New Publication in Frontiers in Earth Science


S. Kübler, S. Rucina,  D. Aßbichler, E. Eckmeier, G.C.P. King: 

Lithological and Topographic Impact on Soil Nutrient Distributions in Tectonic Landscapes: Implications for Pleistocene Human-Landscape Interactions in the Southern Kenya Rift 

Frontiers in Earth Science, March 2021

In this study, we analyze the role of

geological processes in the distributions

of soil nutrients in the southern Kenya Rift,

a key region in the interpretation of early

human-landscape interactions. Our aim is

to determine how spatial variations in rock

chemistry, as well as topographic gradients

and localized zones of rock fracturing from

tectonic faulting determine the distributions

of plant-available soil nutrients in soils. We hypothesize that present-day soil nutrient levels reflect the long-term chemical and geomorphological characteristics of the landscape and underlying parent material, and that regions with high nutrient availability occur along pathways correlating with locations of hominin fossil sites.


New Publication in Archeopress


S. Kübler, G. Bailey, S. Rucina,  M. Devés,

G.C.P. King: 

Rift Dynamics and Archeological Sites: Acheulean Land Use in Geologically Unstable Settings.

Archeopress Archeology, February 2020

Our aim in this paper is to examine the reconstruction of physical landscapes in rift settings and their relevance to archaeological interpretation and to reflect on the challenges and opportunities of such research, with particular reference to the Kenyan sector of the East African Rift. 

AGU EOS article about our Serengeti project 

From rocks to soils to gnus - new article in AGU EOS by Katherine Kornei about our ongoing research project in Serengeti National Park! 


Field work in Serengeti National Park, N-Tanzania


In Sep/Oct 2019 Eileen Eckmeier (University of  Munich, Geography), Stephen Rucina (National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi), Akida Meyr (Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology, Arusha, Tanzania) and myself had the opportunity to carry out a two-weeks field trip to the famous Serengeti National Park in Northern Tanzania. Objectives for field work were to carry out reconnaissance mapping and locate potential sampling locations for rocks, soils and vegetation to examine geological and pedological processes that might play an important role in controlling annual movements of wildebeest and other migratory species in this ecosystem.  


Serengeti field gang at sampling site south of Seronera, central Serengeti National Park.

New Article in EU Reseach

Picturing the landscape of human evolution

EU Research has published an article about my DFG research project about Paleolandscape-reconstructions of tectonically active regions in East Africa and Western North America. The full issue features further cool research projects from young scientists funded by the German Science Foundation!

New Book Chapter


S. Kübler, G.C.P. King, M. Devés,

R.H. Inglis, G. Bailey: 

Tectonic Geomorphology and Soil Edaphics as Controls on Animal Migrations and Human Dispersal Patterns

In: Geological Setting, Paleoenvironment and Archeology of the Read Sea (eds.; N. Rasul & C. Stewart), Jan 2019

This chapter examines the relationship between the

changing geomorphology of physical land forms in

tectonically and volcanically active regions, topography, soil nutrients, movements of large mammals, and patterns of human subsistence and dispersal in the early stages of human evolution. 

We show how the combination of topographic and soil-edaphic mapping in conjunction with the observed locations of stone-tool or fossil assemblages can highlight patterns of early human behaviour, using examples from the East African and Jordanian Rifts and the Arabian margin of the Red Sea.

Fig. 5_Paisley_caves_Oregon.JPG

Paisley Caves, S-Oregon

New Publication in IJES


S. Kübler,  A. Friedrich, R.Gold,  M. Strecker,

Historical coseismic surface deformation of fluvial gravel deposits, Schafberg fault, Germany. 

International Journal of Earth Sciences, July 2017

In an exposure excavated across the Schafberg fault in the southwestern Lower Rhine Graben, south of Untermaubach, in the epicentral region of the 1756 Düren earthquake (ML  6.2), we mapped a complex deformation zone in Holocene fluvial sediments. We document evidence for at least one paleoearthquake that resulted in vertical surface displacement of 1.2 ±  0.2 m. The most recent earthquake is constrained to have occurred after 815 AD, and we cannot rule out that this fault acted as the source of the 1756 Düren event. 

New Book of the Geological Society of London


edited by A. Landgraf, S. Kübler, E. Hintersberger, and S. Stein, entitled: Seismicity, Fault Rupture and Earthquake Hazards in Slowly Deforming Regions

This book explores challenging issues of characterizing earthquake occurrence and assessing the resulting hazards in slowly deforming regions. It combines seismological, palaeoseismic, geomorphological, and structural investigations from intraplate settings and diffuse plate boundaries. The resulting views provide insight into the physical processes involved, which might help to improve earthquake hazard estimation. Buy book or get papers online! The introduction is open access!

You may also check out Angela's blog on commenting on the difficulties during preparation of this special volume. It's worth a read!

New Publication in BSSA


R.Gold, A. Friedrich, S. Kübler, M. Salamon,

Apparent Late Quaternary Fault‐Slip Rate Increase in the Southern Lower Rhine Graben, Central Europe. 

Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, January 2017

In this investigation, we construct Quaternary slip histories for the southern Lower Rhine graben faults using new main terrace surface vertical offset measurements made from light detection and ranging (lidar)‐derived bare‐earth digital terrain models, which we synthesize with existing constraints on the offset basal contact of this fluvial deposit. 

My Research Interests

Geo-Eco-Anthroposphere interactions in dynamic landscapes: studying processes at the rock-soil interface in geologically complex regions to understand long-term ecosystem processes such as vegetation dynamics and migration patterns of large animal herds.

Landscape evolution in early human settings: using information from geomorphology, soil science and earthquake geology to understand the strategic importance of the landscape in an early human context.

Tectonic geomorphology and paleoseismology in low-strain intraplate regions: combining field mapping and trenching with the analysis of optical and terrain remote sensing data to investigate tectonically active structures in the continental interiors


Coseismic rupture in unconsolidated sediments:

macro- and microscale analysis of seismically deformed gravel deposits in near-surface fault exposures


So far, I have worked in the western United States, East Africa, the Mediterranean and central Europe.

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