Heitfeld award 2021 for the M.Sc. thesis of Johanna Klahold

Posted on 2021/12/06

Every year, the Professor Dr. Karl-Heinrich Heitfeld Foundation (Heitfeld Award) honors Master’s graduates and doctorates of RWTH Aachen University for outstanding achievements. The foundation was established in 1995 by Professor Heitfeld (engineering and hydrogeology) and his wife. At the 27th award ceremony on December 3, 2021, in RWTH’s main building, the M.Sc. thesis of Ms. Johanna Klahold titled “Improved quantitative imaging of Alpine permafrost evolution through time-lapse joint inversion of seismic refraction and electrical resistivity data“ was awarded. In the frame of the IDEA League M.Sc. program in Applied Geophysics under the supervision of substitute professor Florian Wagner and Prof. Christian Hauck from the University of Fribourg (CH), Ms. Klahold developed an approach to combine seismic refraction and electrical resistivity data acquired at the Schilthorn, Bernese Alps, in a joint inversion acknowledging the temporal dimension. This allowed to quantify the melting of ground ice, i.e. the permafrost degradation, between the years of 2008 and 2017, which is an important factor to assess slope stability. The results were presented at EGU 2021 and are currently being prepared for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. Ms. Johanna Klahold is continuing her successful research in the cryosphere and is currently working on imaging structural changes in glaciers with drone-based geophysics at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. We wish her nothing but the best for her certainly bright professional future!


Klahold, J., Hauck, C., and Wagner, F.: Ice or rock matrix? Improved quantitative imaging of Alpine permafrost evolution through time-lapse petrophysical joint inversion, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-4509, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-4509, 2021.

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