GFZ was founded in 1992 as the national research institution for geosciences in Germany and is ab initio member of the Helmholtz Association of National Research Centres. GFZ has strong links to leading institutes across Europe. Its research ranges across the full breadth of the Earth Sciences from the dynamics of Earth’s deep interior to the remote observation of its active surface.

GFZ combines all solid Earth sciences encompassing the fields of geodesy, geophysics, geology, mineralogy, geochemistry, geochronology, geomorphology, physics, mathematics, biology and engineering in a multidisciplinary scientific and technical environment. The GFZ has a strong tradition in the monitoring of our planet with geophysical and remote sensing techniques, working globally, but with major, multidisciplinary investments in regional observatories. Four scientific departments are accompanied by one department on Data, information, and IT services.

GFZ is providing generous technical support, state-of-the-art equipment and the information infrastructure with core data services for large scale and supra-national geoscientific projects like the past and on-going satellite missions CHAMP, Swarm and GRACE, magnetic or gravimetric observatories, the global seismological network GEOFON (since 1992), the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP) as well as unique active experiments. The GFZ currently (as of 31.12.2018) employs 1281 persons: 880 scientific, technical, and administrative staff, 102 apprentices, student assistants, and (paid) interns, as well as 299 guests (primarily scientists). Annual Budget 2018: € 95 million.

Geomagnetism section

Section 2.3 “Geomagnetism” of GFZ has internationally renowned expertise in scientific analyses of LEO satellite data for geomagnetic/ionosphere/magnetosphere/thermosphere research. Together with collaborating partners, GFZ runs a global network of geomagnetic observatories and provides Kp and its related indices (ap, Ap, Cp) derived at the Adolf Schmidt Geomagnetic Observatory Niemegk of GFZ since 1997. GFZ runs empirical and coupled thermosphere/ionosphere/magnetosphere models to physically investigate climatological patterns and trends in the upper atmosphere.