Benita-Lisette Sonntag

Benita-Lisette SonntagDrilling is a hard work.


PhD student


Contact information:

TU Bergakademie Freiberg
Institut für Geologie
Bernhard-von-Cotta-Str. 2
09599 Freiberg
E-mail: benita-lisette [dot] sonntagatgeo [dot] tu-freiberg [dot] de
Phone: +49 3731 39 3813


Research interests:

Geochronology (U-Pb, AFT, (U-Th)/He)
Structural geology and tectonic geomorphology
Investigation of drainage network changes


PhD project:

Tibetan Plateau Fomation (TiP): Tracing material flow around the East-Himalayan syntaxis

The Pamir-Tibet-Himalaya orogen was created 50 Ma ago with the collision between the Indian and the Eurasian plates. Whereas the margins of the orogen are contractional or show strike-slip deformation, most of the orogen shows E-W extension. Our project concerns the Eastern Himalayan Syntaxis (Namche Barwa), which is characterized by clockwise rotation of material around the northeastern corner of the Indian plate. In this lateral flow scenario, the major structures are N-trending strike-slip shear zones within the Gaoligong Shan, Chong Shan and Diangcan Shan (Shan = Mountain). 

The main questions comprise the structural evaluation and dating of ductile flow along the shear zones and their exhumation to the surface. Relevant are also parameters like crustal deformation change as a function of depth within the crust, coupling of upper and middle crust, and the comparison of active and paleo-rotation rates. Finally, the development of the river network as a possible result of very recent deformation is an ongoing research topic.


Diploma thesis (Geography):


"Geochronologie und REM-Analytik der Schwermineralseife im Seufzergründel bei Hinterhermsdorf (Sächsische Schweiz) unter Berücksichtigung der periglazialen Reliefformung." ("Geochronology and EDX analysis of a heavy mineral placer in the Seufzergründel near Hinterhermsdorf (Saxony Switzerland) considering periglacial relief formation.")