Institut für Geo- und Umweltnaturwissenschaften

Mineralogie - Petrologie 

Albertstraße 23b   

79104 Freiburg i. Br.       

Tel.: +49 (0)761 -203-6396  




Prof. Rahn


Prof. Dr. Meinert Rahn

Industriestrasse 19
CH - 5200 Brugg Schweiz

e-mail: meinert.rahn@ensi.ch



Recent Publications

Rahn, M. K., Grasemann, B. (1999): Numerical and Monte Trax modeling on fission track data from the Glarus Alps: Thermal and tectonic evolution of a thrust plane during metamorphism and exhumation. Earth Planet. Sci. Letters 169, 245-259.

Rahn, M.K.W. (2001): The metamorphic and exhumation history of the Helvetic Alps, Switzerland, as revealed by apatite and zircon fission tracks. Unpubl. Habilitation thesist, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, 140pp.

Mullis, J., Rahn, M. K., Schwer, P., De Capitani, C., Stern, W. B., Frey, M. (2002): Correlation of fluid inclusion temperatures with illite "crystallinity" data and clay mineral chemistry in sedimentary rocks from the external part of the Central Alps. Schweiz. Mineral. Petrogr. Mitt. 82, 325-340.

Rahn, M. K., Steinmann, M., Frey, M. (2002): Chloritoid composition and formation in the eastern Central Alps: a comparison between Penninic and Helvetic occurrences. Schweiz. Mineral. Petrogr. Mitt. 82, 409-426.

Geisler, T., Rashwan, A. E. A., Rahn, M. K., Poller, U., Zwingmann, H., Pidgeon, R. T., Schleicher, H., Tomaschek, F. (2003): Low-temperature hydrothermal alteration of natural metamict zircons from the Eastern Desert, Egypt. Mineralogical Magazine 67, 485-508.

Rahn, M. K., Potel, S. Steinmann, M. (2003): Chloritoid from the Penninic Tomül nappe: HP or LP formation? A reply to a comment by R. Oberhänsli, R. Bousquet, and B. Goffé. Schweiz. Mineral. Petrogr. Mitt. 83, 345-348.

Li, Xu-Ping, Rahn, M. K., Bucher, K. (2004): Metamorphic processes in rodingites of the Zermatt-Saas ophiolites. International Geology Review 46, 28-51.

Vannay, J.-C., Grasemann, B., Rahn, M., Frank, W., Carter, A., Baudraz, V., Cosca, M. (2004): Miocene to holocene exhumation of metamorphic crustal wedges in the NW-Himalaya: evidence for tectonic extrusion coupled to fluvial erosion. Tectonics 23, TC1014, doi:10,1029/2002TC001429.

Rahn, M. K., Brandon. M. T., Batt, G. E., Garver, J. I. (2004): A "zero damage" model for fission track annealing in zircon. American Mineralogist 89, 473-484.

Li, X.-P., Rahn, M. K., Bucher, K. (2004): Serpentinites of the Zermatt-Saas ophiolite complex and their texture evolution. J. met. Geology 22, 159-177.

Cederbom, C., Sinclair, H., Schlunegger, F., Rahn, M. (2004): Climate induced rebound and exhumation of the Central European Alps. Geology 32, 709-712.

Timar-Geng, Z., Grujic, D., Rahn, M. (2004): Deformation at the Leventina-Simano nappe boundary, Central Alps, Switzerland. Eclogae geologicae Helvetiae 97, 265-278.

Rahn, M.K. (2005): Apatite fission track ages from the Adula nappe: late-stage exhumation and relief evolution. Schweiz. Mineral. Petrogr. Mitt. 85, 233-245.

Kraml, M., Pik., R., Rahn, M., Selbekk, R., Carignan, J., Keller, J. (2006): A new multi-mineral age reference material for 39Ar/40Ar, (U-Th)/He and FT dating methods: The Limberg t3 tuff. Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research 30, 73-86.

