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Institut für Geo- und Umweltnaturwissenschaften

Mineralogie - Petrologie 

Albertstraße 23b   

79104 Freiburg i. Br.       

Tel.: +49 (0)761 -203-6396  




Prof. Dr. Meinert Rahn

Apl. Professor für Petrologie

Industriestrasse 19
5200 Brugg


Curriculum vitae

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


  • 1984-89: Diploma in Earth Sciences, University of Basel. Thesis: Petrographie und Geologie des Minugrates im hinteren Turtmanntal, VS (supervisor: Prof. Dr. Martin Frey)
  • 1990-94: Dr. sci. nat. (magna cum laude), University of Basel. Thesis: Incipient Metamorphism of the Glarus Alps: Petrology of the Taveyannaz sandstone and fission track dating (supervisors: Prof. Dr. Martin Frey, Basel and Dr. A. J. Hurford, UCL London)
  • 2001: Habilitation für Petrologie, University of Freiburg
  • 2012: Ausserplanmäßige Professur für Petrologie, University of Freiburg

Academic career

  • 1994-97: Assistant, Institut für Mineralogie, Petrologie und Geochemie, University of Freiburg (Germany)
  • 1997-98: Research associate, Yale University (USA), supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation
  • 1998-01: Assistant, Institut für Mineralogie, Petrologie und Geochemie, University of Freiburg (Germany)
  • since 2001: HSK, Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (ENSI), Brugg, Switzerland
  • since 2007: Head of the Geology Section, Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (ENSI), Brugg, Switzerland

Professional service

  • Associate Editor, Terra Nova (since 2009)
  • German Nuclear Waster Management Committee (since 2009)

Professional affiliations

  • Schweizerische Mineralogisch-Petrographische Gesellschaft (since 1989)
  • European Union of Geosciences (since 1991)
  • Geological Society of America (since 1994)
  • Americal Geophysical Union (since 1997)
  • Association of Swiss Geologists (since 1998)


  • 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)


  • Claude, A., Akçar, N., Ivy-Ochs, S., Schlunegger, F., Kubik, P., Christl, M., Vockenhuber, C., Dehnert, A., Kuhlemann, J., Rahn, M., Schlüchter, C. (2019): Changes in landscape evolution patterns in the Northern Swiss Alpine Foreland during the Mid-Pleistocene Revolution. Geological Society of America Bulletin 131, 2056-2078.DOI
  • Rahn, M., Wang, H., Dunkl,, I. (2019): A natural long‐term annealing experiment for the zircon fission track system in the Songpan‐Garzê flysch, China. Terra Nova 31, 295-305.DOI
  • Lu, G., Winkler, W., Rahn, M., von Quadt, A., Willett, S. (2018): Evaluating igneous sources of the Taveyannaz formation in the Central Alps by detrital zircon U-Pb age dating and geochemistry. Swiss Journal of Geosciences 111, 399-416.DOI
  • Wang, H., Rahn, M., Zhou, J. (2018): Tectonothermal evolution of the Triassic flysch in the Bayan Har Orogen, Tibetan plateau. Tectonophysics 723, 277-287.DOI
  • Rahn, M. (2017): Wie alt ist dieser Stein? Freiburger Universitätsblätter 216, 97-112.
  • Claude, A., Akçar, N., Ivy-Ochs, S., Schlunegger, F., Rentzel, P., Pümpin, C., Tikhomirov, D., Kubik, P., Vockenhuber, C., Dehnert, A., Rahn, M., Schlüchter, C. (2017): Chronology of Quaternary terrace deposits at the locality Hohle Gasse (Pratteln, NW Switzerland). Swiss Journal of Geosciences 110, 793-809.DOI
  • Claude, A., Akçar, N., Ivy-Ochs, S., Schlunegger, F., Kubik, P.W., Dehnert, A., Kuhlemann, J., Rahn, M., Schlüchter, C. (2017): Timing of early Quaternary gravel accumulation in the Swiss Alpine Foreland. Geomorphology 276, 71–85.DOI
  • Akçar, N., Ivy-Ochs, S., Alfimov, V., Schlunegger, F., Claude, A., Reber, R., Christl, M., Vockenhuber, C., Dehnert, A., Rahn, M., Schlüchter, C. (2016): Isochron-burial dating of glaciofluvial deposits: First results from the Swiss Alps. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 42, 2414-2425.DOI
  • Valla, P.G., Rahn, M., van der Beek, P.A. Shuster, D.L. (2016): Multi-phase late-Neogene exhumation history of the Aar massif, Swiss central Alps. Terra Nova 28, 383–393.DOI
  • Akçar, N., Ivy-Ochs, S., Alfimov, V., Claude, A., Graf, H.R., Dehnert, A., Kubik, P.W., Rahn, M., Kuhlemann, J., Schlüchter, C. (2014): The first major incision of the Deckenschotter landscape. Swiss Journal of Geosciences 107, 337-347.DOI
  • 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, 83-95.
  • Kuhlemann, J., Rahn., M. (2013): Plio-Pleistocene landscape evolution in Northern Switzerland, Swiss Journal of Geosciences 106, 451-467.DOI
  • 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.DOI
  • Von Hagke, C., Cederbom, C., Oncken, O., Stöckli, D., Rahn, M.K., Schlunegger, F. (2012): Linking the Northern Alps with their foreland: The latest exhumation history resolved by low-temperature thermochronology. Tectonics 31, DOI
  • 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.DOI
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Timar-Geng, Z., Grujic, D., Rahn, M. (2004): Deformation at the Leventina-Simano nappe boundary, Central Alps, Switzerland. Eclogae geologicae Helvetiae 97, 265-278.
  • Cederbom, C., Sinclair, H., Schlunegger, F., Rahn, M. (2004): Climate induced rebound and exhumation of the Central European Alps. Geology 32, 709-712.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Li, Xu-Ping, Rahn, M. K., Bucher, K. (2004): Metamorphic processes in rodingites of the Zermatt-Saas ophiolites. International Geology Review 46, 28-51.
  • 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.
  • 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., 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.
  • 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.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.
  • 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.
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