Current Projects

Neoproterozoic carbonate – clastic sequences of Death Valley, USA

The sedimentary record of the Pahrump Group in Death Valley comprises massive, well-exposed successions of carbonate and clastic deposits. The Tonian to Cryogenian strata represent world-class examples of microbial carbonates deposited in the lead up to, and during Earth’s emergence from, Snowball Earth events, thus chronicling one of the most debated and arguably important events in Earth History. 
Multiple cycles of small and large-scale carbonate – clastic sequences within the Neoproterozoic Horse Thief Springs Formation are composed of stromatolitic dolostone beds sandwiched between cross-bedded strata featuring ripple marks, trough-cross beds, and chertified ooid horizons.

UNESCO/IUGS IGCP 661 – Fossil Blue Holes, the karst critical zone, and Greenhouse Palaeoclimate

This project is part of the International Geoscience Programme (IGCP) of UNESCO and IUGS (International Union of Geosciences), framework project IGCP661 "Global comparative research on structure, substance cycle and environment sustainability of the critical zone in karst systems". The theme of the Austrian sub-project is on “Evolution of fossil blue hole limestones and the critical zone in a greenhouse world”, funded by International research programs of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

Middle Triassic Carbonate reservoir rocks [Mid-Triassic Project] (cooperation with OMV)

This project, funded by OMV E & P, investigates Middle Triassic carbonates at the eastern margin of the Northern calcareous Alps and the subcrop of the Vienna Basin (Austria). The project aims at stratigraphy and structures of the Northern Calcareous Alps in the light of platform-to-basin facies models and new ideas on pervasive salt tectonism.
Mag. Michael Moser works especially on a structural transect at the easternmost outcrop analogues to buried structural reservoirs.

Neoproterozoic carbonate – clastic sequences of Namibia

Neoproterozoic sedimentary successions, such as those from Death Valley, share unusual stratigraphic features such as the occurrence of distinctive glacial deposits related to high-frequency intercalations between carbonate and clastic sequences.
The Otavi Group from the Otavi Fold Belt in Namibia features large-scale well-exposed deposits that record the two largest episodes of glaciation in the Neoproterozoic. Specifically, the pre-glacial successions that led up to the largest glacial episodes in Earth history are still poorly understood.

Phosphatic stromatolites within black shales from the Devonian – Carboniferous transition, Rheinisches Schiefergebirge, Germany 

Phosphatic stromatolites are unusual microbial fossils in the rock record.
These fossil microbiota are known from the Proterozoic to the Phanerozoic, and occur in multitudes of morphologies such as oncoid, cone-like stromatolites, domal stromatolites, and microstromatolites. A yet unknown occurrence of these unique fossils is currently under investigation from black shales deposited during the Devonian – Carboniferous transition in Central Germany.

Detrital Composition of Siliciclastics (cooperation with OMV)

The aim of the project, funded by OMV E & P, is to analyze the stratigraphic and spatial changes in mineralogical composition of (reservoir) sandstones and seal rocks like shales and marlstones in sedimentary basins. The project aims at integrated provenance studies including a data base and evaluation of various factors influencing the composition of clastic rocks such as surface and subsurface processes. Special emphasis is on the influence of climate on weathering of rocks, clay mineral formation and evolution, and diagenetic processes.

Putative fossilized sulfur oxidizing bacteria from Devonian cold seeps, Morocco

The colorless sulfide-oxidizing bacteria are important agents in the marine sulfur cycle, and may have been so since the Precambrian.
The genera Thiomargerita, Thioploca, and Beggiatoa are all members of the colorless sulfur-oxidizing bacteria, and are among the largest unicellular organisms known on Earth. Today, these bacteria inhabit shallow seafloor sediments where their metabolism couples the carbon, sulfur and nitrogen cycles.

The Anthropocene Surge - evolution, expansion and depth of Vienna’s urban environment

The project looks at the growth of anthropogenic influence in the urban environments of Vienna and it surroundings by applying classifications of anthropogenic sediments, evaluating geometry and topography, 3D models, geochemical methods to characterize the Anthropocene and historical maps.