Wang H., Tao, X., Rahn, M. (2007): Determination of constants C1-C14 in 14 Equations of the relationships between the Kubler, Weaver and Weber Indices and their applications. Geological Journal of China Universities 13, 561-565.

Wang, H.,Tao, X.,Rahn, M. (2007): Some aspects of illite crystallinity and its applications in low temperature metamorphism. Earth Science Frontiers 14, 151-156. Rahn, M., Selbekk, R. (2007): Absolute age dating of the youngest Swiss Molasse sediments by apatite fission tracks. Swiss Journal of Geosciences 100, 10.1007/s00015-007-1234-0.

Li, X.-P., Rahn, M. K., Bucher, K. (2008): Eclogite-facies metarodingites: phase relations in the system SiO2-Al2O3-Fe2O3-FeO-MgO-CaO-CO2-H2O; an example from the Zermatt-Saas ophiolite. J. met. Geology 26, 347-364.

Vernon, A.J., van der Beek, B.A., Sinclair, H.D., Rahn, M.K. (2008): Increase in Late Cenozoic denudation of the European Alps confirmed by analysis of a fission track thermochronology database. Earth Planet. Sci. Letters 270, 316-329.

Glotzbach, C., Reinecker, J., Danisik, M., Rahn, M., Frisch, W,. Spiegel, C. (2008): Neogene exhumation history of the Mont Blanc massif, Western Alps. Tectonics 27, doi:10.1029/2008TC00225.

Reinecker, J., Danisík, M., Schmid, C., Glotzbach, C., Rahn, M., Frisch, W., Spiegel, C. (2008): Tectonic control on the late stage exhumation of the Aar Massif (Switzerland): Constraints from apatite fission track and (U-Th)/He data. Tectonics 27, doi:10.1029/2007TC002247.

Zaugg, A., Geyer, M., Rahn, M., Wessels, M., Schlichtherle, H., Hasenfratz, A., Burkhalter, R. (2008): Erläuterungen zum Blatt 1033 Steckborn (Südteil) mit SW-Anteil von 1034 Kreuzlingen, Geologischer Atlas der Schweiz, 1:25'000. Bundesamt für Landestopographie swisstopo, 124S.

Janots, E., Engi, M., Rubatto, D., Berger, A., Gregory, C. Rahn, M. (2009): In-situ determination of heating rates in collisional orogeny. Geology 37, 11-14.

Heberer, B., Röser, G., Behrmann, J., Rahn, M., Kopf, A. (2010): Holocene sediments from the Southern Chile Trench: a record of active margin magmatism, tectonics, and palaeoseismicity. Journal of the Geological Society of London 167, 539-553.

Glotzbach, C., Reinecker, J., Danisik, M., Rahn, M., Frisch, W., Spiegel, C. (2010): Thermal history of the central Gotthard and Aar massifs (European Alps): Evidence for steady state, long-term exhumation. Journal of Geophysical Research, Earth Surface, submitted.

Spiegel, C., Dörr, N., Danisik, M., Glotzbach, C., Rahn, M., Frisch, W. (2010): Neogene activity along the Forcola normal fault: evidence for episodic exhumation of the Central Alps (Switzerland). Tectonics, submitted.

Heberer, B., Rahn, M., Behrmann, J. (2011): Source-to-sink relationships along the South-Central Chilean margin: evidence from detrital apatite fission-track analysis. Basin Research doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2117.2011.00504.x.

Rahn, M.K., Stumm, F.G. (2011): Alter und Herkunft vulkanischer Apatite in der Molasse des Baselbieter und Aargauer Tafeljuras (NW-Schweiz). Mitteilungen der Naturforschenden Gesellschaften beider Basel 13, 129-142.

Weisenberger T.B, Rahn M., van der Lelij R., Spikings R.A., Bucher K. (2012): Timing of low-temperature mineral formation during exhumation and cooling in the Central Alps, Switzerland. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 327–328, 1-8.

