Stephan Kempe

Stephan Kempe
Technische Universität Darmstadt | TU · Institute of Applied Geosciences

Prof. Dr. rer.nat. habil., Diplom Geologe

About

641
Publications
129,298
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9,240
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Additional affiliations
March 1994 - present
Technische Universität Darmstadt
Position
  • Professor
Description
  • Prof. of Physical Geology and Global Cycles, retired since April 2015

Publications

Publications (641)
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Geisloch (Goat-Cave) and Binghöhle are two caves close to each other, in the northern Franconian Alb, State of Bavaria, Germany, yet of very different genesis. Bothe caves are developed in upper Jurassic (Malm) carbonates. The Geisloch is situated in a dolomitized reef and has a large central hall with several irregular branching passages, while...
Article
Series of lake terraces were discovered on unconsolidated Cambrian siltstones in Al-Tayan Wadi along the eastern escarpment of the Dead Sea Rift (DSR). Altitudes were studied with DGPS and calcareous stromatolitic crusts were U/Th-dated and analyzed for microstructure, mineral composition and Mg/Ca ratios. These terraces represent high stands of th...
Article
There has been little research on the genesis and development of pyroducts (or lava tubes) originating from Gala´pagos volcanoes. Pyroducts are responsible for the lateral, post-eruptive transport of lava because they are highly effective as thermal insulators. After eruptions terminate, these conduits often become accessible as caves. In March 201...
Article
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The Harz Mountains in Germany are a south-tilting block of variscan-folded Devonian and Carboniferous rocks thrust over Mesozoic sediment along its northern border. Along the South Harz the overlying, unfolded upper-most Carboniferous, Permian and Buntsandstein (lower Triassic) series are exposed in a wide belt. They include a thick series of Upper...
Presentation
Full-text available
The Soda Ocean Hypothesis (i.e., the assumption that the Precambrian Ocean was highly alkaline with a low Ca-concentration that persisted for 3 Billion years) was advanced in 1983 and first published 1985 in Chemical Geology. Since then many expeditions to investigate modern environments showed the geochemical feasibility of the concept. Wherever m...
Presentation
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Athanasius Kircher und die frühen Vorstellungen über das Innere der Erde
Article
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Die Heimkehle bei Uftrungen, Südharz, wurde von den Nazis als unterirdische Fabrik zur Herstellung von Flugzeugteilen eingerichtet. Dazu wurden in den großen Hallen Betonböden gegossen, auf denen die Werkshallen standen. Diese Betonplatten sind im Kleinen Dom und im Thyratunnel auch heute noch während der Führungen deutlich zu erkennen. Die Lösungs...
Article
Studies of modern cyanobacterial mats and biofilms show that they can precipitate minerals as a consequence of metabolic and degradational activities paired with ambient hydrochemical conditions. This study looked at modern microbial mats forming giant, tower‐like, groundwater‐fed, calcareous microbialites in the world's largest, highly alkaline la...
Conference Paper
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The exploration of lava caves has made tremendous progress in the last thirty years, not the least fueled by the biannual meetings of the Commission on Volcanic Caves. Lava caves are certainly the third, if not the second, most important cave type by number and total length on Earth (after caves in carbonate rocks and likely before caves in sulfate...
Conference Paper
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Little has been published on the development of lava tubes, or "pyroducts" of the Galápagos. Here we report on fieldwork conducted during the 16th International Symposium on Vulcanospeleology which was held in the islands in March 2014. During the week the major volcanic caves were visited and studied in context. Santa Cruz is the most central isla...
Article
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Many caves contain old inscriptions. Within the area of the former Holy Roman Empire of German Nation (dissolved in 1806) some of the better-known ones are: Einhornhöhle and Baumannshöhle (Harz Mountains, Germany), Drachenhöhle (Mixnitz, Austria), Sloup Cavern (Czech Republic), Postojnska jama (Adelsberger Grotte), Predjamski jama, and Vilenica jam...
Conference Paper
The scientific objectives of the 2020 ExoMars rover mission are to search for traces of past or present life and to characterise the near-sub surface. Both objectives require study of the rock/regolith materials in terms of structure, textures, mineralogy, and elemental and organic composition. The 2020 ExoMars rover payload consists of a suite of...
