760
  • full publication list: