Heubeck, Christoph, Prof. Dr.


Prof. Dr. Christoph Heubeck

Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Institut für Geowissenschaften
Burgweg 11, 07749 Jena
Raum H102
Tel. +49 (0) 3641 - 9-48620
Fax +49 (0) 3641 - 9-48622

Principal Interests

  • Sedimentology, Stratigraphy, Petrography, Regional Geology
  • Deformed sedimentary basins
  • Earth History with an emphasis on Precambrian geology
  • Petroleum Geoscience with a specialization in reservoir characterization

Most of my studies are field-based.

since 2014

Professor (W3) of Geology (General Geology and Earth History), Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena


Professor (C3) of Geology (Sedimentary Geology), Freie Universität Berlin

Teaching courses related to the sedimentary rock record, including Introductory Geosciences, Earth Systems, Sedimentary Petrography, facies analysis and depositional systems, mapping classes, Petroleum Geology, international and regional field trips, Earth History, Tectonics of Sedimentary Basins etc.

Involvement in administration, including Associate Dean (Teaching) of the School of Earth Science, Head of Department etc.

Funded research projects in Chile, Bolivia, South Africa, Kazakhstan, and China.

Sabbatical semesters in Antofagasta and Santiago/Chile, Nanjing/China, and Stellenbosch/South Africa.


Staff Geologist, BP Amoco Canada, Calgary / Alberta: Exploration in the Rocky Mountains foothills for gas in thrusted anticlines.


Senior Petrophysicist, Amoco Research Technology Center, Tulsa/OK: Participant in the one-year "Petrophysics Program" training course. Reservoir analysis of Appleton and Fulmar Fields, Central North Sea, UK.


Senior Geologist, Amoco Orient Production Company, Houston/TX: Assigned to the Liuhua Field Asset Team, a shallow carbonate oil field offshore Hongkong (PRC).


Regional Studies Group, Amoco Exploration, Houston/TX: Regional stratigraphic and structural work in central Asia with focus on the Tarim basin in western China.

Analysis of Iraq's petroleum potential; database development.

Contribution to regional studies worldwide by contributing computer-generated plate-tectonic base maps and plate-tectonic reconstructions.


Ph.D. student, Stanford University, California: Research in the Archaean Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa. (Stratigraphy, Sedimentology, Geochronology, Tectonics).


Master's degree student, The University of Texas at Austin: Geology of the Southeastern Termination of the Cordillera Central, Dominican Republic, Greater Antilles. (Stratigraphy, Sedimentology, Structure/Tectonics). A large part of the thesis work was done at the Institute for Geophysics, UT Austin.


Undergraduate student, Würzburg University (interrupted by military service); Vordiplom.

In Jena (2014-present), I teach Sedimentary Geology ("Exogene Geologie"), Regional Geology of Central Europe, and Earth History at the undergraduate level, Sedimentary Basins at the graduate level and occasionally contribute to Resource Geology, all during summer term ("Sommersemester").

In winter term, I teach Sedimentary Petrography, a graduate seminar on Earth Systems / Earth History, occasionally Petroleum Geology or another class, a graduate field course (Regional Geology) and contribute to Introductory Geology.

In Berlin (2000-2014), I taught Sedimentary Geology, parts of Earth History, parts of Introductory Geology, field classes, and seminars at the undergraduate level. At the graduate level, I taught Petroleum Geology, Sedimentary Petrography and parts of Tectonics of Sedimentary Basins, Advanced Field Methods, a variety of regional field seminars, and How to build a habitable Earth.

I have long been fascinated by the surface conditions of the early Earth. To that purpose, my students (at all levels) and I conduct field-based studies in the Barberton Greenstone Belt (South Africa and Swaziland). Depending on the research questions, these studies combine field geology with geochronologic, stratigraphic, sedimentologic, structural and/or biogeochemical analyses. I regularly write grant proposals and advertise for PhD-students.

Currently, the following projects are active:

  • Earth's oldest mappable ecosystem: Biomats of the Moodies Group (former PhD-student Martin Homann, Dr. Inga Köhler, Sami Nabhan)
  • Facies analysis of the Mapepe Foreland Basin, Barberton Greenstone Belt (myself)
  • Archaean soils on Mars and Earth (Sami Nabhan)
  • The role of Partial Convective Overturn in the Barberton Greenstone Belt: Linking deep crustal-mantle and surface processes through integrated sedimentary and structural analysis of the syntectonic Moodies Group (with Martin Van Kranendonk and PhD-Student Matthias Schmitz)

Because I believe that oil and gas resources will continue to form part of our future energy mix and that responsible exploration and production of these resources is therefore a necessity, I continue my involvement in petroleum-related projects, in particular reservoir quality studies and issues of stratigraphic architecture. These projects usually run at the BSc- or MSc-level.

Praktischer Ratgeber zur Abfassung geologischer Berichte (pdf)

(1) Peer-reviewed publishing is the hallmark of a scientist. However, don't neglect to communicate with the folks outside the ivory tower! Popular publications meant for a broader audience should complement any scientist's portfolio.

(2) Please contact me for pdfs.


(my H-index  as of October, 2016, using ISI Web of Knowledge, is 13, using Scopus, 18, using Google Scholar, 22)


Heubeck, C., S. Bläsing, N. Drabon, M. Grund, M. Homann and S. Nabhan, 2016, Geological constraints on Archean (3.22 Ga) coastal-zone processes from the Dycedale Syncline, Barberton Greenstone Belt: South African Journal of Geology, 119, 495-518.

Nabhan, S., M. Wiedenbeck, R. Milke, C. Heubeck, 2016, Biogenic overgrowth on detrital pyrite in 3.2 Ga Archean paleosols: Geology, 44, 763-766.

Nabhan, S., T. Luber, F. Scheffler, C. Heubeck, 2016, Climatic and geochemical implications of Archean pedogenic gypsum in the Moodies Group (3.2 Ga), Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa: Precambrian Research, 275, 119-134.

Homann, M, C. Heubeck, T.R.R. Bontognali, A.-S. Bouvier, L.P. Baumgartner, A. Airo, 2016, Evidence for cavity-dwelling microbial life in 3.22 Ga tidal deposits: Geology, 44, 51-54.


Gamper A., Struck U., Ohnemüller F., Heubeck C., Hohl, S., 2015, Chemo- and biostratigraphy of the Gaojiashan section (northern Yangtze platform, South China): A new Pc-C boundary section: Fossil Record, 18, 105-117.

Homann, M, C. Heubeck, A. Airo, M.M. Tice, 2015, Morphological adaptations of microbial communities to 3.22 Ga-old coastal habitats (Moodies Group, Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa): Precambrian Research, 266, 47-64.


Salehi, M.A., S. R. Moussavi-Harami, A. Mahboubi, M. Wilmsen and C. Heubeck, 2014, Tectonic and palaeogeographic implications of compositional variations within the siliciclastic Ab-Haji Formation (Lower Jurassic, east-central Iran): N. Jb. Geol. Pal., Stuttgart, 271, 21-48.


Heubeck, C., G. Ergaliev, S. Evseev, 2013, Large-scale seismogenic deformation of a carbonate platform straddling the Precambrian-Cambrian boundary, Karatau Range, Kazakhstan:  Journal of Sedimentary  Research, v. 83, p. 1004-1024

Heubeck, C., J. Engelhardt, G.R. Byerly, A. Zeh, B. Sell, T. Luber, and D.R. Lowe, 2013, Timing of deposition and deformation of the Moodies Group (Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa): Very-high-resolution of Archaean surface processes: Precambrian Research 231, 236- 262. DOI: 10.1016/j.precamres.2013.03.021

Zeh, A., A. Gerdes, C. Heubeck, 2013, U-Pb and Hf isotope data of detrital zircons from the Barberton Greenstone Belt: Constraints on provenance and Archaean crustal evolution: Journal of the Geological Society of London, 170, 215 -223. doi: 10.1144/jgs2011-162. 

Kraus, S.H., R. Brandner, C. Heubeck, H.W. Kozur, U. Struck, C. Korte, 2013, Carbon isotope signatures of latest Permian marine successions of the Southern Alps indicate a continental runoff pulse enriched in land plant material:  Fossil Record, 16, p. 97-109.


Lowe, D.R., G. Byerly and C. Heubeck, 2012, Geologic Map of the west-central Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa, scale 1:25,000: Geol. Soc. America Map and Chart Series No. 103.

Aghaei, A., A. Mahboubi, R. Moussavi-Harami, C. Heubeck, and M. Nadjafi, 2012, Facies interpretation and sequence stratigraphy of Upper Jurassic carbonates in the Eastern Alborz range and Binalud mountains, NE Iran:  Facies (Erlangen) 59, p. 863-889; DOI: 10.1007/s10347-012-0339-8

Gamper, A., Heubeck, C., Demske, D., and Hoehse, M., 2012, Composition and microfacies of Archean microbial mats (Moodies Group, Ca. 3.22 Ga, South Africa); in: Noffke, N., and Chafetz, H. (eds.), Microbial Mats in Siliciclastic Depositional Systems Through Time: SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), Tulsa, OK. Spec. Publ. 101, p. 65-74.



Hulka, C., and C. Heubeck, 2010, Eastward Andean growth recorded by sandstone petrology and provenance of the Chaco foreland basin fill, southern Bolivia: Journal of Sedimentary Research, 80, p. 288-299, DOI: 10.2110/jsr.2010.029.

Heubeck, C., M. Raitzsch, D. Völker, M. Wiedicke-Hombach, J. Díaz-Naveas, and J. Frutos, 2010, Sedimentación; in: Comité Oceanográfico Nacional de Chile, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería de Chile (eds.), Geología Marina de Chile, pp.52-55. 


Jiang Sh.-Y., Pi D.-H, Heubeck C., Frimmel H., Liu Yu-P., Deng H.-L., Ling H.-F., Yang J.-H. and Zhu M., 2009, Dating of the global anoxia event above the Precambrian-Cambrian boundary: Nature, 459, p. E5-E6.

Heubeck, C., 2009, An early ecosystem of Archean tidal microbial mats (Moodies Group, South Africa, ca. 3.2 Ga): Geology, 37, p. 931-934; doi: 10.1130/G30101A.1

Heubeck, C., 2009, Geröllführende sedimentäre Gänge der Eisenach-Formation (Oberrotliegend): Modifizierte artesische Injektionen am Fuß alluvialer Fächer ?: Zeitschrift der deutschen Gesellschaft für Geowissenschaften, 160/1, p. 41-56.


Völker, D., T. Reichel, M. Wiedicke, and C. Heubeck, 2008, Turbidites deposited on Southern Central Chilean seamounts: evidence for energetic turbidity currents: Marine Geology, 251, p. 15-31; doi:10.1016/j.margeo.2008.01.008  

Buatois, L.A., Uba, C.E., Mángano, M.G., Hulka, C., Heubeck, C., 2008, Deep and intense bioturbation in continental environments: Evidence from Miocene fluvial deposits of Bolivia. In: Pemberton, G., Bromley, R., Buatois, L.A., Genise, J., Mángano, M.G. and Melchor, R. (eds.), Ichnology at the Crossroads: A multidimensional approach to the science of organism-substrate interactions. SEPM Special Publication, 88, p.123-136.


Vernhet, E., C. Heubeck, M.-Y. Zhu and J.-M. Zhang, 2007, Stratigraphic reconstruction of the Ediacaran Yangtze platform margin (Hunan province, China) using a large olistolith: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 254 (1-2), p. 1-362.

Guo, Q.J., Strauss, H., Liu, C.Q., Goldberg, T., Zhu, M.Y., Pi, D.H., Heubeck, C., Vemhet, E., Yang, X.L., and Fu, P.Q., 2007,  Carbon isotopic evolution of the terminal Neoproterozoic and early Cambrian: Evidence from the Yangtze platform, South China: Paleogeography, Paleoclimatology, Paleoecology, 254 (1-2): 140-157. 

Raitzsch, M., D. Völker, and C. Heubeck, 2007, Neogene sedimentary and mass-wasting processes on the continental margin off south-central Chile inferred from dredge samples: Marine Geology, 244 (1-4), p. 166-183.


Hulka, C., K.-U. Gräfe, B. Sames, C. Heubeck, C. Uba, 2006, Depositional setting of the middle to late Miocene Yecua Formation of the Chaco foreland basin, southern Bolivia: in Hoorn, C., and  Vonhof, H., Guest Editors, Journal of South American Earth Sciences, 21 (Special Issue), 135-150.

Scheuber, E., D. Mertmann, H. Ege, P. Silva-Gonzalez, C. Heubeck, K.-J. Reutter, V. Jacobshagen, 2006, Exhumation and basin development related to formation of the central Andean plateau, 21° S; in: Oncken, O., Chong, G., Franz, G., Giese, P., Götze, H.-J., Ramos, V., Strecker, M., Wigger, P. (eds.): The Andes - Active Subduction Orogeny. Frontiers in Earth Sciences, vol. 1, XXII, 570 pp., Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, p. 285 - 302. 