Von Hagke, C., Cederbom, C., Oncken, O., Stöckli, D., Rahn, M.K., Schlunegger, F. (2012): Resolving the latest uplift and erosion history of the Northern Alpine Foreland Basin with low-temperature thermochronology. Tectonics 31, DOI: 10.1029/2011TC003078.

Wang, H., Rahn, M., Zhou, J., Tao, X. (2013): Tectonothermal evolution of the Triassic flysch in the Songpan–Garzê orogen, eastern Tibetan plateau. Tectonophysics 608, 505–516.

Kuhlemann, J., Rahn., M. (2013): Plio-Pleistocene landscape evolution in Northern Switzerland, Swiss Journal of Geosciences 106, in press.

Kuhlemann, J., Dobre, F., Urdea, P., Krumrei, I., Gachev, E., Kubik, P., Rahn., M. (2013): Last Glacial Maximum Glaciation of the central South Carpathian range (Romania). Austrian Journal of Earth Sciences 106, in press.

Curriculum vitae

Born on October 7, 1965 in Berlin (W-Germany), married, three children

Studies on Earth Sciences at the University of Basel, Graduation with a Diploma thesis under the supervision of Prof. Dr. M. Frey, title: "Petrographie und Geologie des Minugrates im hinteren Turtmanntal, VS"

Ph.D. thesis (funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation). Supervision by Prof. M. Frey (University of Basel) and Dr. A. J. Hurford (UCL, London). title: "Incipient Metamorphism of the Glarus Alps: Petrology of the Taveyannaz Sandstone and Fission Track Dating". Graduation April, 1994, with "magna cum laude".

Assistantship at the Institut für Mineralogie, Petrologie und Geochemie (IMPG) in Freiburg, Germany, collaboration with Prof. Dr. K. Bucher.

1-year grant by the Swiss National Science Foundation for a stage at Yale University, title of the project: "Progressive low-temperature metamorphism of an accretionary wedge, Cenozoic Olympic Subduction Complex, western Washington State".

Return to Freiburg, Assistantship at the Institut für Mineralogie, Petrologie und Geochemie (IMPG)

Since 2001
Member of HSK, Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate, scientific evaluation of geological disposal of nuclear waste

Since 2007
Head, Section on Geology, scientific evaluation of sites for geological disposal of nuclear waste and nuclear power plants


Schweizerische Mineralogisch-Petrographische Gesellschaft (since 1989)
European Union of Geosciences (since 1991)
Geological Society of America (since 1994)
American Geophysical Union (since 1997)
Association of Swiss Geologists (since 1998)
Associate Editor of Terra Nova (since 2009)
German Nuclear Waste Management Commission (since 2009)

Current Projects

Dating and age relationships of tuffs and intrusive bodies from the Hegau and Kaiserstuhl volcanoes. Magmatic source characterization by apatite composition (in collaboration with A. von der Handt, Minnesota, C. Gauthéron, Paris/Orsay, L. Franz, Basel, M. Vespa, Karlsruhe, and M. Marks, Tübingen)

Metamorphic and exhumation history of the Songpan-Garzê flysch, in the provinces Sichuan, Gansu and Qinghai, China (in collaboration with H. Wang, Beijing)

(U-Th)/He and fission track dating along tunnel transects and selected tectonic units of the European Alps: thermal and topographical evolution (in collaboration with C. Spiegel, Bremen, and C. Glotzbach, Hannover)

Dating of Quaternary glacial sediments in Northern Switzerland with cosmogenic nuclides: Time constraints on the sedimentation of the Upper and Lower Deckenschotter (in collaboration with A. Dehnert/J. Kuhlemann, ENSI, S. Ivy-Ochs, ETHZ, N. Akçar/C. Schlüchter, Bern)

Late-stage exhumation, erosion and geothermal evolution of Brigerbad and the Upper Rhône Valley (in collaboration with P. Valla, Lausanne)

Influence of radiation damage and apatite composition on He diffusion and (U-Th)/He dating (in collaboration with P. van der Beeks, Grenoble, and C. Gauthéron, Paris/Orsay)


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