Article
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Geoglyphen sind vom Menschen gemachte Muster auf der Erdoberfläche. Im Südharz gibt es eine Reihe von interessanten Mustern wie Schlangenlinien und Kreise, die teils erklärt werden können, teils noch nicht.
Conference Paper
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Along the eastern escarpment of the Dead Sea rift, Middle Cambrian unconsolidated siltstones outcrop repeatedly in Wadi Al-Tayan due to branches of the Dead Sea Transform Fault. On these siltstones lake terraces have been preserved at altitudes of-150 to-56 m, ca. 100 m higher than the previously reported high-stand of glacial Lake Lisan. The altit...
Presentation
Full-text available
Die Präsentation diskutiert die Authentizität der angeblich ältesten datierten Höhleninschrift von 1213 in der Postojnska jama (Adelsberger Grotte). SIe ist heute nicht mehr aufzufinden und es steht der Verdacht, dass sie von Löwengreif entweder falsch gelesen wurde (für 1513) oder sogar gefälscht wurde, denn sie hätte eigentlich mit römischen Ziff...
Article
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The seemingly hostile eastern Jordanian Harrat proves to be one of the richest archaeological landscapes in the Near East. The main structures are the many hundred kites, km-large, highly evolved former gazelle-hunting structures. Their study on Google Earth high-resolution images revealed yet another enigmatic geoglyph, the circular path. These fe...
Chapter
Full-text available
Germany exhibits a very diverse geological history. Thus a large number of stratigraphically, petrographically and tectonically different carbonate and sulfate rocks deposits exist that have been subject to karstification. First, we discuss the possible “agents” (sensu Klimchouk) of hypogene karstification. Three principally different processes are...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The karst area at the South Harz Mountains (Central Germany) is a landscape with a unique character based on its geology. It features small-scale diversity of semi-natural structures and is important for the conservation of certain species. The South Harz area forms a 100 km long continuous belt of evaporitic rock from the Upper Permian (Zechstein)...
Conference Paper
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Abstract With much hype the international press has hailed the discovery of “caves” on Mars. Speculation crystalized around the “Seven Sisters” at the flanks of Arsia Mons, the southern of the three Tharsis volcanoes. These are circular holes of 100 to 250 m in diameter with their bottoms in shadow. The situation on a volcano seems to suggest pukas...
Conference Paper
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Erupted basaltic lava flows downhill either in channels or conduits. The latter, termed “pyroducts” or colloquially “lava tubes”, can form by different processes. Pyroducts function as self-insolating conduits allowing lava to flow for long distances across low-slope terrain, thereby building shield volcanoes. Studies of roof structure serve to und...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Many caves contain old inscriptions. Within the area of the former Holy Roman Empire of German Nation (dissolved in 1806) some of the better-known ones are: Einhornhöhle and Baumannshöhle (Harz Mountains, Germany), Drachenhöhle (Mixnitz, Austria), Sloup Cavern (Czech Republic), Postojnska jama (Adelsberger Grotte), Predjamski jama, and Vilenica jam...
Article
Full-text available
Northern Jordan hides one of the least-known marvels of the antique world: a system of subterraneous aqueducts of Roman Imperial times, the Yarmouk-Decapolis Tunnel. The system may have been 106 km long, serving some of the Decapolis cities. The hypothesis of M. Döring (2008, 2016) states that it collected water in SW-Syria through channels (the Qa...
Conference Paper
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Cave morphology is the sum of past speleogenetic processes. So far, morphology was mostly dealt with descriptively. With the advance of light-weight, battery-powered 3D-laser-imagers, it is now possible to scan entire caves in high resolution, making it possible to do morphometrics in unprecedented detail, including features along high ceilings. De...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Harz Mountains in Germany are an uplifted block of variscan-folded Devonian and Carboniferous rocks with a kilometer-high northward thrust. The overlying, unfolded upper-most Carboniferous, Permian and Buntsandstein (lower Triassic) series are exposed in a wide belt along the South Harz, including a thick series of evaporitic rocks from the upp...
Article
Full-text available
The Close-Up Imager (CLUPI) onboard the ESA ExoMars Rover is a powerful high-resolution color camera specifically designed for close-up observations. Its accommodation on the movable drill allows multiple positioning. The science objectives of the instrument are geological characterization of rocks in terms of texture, structure, and color and the...
