DFG priority project "Dynamic Earth"

The system "Earth" changes continuously. Variations of the Earth's interior, the atmosphere, the oceans, and near-Earth space give rise to changes in global potential fields, particularly in Earth's magnetic and gravity fields. The underlying processes can be identified and studied through monitoring and analysis of fundamental geomagnetic and gravity parameters.

The main focus of this Priority Programme is to quantify terrestrial transport mechanisms and solar-terrestrial interactions. The research programme builds on data from satellites on low-Earth orbits, such as CHAMP, GRACE, GRACE-FO and GOCE.

Of particular importance is the ESA's multi-satellite mission Swarm, launched in November 2013. Three identically constructed satellites are equipped with a complementary set of instruments to survey potential fields and fundamental physical parameters. Variations of the potential fields can be measured across a broad spectral range of spatial and temporal scales. Other parameters can be analyzed, as well as ground-based observations and modelling results, to complement the understanding of the system "Earth". The key to successfully investigating the range of topics in this program is a multidisciplinary approach.

The scientific focus is on the following areas:

The second phase of SPP „Dynamic Earth“ started in 2018 and focuses on multi-disciplinary approaches including clear links between two or more subtopics of the program. The following map shows the participating institutes in the program.

In the meanwhile, the special issue "Dynamic Earth" of 'Earth, Planets and Space' is online for results of the SPP. Until March 31, 2022 contributions for this special issue can be submitted. For detailed information, please check