top of page

New Publication in Tectonics
Carena et al.: 
Identification of Source Faults of Large Earthquakes in the Turkey-Syria Border Region Between 1000 CE and the Present, and Their Relevance for the 2023 Mw 7.8 Pazarcık Earthquake
Tectonics, v. 42, (12), December 2023
By analyzing historical, paleoseismological, archeoseismological, and remote sensing data, we identified the sources of fourteen Mw ≥ 7 earthquakes since 1000 CE in the region. They suggest the 2023 earthquake's location and timing could have been anticipated, but not its magnitude, hypothesizing a maximum magnitude of 8.2 for the EAF. We conclude that large earthquakes are challenging in terms of recurrence intervals, emphasizing the need for seismic hazard assessments that include neighboring fault systems.

Opening of special exhibition "The Origin of Sculpture" 
Benaki Museum, Athens,  Duration: 27/09/2023 – 07/01/2024

This exhibition includes stone tools and ‘figure stones’

depicting birds, faces, and bodies originating from sites

in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East and presented for

the first time in Greece. The oldest goes back to 2.5 million

years and the most recent dates to 50,000 years Before Present.



New Publication in Biogeosciences
A. Ludat, S. Kübler: 
Tectonic controls on the ecosystem of the Mara River basin, East Africa, from geomorphological and spectral index analysis
Biogeosciences, v.20 (10), 1991-2012, May 2023
Tectonic activity impacts the environment; therefore, identifying the influence of active faulting on environmental factors, such as soil development and vegetation growth patterns, is valuable in better
understanding ecosystem
functions. Here, we illustrate

how tectonic activity and the
lithology of bedrock influence
temporal and spatial patterns
of vegetation and soil
parameters in a fault-controlled
river basin.

Screen Shot 2023-06-02 at 12.32.40 PM.png

New Publication in P3
Robakiewicz et al.: 
Hydroclimate reconstructions in the Suguta Valley, northern Kenya, during the Early-Middle Pleistocene Transition
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 111758, August 2023
This study offers a high-resolution reconstruction of hydrological shifts from around 931 to 831 ka in the northern Kenya Rift's Suguta-Turkana Basin. Using sediment analysis and diatom morphology, dynamic lake variations during the Early-Middle Pleistocene Transition are unveiled, highlighting rapid changes in paleohydrology over approximately 100 kyr, providing crucial insights into poorly understood terrestrial environmental changes of that period.


Field work in the Lake Elmenteita basin, Central Kenya Rift


In July 2022, Veronica Muiruri, Dickson Nyonje

(both National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi),

Annett Junginger, Carolina Rosca (both

University of  Tübingen), and myself had the

opportunity to carry out a field campaign in

the Lake Elmenteita basin in the Central

Kenya Rift. Objectives for field work were to

sample lake sediments, rocks, soils and water

to examine the interplay between geotectonic,

climatic and anthropogenic influences on

lacustrine deposition processes, lake level

fluctuations and pollution in this highly

sensitive lake system. Field work was

financed by the Bavarian Research Alliance

(BayFor), and the University of Tübingen

(postdoc excellence fund).   


Prehistorical lake-level highstands on volcanic boulder at the eastern shores of Lake Elmenteita.


ICDP kick-off workshop on "Deep Drilling in the Turkana Basin (DDTB), Nairobi, July 11-14 2022
Nairobi, July 11-14 2022

The workshop hosted an international group of scientists with the aim to discuss a drilling campaign to recover the Plio-Pleistocene paleoenvironmental record of the Turkana Basin (N-Kenya and S-Ethiopia).
More Info


International Conference on "Aegean Acheulean at the Eurasian Crossroads" 
Lesbos, June 25-29 2022

The international conference was organized
by the University of Crete and hosted a range
of scientists in the fields of archeology,
geology and paleoclimate.
More Info 


Screen Shot 2022-08-04 at 8.51.32 AM.png
Screen Shot 2022-11-04 at 11.09.09 AM.png

Interview with BBC Earth on "The volcano that drives the Great Wildebeest Migration"
BBC Earth, November 2021

I had the chance at BBC Earth to talk
about the role of Ol Doinyo Lengai
volcano in northern Tanzania, and its
carbonatitic volcanic ash in providing nutrients
for soils and animals in the Serengeti ecosystem.
The study is based on results obtained during
our 2019 field campaign, in collaboration with
Eileen Eckmeier (University of Kiel),
Stephen Rucina (NMK, Nairobi), and
Akida Meya (NM-AIST, Arusha, Tanzania).


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!

Fig. 5_Paisley_caves_Oregon.JPG

Paisley Caves, S-Oregon

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.


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. 

Promoting child rights
to end child poverty
Plan international - be part of it!

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 early human-landscape interactions.

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.

Elmenteita sampling.jpg

Kenya field work, July 2022

bottom of page