Article
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Al-Daher Cave is located east of the Bergish Reserve for Ecotourism on Bergish Mountain at about 830 m a.s.l. The entrance was originally a vertical fissure, opening to the east near the top of the mountain that contains the cave. This flank was artificially terraced in ancient times for agricultural purposes, and a wine press has been carved out o...
Article
In view of the substantial costs associated with classic monitoring networks, participatory data collection methods can be deemed a promising option to obtain complementary data. An emerging trend in this field is social media mining, i.e., harvesting of pre-existing, crowd-generated data from social media. Although this approach is participatory i...
Article
Full-text available
The Keokeo lava tube system lies within a lava flow that apparently originated in the Pu´u o Keokeo vent on the Southwest Rift zone of Mauna Loa, on the Big Island of Hawaii. The lava flowed 1,500-3,000 years ago from the source near 2,200 m elevation all the way to the ocean, a distance of some 28 km. A large lava tube system has been discovered s...
Article
Full-text available
Kaumana Cave is one of the youngest lava caves on Hawaii, formed during a few weeks at the end of the 1880/81 Mauna Loa eruption that stopped short of downtown Hilo. We surveyed a small section of the cave above and below the Kaumana County Park entrance in order to document the stratigraphy and development stages of the cave. Results show that the...
Conference Paper
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The Iberger Tropfsteinhöhle is one of the smaller show caves in Germany developed in Devonian massive limestone. It is composed of four separate cavities that are connected by artificial tunnels. We re-surveyed these with a 3D Faro 120 Scanner to document the caves’ morphology. It is dominated by sloping side-walls (“facets”) and stacked, upwarddir...
Conference Paper
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The processes of pyroduct (i.e. lava tube) formation are well investigated, primarily for examples of the Hawaiian volcanoes. This study examines a section of the " Cueva del Viento " a complex pyroduct system on Tenerife, the largest island of the Canaries, Spain. It was established during an eruption of the " Pico Viejo " (3103 m), a stratovolcan...
Article
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In 1748, Josef A. Nagel (1717 – 1794), on imperial order, investigated, among others, caves in Slovenia. His famous, illustrated and written in current manuscript-report is kept at the Austrian National Library and is being translated by us into English. In his report, Nagel described his visit to the Grotto of Corniale (today Vilenica Cave) on Jul...
Article
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Conference Paper
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Kempe-Cave, a well-preserved hyena, wolf and porcupine den in the eastern Jordanian Harrat Stephan Kempe1, Ahmad Al-Malabeh2 & Horst-Volker Henschel3 1Institute of Applied Geosciences, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Schnittspahnstr. 9, 64287 Darmstadt, Germany, kempe@geo.tu-darmstadt.de 2Hashemite University, Department of Earth and Environmenta...
Conference Paper
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After limestone and gypsum, lava is the third most important cave-bearing rock on Earth (Table 1). In contrast to the standard notion that lava caves are simple, uninteresting and featureless semi-circular " tubes " , many different processes serve to create a score of various lava cave classes (Fig. 1), with more being discovered. The most importa...
Article
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Zusammenfassung In der 2. Hälfte des 18. Jahrhunderts kulminiert die Periode der Aufklärung. In den Reiseberichten der Zeit erscheinen zunehmend naturwissenschaftliche Beobachtungen, darunter auch über Höhlen. Hier werden die Berichte und Abbildungen der Höhle von Slains ("Dropping Cove"), NE Schottland, zusammengestellt und verglichen, die alle zw...
Article
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Marine cyanobacterial mats were cultured on coastal sediments (Nivå Bay, Øresund, Denmark) for over three years in a closed system. Carbonate particles formed in two different modes in the mat: (i) through precipitation of submicrometer-sized grains of Mg calcite within the mucilage near the base of living cyanobacterial layers, and (ii) through pr...
Book
CD 1: Stephan Kempe über die Entstehung von Höhlen CD 2: Herbert W. Franke über Höhlenforschung in der Nachkriegszeit Günter Stummer und Herbert W. Franke in der Dachstein-Mammuthöhle Dieter Weber über Tiere in Höhlen Robert Schmittner über Höhlentauchen in Mexico Andreas Pflitsch über Höhlenklimatologie, U-Bahn-Klimatologie und Sicherheitstechnik
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Dahl Hith cave is located approximately 30 km southeast of Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. In the past decades, the groundwater table exposed inside the cave became subject to appreciable changes. After a decline due to agricultural water abstraction for irrigation purposes, the water table exhibited a rapid rise in the last few years. Con...