Völker, D., M. Wiedicke, S. Ladage, C. Gaedeke, C. Reichert, K. Rauch, W. Kramer, and C. Heubeck, 2006, Latitudinal variation in Sedimentary Processes in the Chilean Trench off Central Chile; in: Oncken, O., Chong, G., Franz, G., Giese, P., Götze, H.-J., Ramos, V., Strecker, M., Wigger, P. (eds.: The Andes - Active Subduction Orogeny. Frontiers in Earth Sciences, vol. 1, XXII, 570 pp., Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, p. 193-216.

Uba, C., Heubeck, C., and Hulka, C., 2006, Evolution of the late Cenozoic Chaco foreland basin, Southern Bolivia: Basin Research, 18, 145-170. 

Vernhet, E., Heubeck, C., M.-Y. Zhu and J.-M. Zhang, 2006, Large-scale slope instability at the southern margin of the Ediacaran Yangtze platform (Hunan province, central China): Precambrian Research, 148 (1-2), p. 32-41.


Uba, C.E., C. Heubeck and C. Hulka, 2005, Facies analysis and basin architecture of the Neogene Subandean synorogenic wedge, southern Bolivia: Sedimentary Geology, 180, p. 91-123.


Heubeck, C., K. Story, P. Peng, C. Sullivan, and S. Duff, 2004, An integrated reservoir study of the Liuhua 11-1 field using a high-resolution three-dimensional seismic data set;  in: Seismic imaging of carbonate reservoirs and systems: American Association of Petroleum Geologists Memoir, 81, p. 149 - 168.

Zhang J.M., Zhu M.Y., Yang A.H., Li G.X., Yang J.H., Heubeck C., 2004, Stratigraphic implications of Sinian-Early Cambrian volcanic ash beds on the Yangtze Platform: Progress in Natural Science, 14 (1), p. 71-76.



Heubeck, C., 2001, Assembly of central Asia during the middle and late Paleozoic; in: Davis, G., and M.S. Hendrix, eds., Paleozoic and Mesozoic tectonic evolution of central Asia: Geological Society of America Memoir 194, p. 1-22.


Heubeck, C., and D.R. Lowe, 1999, Sedimentary petrology and provenance of the Archean Moodies Group, Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa, in: Lowe, D.R., and Byerly, G.R., eds., Geologic Evolution of the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa; Geological Society of America Special Paper 329, p. 259-286.

Lowe, D.R., G.R. Byerly, and C. Heubeck, 1999, Structural divisions and development of the west-central part of the Barberton greenstone belt, in: Lowe, D.R., and Byerly, G.R., eds., Geologic Evolution of the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa; Geological Society of America Special Paper 329, p. 37-82. 

Murray, C.J., D.R. Lowe, S.A.Graham, P.A., Martinez, J. Zeng, A.R. Carroll, R. Cox, M. Hendrix, C. Heubeck, D. Miller, I.W. Moxon, E. Sobel, J. Wendebourg, and T. Williams, 1996, Statistical analysis of bed-thickness patterns in a turbidite section from the Great Valley Sequence, Cache Creek, northern California: Journal of Sedimentary Research, 66, p. 900-908.


Heubeck, C., and D.R. Lowe, 1994, Depositional and Tectonic Setting of the Archean Moodies Group, Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa: Precambrian Research, 68, p. 257-290.

Heubeck, C., and Lowe, D.R., 1994, Late Syndepositional Deformation and Detachment Tectonics in the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa: Tectonics, 13, p.1514-1536. 

Heubeck, C., Toulkeridis, T., Wendt, J.I., Kröner, A., and Lowe, D.R., 1993, Timing of deformation of the Archean Barberton greenstone belt, South Africa: constraints from zircon dating of the Salisbury Kop pluton: Journal of South African Geology, 96, p. 1-8.

Heubeck, C., 1992, Sedimentology of Large Olistoliths, Southern Cordillera Central, Hispaniola: Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, 62 (3), p. 474-482. 

Heubeck, C., P. Mann, J. Dolan, and S. Monechi, 1991, Diachronous Uplift and Recycling of Sedimentary Basins during Cenozoic Tectonic Transpression, Northeastern Caribbean Plate Margin: Sedimentary Geology, 70, p. 1-32.

Heubeck, C., and P. Mann, 1991, Geologic Evaluation of Plate-kinematic Models for the North American-Caribbean Plate Boundary Zone: Tectonophysics, 191, p. 1-26. 

Heubeck, C., and P. Mann, 1991, Structural Geology and Cenozoic Tectonic History of the Southeastern Termination of the Cordillera Central, Dominican Republic, in: Mann, P., Draper, G., and Lewis, J.F., eds., Geologic and Tectonic Development of the North America - Caribbean Plate Boundary in Hispaniola: Geological Society of America Special Paper 262, p. 315 - 336.