Article
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Wir erinnern uns: Am Pfingstsonnabend wurde der Cannstatter Höhlenforscher Johann Westhauser im Riesending in fast 1000m Tiefe von einem Stein getroffen. Dies brachte nicht nur eine bisher weltweit einzigartige Kameraden-Rettung in Gang, sondern rief die Weltpresse auf den Plan, bzw. an den Untersberg im Bayrischen. Wie immer, wenn es um Unglücke g...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Germany exhibits a very divers geological history. Thus a large number of stratigraphically, petrographically and tectonically different carbonate and sulfate rocks exist that have been subject to karstification. Here I discuss first the possible “agents” (sensu Klimchouk) of hypogene karstification. Three principally different processes are identi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Germany currently features 20 caves in sulfate rocks (gypsum and anhydrite) longer than 200 m. Most of them occur either in the Werra-Anhydrite or in the Hauptanhydrite of the saliniar Zechstein series (Upper Permian). One occurs in the Jurassic Münder Mergel and two in the Triassic Grundgips. The longest, the Wimmelburger Schlotten, is 2.8 km long...
Article
Full-text available
Until the end of the 20th century, the sinkhole-lakes of Layla and Al-Kharj formed oases in central Saudi Arabia. They were fed by ascending groundwater from the karstified Upper Jurassic anhydrites of the Arab and Hith formations. Morphologic features of a cave near Al-Kharj and hydraulic heads in wells of the Layla region show that the karstifica...
Conference Paper
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Background: Sub-recent volcanic glass shards with microbial mineral coatings from a caldera lake on Niuafo’ou Island (Tonga) were studied. These are compared with structurally similar volcanic glass shards with mineral envelopes of purported microbial origin from the Paleoarchean (ca. 3.4 Ga) Kromberg Formation of the Barberton greenstone belt (Sou...
Conference Paper
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Abstract. The early literature on caves includes also Latin texts. Apart from short notices of caves in Renaissance and Baroque books, texts dealing with specific caves are rare. Four of those deal with the Baumann’s-Cave, Harz. Those of Eckstorm (1589, publ. 1620), Lachmund (1669), and von der Hardt (1702) were translated and published by our grou...
Conference Paper
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Abstract: Dr. Benno Wolf was the mastermind of German speleology in the pre-World War II time, an eminent speleologist and an early activist for nature protection. He maintained international connections and was an honorary member of the British Speleological Association. Dr. Benno Wolf was also an instigator of the German cave registry and in 1923...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Abstract: The Keokeo lava tube system lies within a lava flow that apparently originated in the Pu‘u o Keokeo vent on the Southwest Rift zone of Mauna Loa, on the Big Island of Hawaii. The lava flowed 1,500–3,000 years ago from the source near 2,200 m elevation all the way to the ocean, a distance of some 28 km. A large lava tube system has been di...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Exploration and survey of Kahuenaha Nui Cave in March 2011 yielded astonishing insights into the processes that act to enlarge the tunnels of underground lava conduits (pyroducts). The cave is situated in lavas of the SW Rift of the Mauna Loa, Hawaii, within the area of the former Kahuku Ranch, south of the Belt Road at an altitude of 564 m a.s.l.....
Article
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The possible role of Ca2+ as a promoter of the major steps in the evolution of early life is reviewed. The existing biological knowledge about the role of calcium in living systems is summarized and compared with the major bio-evolutionary events that occurred during the first three billion years of Earth's history. It is proposed that secular chan...
Conference Paper
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Abstract: In September 2012, radon and CO2 measurements were carried out in Lipiška jama and Mačkovica in Slovenia and Austria’s Dachstein-Mammuthöhle. The AlphaGUARD proved to be a suitable device for long- and short-term radon measurements in caves. Values ranged from undetectable in some locations of Dachstein-Mammuthöhle to 4920 ± 549 Bq m-3 in...