Mann, P., M.C. Lebron, J. Rodriguez, and C. Heubeck (comp.), 1991, Geologic map of the southern Dominican Republic,  in: Mann, P., Draper, G., and Lewis, J.F., eds., Geologic and Tectonic Development of the North America - Caribbean Plate Boundary in Hispaniola: Geological Society of America Special Paper 262, 3 sheets. 

Dolan, J.F., P. Mann, S. Monechi, R. DeZoeten, C. Heubeck, and J. Shiroma, 1991, Sedimentologic, Stratigraphic, and Tectonic Synthesis of Eocene - Miocene Sedimentary Basins, Hispaniola and Puerto Rico, in: Mann, P., Draper, G., and Lewis, J.F., eds., Geologic and Tectonic Development of the North America - Caribbean Plate Boundary in Hispaniola: Geological Society of America Special Paper 262, p. 217 - 263.

prior to 1990

Gahagan, L.M., C.R. Scotese, J.-Y. Royer, D. Sandwell, J.K. Winn, R.L. Tomlins, M.I. Ross, J.S. Newman, R.D. Müller, C.L. Mayes, L.A. Lawver, and C. Heubeck, 1988, Tectonic Fabric Map of the Ocean Basins from Satellite Altimetry Data: Tectonophysics, 155, p. 1-26.

Popular Science

Heubeck, C., T. Ferrar, K. Lane, L. Lane, 2013, Developing Geotourism in the Barberton Greenstone Belt: Geol. Soc. South Africa Geobulletin 56(2), 20-23.

Ferrar, T., and C. Heubeck, 2013, Barberton-Makhonjwa Geotrail, Geosites and Viewpoints: Hamilton-Fynch for Barberton Tourism and Business Council, Nelspruit, South Africa, 44 p.

Autorenkollektiv (Arp, Back, Bahlburg, Betzler, Breitkreuz, Fischer, Gaupp, Heimhofer, Heubeck, Hinderer, Immenhauser, Mösle, Reichenbacher, Reicherter, Reuning, Spiske, Stollhofen, Voigt, von Eynatten), 2011, Sedimentäre Geologie: Status, Signifikanz, Perspektiven. Geologische Mitteilungen, 44, 6-17.

Kirstein, J., and C. Heubeck, 2011, Geologischer Radwanderwegführer Eschwege - Witzenhausen (Werratal). - Faltblatt (12 Seiten), Selbstverlag.

Hoppe, J., and C. Heubeck, 2011, Geologischer Radwanderwegführer Creuzburg - Eschwege (Werratal). - Faltblatt (12 Seiten), Selbstverlag.

Heubeck, C., 2007, Porosität und Permeabilität in natürlichen Gesteinen; in: Der belebte Planet II, (Forschungsarbeiten aus dem Fachbereich Geowissenschaften der Freien Universität Berlin), Selbstverlag des Fachbereichs Geowissenschaften, 36-44.

Handy, M.R. and C. Heubeck, 2003, Kartierung in Gefahr? Geowissenschaftliche Mitteilungen, 12, 19-21.



Lowe, D.R., Heubeck, C., Byerly, G., 2016, Geology of the Barberton Greenstone Belt: Processes on the early Earth. - 35th Geological Congress Field Trip Pre-16, 22-28 August 2016, Guidebook, 81 p.

Heubeck, C., Grosch, E., Mason, P., 2016, Geology of the Barberton Greenstone Belt: Processes on the early Earth. - 35th Geological Congress Field Trip Post-7, 4-10 September 2016, Guidebook, 64 p.

Wiedicke-Hombach, M., Andruleit, H., Balmaceda, G., Bruns, A., Contardo, X., Cramer, B., Delisle, G., Diaz-Naveas, J.L., Erbacher, J., Fenner, J.M., Georgens, R., Gomez, V.C., Harazim, B., Heubeck, C., Kloep, F., Kramer, W., Kus, J., Lückge, A., Mohtadi, M., Mühr, P., Panten, D., Reinhardt, L., Steinmann, D., Stummeyer, J., Zeibig, M., 2002, SO 161-5 SPOC (Subduction Process off Chile) - Geologie - Geochemie - Wärmestrom. Fahrtbericht (24.12.2001 - 26.01.2002), Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe, Hannover / Germany, 224 p.

I occasionally contribute to newspaper, radio and TV interviews on topics related to fossil energy or Earth history.


I enjoy travelling, riding my bicycle and collecting exotic natural sands.