Article
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However one feature that has not been recognized yet is a very strange “geoglyph” – the “circular path”. It is subtle and inconspicuous and if viewed individually may pass for a curious irregularity but when searched for, located and cross related, dozens of them appear on the high resolution areas (Fig. 6). A circular path is a strip of land, 1 to...
Article
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Google Earth offers the opportunity to study “desert kites”, large, presumably Neolithic gazelle-hunting structure, shaped like children’s kites. They occur throughout the Near East where large stones were available, e.g. in the Harrat (lava deserts). Kites typically consist of km-long guiding walls, ending in a ha-sized enclosure. In Jordan at lea...
Conference Paper
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Lake Lisan, the glacial precursor of the Dead Sea, was one of several lakes that occupied the Jordan Valley during the Last Glacial period (70-14 ka BP). It extended for ~ 300 km from Lake Tiberias in the north to > 60 km south of the current Dead Sea (DS). Prominent sequences of shoreline terraces and deep water deposits of aragonite and gypsum w...
Article
Dissolved silica (DSi) is an important nutrient in aquatic ecosystems. Increased DSi retention within the fluvial system due to damming and eutrophication has led to a decrease in DSi exports to coastal waters, which can have severe consequences for coastal areas where ecosystem functioning depends on fluvial DSi inputs. The analysis of fluvial DSi...
Chapter
Caves are defined as natural underground cavities (potentially) accessible by humans. They are decorated by various forms of speleothems that have always fascinated the human explorer. Caves are divided into primary and secondary caves, that is, formed with, or long after the deposition of the rocks containing them. The largest group of primary cav...
Conference Paper
By Stephan Kempe and Ahmad Al-Malabeh Hunting kites (reminding of children “kites” from air) are composed of stone walls that converge on a trap or an enclosure with multiple traps: They were erected to intercept migrating animals. Three geographical provinces also different in design can be discerned on the Arabian Peninsula: The “barbed kites” of...
Conference Paper
The study of high-resolution GoogleEarth pictures of the Jordanian Harrat revealed hundreds of enigmatic paths cleared of rooks, about 1.5 m wide, forming circles, ovals, or even dumbbells. In a high resolution strip along the eastern Harrat border 100 paths were evaluated averaging 42.9±17.8 m in length and 31.4±13.7 m in width (longest 117 m, sho...
Conference Paper
In northern Jordan Roman water tunnels exist that may have a total length of >100 km, possibly representing the longest antique tunnel system. It served to supply water to some of the Decapolis cities, such as Abila (Quwailiba) or Gadara (Umm Qais). A hypothesis states that a tunnel extends all the way from the Syrian border to Umm Qais. However, d...
Article
In this study we analyzed the large scale spatial patterns of river pH, alkalinity, and CO2 partial pressure (PCO2) in North America and their relation to river catchment properties. The goal was to set up empirical equations which can predict these hydrochemical properties for non-monitored river stretches from geodata of e.g. terrain attributes,...
Chapter
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Both primary and secondary caves occur in volcanic rocks. Secondary caves are either tectonic (fissure caves) or erosional (sea caves; erosional river caves). Primary caves include: tree and animal casts, hollow tumuli, drained lava tongues, pressure ridge caves, or empty vents, hundreds meter deep. The longest caves form by lateral subterraneous l...
Chapter
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The results of geological, hydrochemical and biosedimentological studies of two main caldera lakes, Vai Lahi and Vai Si‘i, on the volcanic Niuafo‘ou Island (Kingdom of Tonga) are presented. These slightly alkaline lakes support formation of carbonate sediments among which the most spectacular are calcareous cyanobacterial microbialites comparable w...
Book
Als in der Nacht vom 11. auf den 12. September 1944 Darmstadt im Bombenhagel verbrannte, verschwand auch das aktive und das passive Gedächtnis der Stadt an die Gänge und Keller im Untergrund. Viele, die sich aktiv hätten erinnern können, waren tot, andere mussten die Stadt verlassen, um neue Unterkunft zu suchen. Diejenigen, die in den Kellern jüdi...
Article
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Calcification and silicification processes of cyanobacterial mats that form stromatolites in two caldera lakes of Niuafo'ou Island (Vai Lahi and Vai Si'i) were evaluated, and their importance as analogues for interpreting the early fossil record are discussed. It has been shown that the potential for morphological preservation of Niuafo'ou cyanobac...