Anja Dufresne

Senior Scientist

Anja Dufresne
Chair of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology


Building: 1540

Room: 215

Lochnerstraße 4-20

52056 Aachen


Phone: +49 241 80 96779
Fax Fax: +49 241 80 92280

Research Interests

I am a geoscientist working on landslides and and their interactions with the terrain. My research focusses on the runout dynamics of large rock avalanches, their worldwide distribution, and their impacts on the landscape when they form river blockages. Recently, I have been involved in landslide projects in glacial environments and the investigation of potentially unstable slopes. A lot of my work centers on building a strong evidence base to test runout hypotheses and setting up comprehensive world-wide databases on rock avalanches, landslide dams, and volcanic debris avalanches with international teams of colleagues from the various disciplines.

Current Projects

Rock Slope Response to Glacier Retreat | 2019-2020 | DFG | PIs: Anja Dufresne, Edward Berg (University of Alaska), Bretwood Higman (Ground Truth Alaska)| More Information

Landslide Dams | since 2018 | no funding agency | various cooperations and projects around the world| More Information

Past Projects

Long-runout Landslides: the Effect of Lithology on Comminution, (Micro-) Structures, Morphology and Runout | 2013-2018 | DFG | PI: Anja Dufresne | Partners: Christoph Prager (AlpS, Innsbruck, Austria). More Information

Shear Zones in Rock Avalanches | 2017-2018 | DFG | PI: Anja Dufresne | Partners: Joyce Schmatz (MaP), Stuart Dunning (Newcastle University, UK).

Landslides in Times of Climate Change | 2017 | Kármán Fellowship, RWTH Aachen University | PI: Anja Dufresne | Partners: Marten Geertsema (University of Northern British Columbia, Canada).

Professional Experience

Since 2019 Akademische Rätin (assistant professor), Department of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology, RWTH Aachen University
2016-2019 Senior Scientist, Department of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology, RWTH Aachen University
2016 Visiting Scientist, Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operation, Prince George, British-Columbia, Canada
2010-2016 Scientific Associate and Lecturer, Department of Geosciences, Universität Freiburg
2006-2008 Teaching Assistant, Department of Geosciences, Unversity of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
2003-2005 Teaching Assistant, Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA
2001-2002 Student Research Assistant, Department of Applied Mineralogy, Universität Göttingen


2006-2009 PhD Geosciences, Department of Geosciences, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
2003-2005 MSc Geosciences, Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts, USA
1999-2002 BSc Geosciences, Department of Applied Mineralogy, Göttingen University


Scientific Research and Writing (3rd and 4th year MSc)
Landslides and Rockslope Analysis (co-instruct; 2nd year MSc)
Machine Learning in the Geosciences (co-instruct; 2nd year MSc)
Geographic Information Systems (co-instruct; 1st year MSc)

Academic Activities


Deutscher Hochschulverband (DHV)
European Geosciences Union (EGU)

Review Services for International Journals and Funding Agencies

Bulletin of Volcanology
Canadian Geotechnical Journal
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Earth and Planetary Science Letters
Earth Surface Processes and Landforms
International Journal of Digital Earth
International Journal of Earth Sciences
Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences
and others...

Theses (Co-) Supervised

Over 30 MSc theses and around 25 BSc theses (co-)supervised since 2012.


Business Writing
various courses on teaching, management, finances, and leadership
Field Methods in Volcanology
Introduction to IBM SPSS Modeler
Introduction to College Teaching

Publications and Networks

Google Scholar:
Linked in:



Title Author(s)
Detection and Assessment of a Large and Potentially Tsunamigenic Periglacial Landslide in Barry Arm, Alaska
Journal Article (2020)
Dai, Chunli
Higman, Bretwood
Lynett, Patrick J.
Jacquemart, Mylène
Howat, Ian M.
Liljedahl, Anna K.
Dufresne, Anja
Freymueller, Jeffrey T.
Geertsema, Marten
Ward Jones, Melissa
Haeussler, Peter J.
Analysis of the Influence of Structural Geology on the Massive Seismic Slope Failure Potential Supported by Numerical Modelling
Contribution to a book, Journal Article (2020)
Lemaire, Emilie
Mreyen, Anne-Sophie
Dufresne, Anja
Havenith, Hans-Balder
Deep seated gravitational slope deformation of the southern Heinzenberg (Grison, Switzerland)
Journal Article (2020)
Osten, Julian
Küppers, Jan
Dufresne, Anja
Huwiler, Andreas
Amann, Florian
The formation and impact of landslide dams - State of the art
Journal Article (2020)
Fan, Xuanmei
Dufresne, Anja
Siva Subramanian, Srikrishnan
Strom, Alexander
Hermanns, Reginald
Tacconi Stefanelli, Carlo
Hewitt, Kenneth
Yunus, Ali P.
Dunning, Stuart
Capra, Lucia
Geertsema, Marten
Miller, Brendan
Casagli, Nicola
Jansen, John D.
Xu, Qiang
Rock slide-debris avalanches : flow transformation and hummock formation, examples from British Columbia
Journal Article (2019)
Dufresne, Anja
Geertsema, M.
Angepasste Sedimenttransferpräparate-Anfertigung und Bergung von Lockersedimentproben unter extremen Bedingungen
Journal Article (2019)
Kraus, Werner
Reicherter, Klaus
Dufresne, Anja
Physikalische Modellversuche zur Bestimmung von Geschwindigkeitsprofilen granularer Murgänge : Masterarbeit im Fach Umweltingenieurwissenschaften am Institut für Wasserbau und Wasserwirtschaft der RWTH Aachen
Contribution to a book, Contribution to a conference proceedings (2019)
Voßkämper, Berit Carolin
Kowalski, Julia
Dufresne, Anja
Pummer, Elena Marianne
Dynamics of Debris Flow : Reproducible Initial and Boundary Conditions in Scaled Laboratory Experiments to Determine Velocity Distributions
Contribution to a conference proceedings (2019)
Voßkämper, Berit Carolin
Kowalski, Julia
Dufresne, Anja
Schüttrumpf, Holger
Pummer, Elena Marianne
The 2016 Lamplugh rock avalanche, Alaska : deposit structures and emplacement dynamics
Journal Article (2019)
Dufresne, Anja
Wolken, G. J.
Hibert, C.
Bessette-Kirton, E. K.
Coe, J. A.
Geertsema, M.
Ekström, G.
Transient behaviour of excess pore pressure induced by impact loading of landslides : a laboratory experiment
Contribution to a book, Contribution to a conference proceedings (2019)
Soltek, Leonie
Amann, Florian
Dufresne, Anja
Jalali, Mohammadreza
The 2015 landslide and tsunami in Taan Fiord, Alaska
Journal Article (2018)
Higman, Bretwood
Shugar, Dan H.
Stark, Colin P.
Ekström, Göran
Koppes, Michele N.
Lynett, Patrick
Dufresne, Anja
Haeussler, Peter J.
Geertsema, Marten
Gulick, Sean
Mattox, Andrew
Venditti, Jeremy G.
Walton, Maureen A. L.
McCall, Naoma
Mckittrick, Erin
MacInnes, Breanyn
Bilderback, Eric L.
Tang, Hui
Willis, Michael J.
Richmond, Bruce
Reece, Robert S.
Larsen, Chris
Olson, Bjorn
Capra, James
Ayca, Aykut
Bloom, Colin
Williams, Haley
Bonno, Doug
Weiss, Robert
Keen, Adam
Skanavis, Vassilios
Loso, Michael
Experimental impact cratering: A summary of the major results of the MEMIN research unit
Journal Article (2018)
Kenkmann, Thomas
Deutsch, Alex
Thoma, Klaus
Ebert, Matthias
Poelchau, Michael H.
Buhl, Elmar
Carl, Eva-Regine
Danilewsky, Andreas N.
Dresen, Georg
Dufresne, Anja
Durr, Nathanaël
Ehm, Lars
Grosse, Christian
Gulde, Max
Güldemeister, Nicole
Hamann, Christopher
Hecht, Lutz
Hiermaier, Stefan
Hoerth, Tobias
Kowitz, Astrid
Langenhorst, Falko
Lexow, Bernd
Liermann, Hanns-Peter
Luther, Robert
Mansfeld, Ulrich
Moser, Dorothee
Raith, Manuel
Reimold, Wolf Uwe
Sauer, Martin
Schäfer, Frank
Schmitt, Ralf Thomas
Sommer, Frank
Wilk, Jakob
Winkler, Rebecca
Wünnemann, Kai
River-damming, late-Quaternary rockslides in the Ötz Valley region (Tyrol, Austria)
Journal Article (2018)
Dufresne, Anja
Ostermann, M.
Preusser, F.
Engineering geomorphological mapping
Contribution to a book (2018)
Miller, Brendan
Filatow, Deepa
Dufresne, Anja
Geertsema, Marten
Dhinney, Meaghan
Longevity of dams from landslides with sub-channel rupture surfaces, Peace River region, Canada
Journal Article (2018)
Miller, Brendan
Dufresne, Anja
Geertsema, Marten
Atkinson, Nigel
Evensen, Heidi
Cruden, David
Sedimentology and geomorphology of a large tsunamigenic landslide, Taan Fiord, Alaska
Contribution to a book, Journal Article (2017)
Dufresne, Anja
Geertsema, M.
Shugar, D. H.
Koppes, M.
Higman, B.
Haeussler, P. J.
Stark, C.
Venditti, J. G.
Bonno, D.
Larsen, C.
Gulick, S. P. S.
McCall, N.
Walton, M.
Loso, M. G.
Willis, M. J.
Rock Avalanche Sedimentology : Recent Progress
Contribution to a book, Contribution to a conference proceedings (2017)
Dufresne, Anja
Process dependence of grain size distributions in rock avalanche deposits
Journal Article (2017)
Dufresne, Anja
Dunning, S. A.
Insights into rock avalanche emplacement processes from detailed morpho-lithological studies of the Tschirgant deposit (Tyrol, Austria)
Journal Article (2015)
Dufresne, Anja
Prager, Christoph
Bösmeier, Annette
The “Cueva del Viento” on the Canaries, Spain
Contribution to a conference proceedings (2016)
Rein, Theresa
Kempe, Stephan
Dufresne, Anja
Sedimentology of rock avalanche deposits - Case study and review
Journal Article (2016)
Dufresne, Anja
Bösmeier, Annette
Prager, Christoph
Complex Interactions of Rock Avalanche Emplacement with Fluvial Sediments: Field Structures at the Tschirgant Deposit, Austria
Contribution to a book, Contribution to a conference proceedings (2015)
Dufresne, Anja
Prager, Christoph
Clague, John J.
An Overview of Rock Avalanche-Substrate Interactions
Contribution to a book (2014)
Dufresne, Anja
Long-Runout Landslides
Contribution to a book (2013)
Korup, O.
Schneider, D.
Huggel, C.
Dufresne, A.
Granular flow experiments on the interaction with stationary runout path materials and comparison to rock avalanche events
Journal Article (2012)
Dufresne, Anja
Influence of runout‐path material on emplacement of the Round Top rock avalanche, New Zealand
Journal Article (2009)
Dufresne, Anja
Davies, T. R.
McSaveney, M. J.
Substrate deformation associated with the Jocotitlán edifice collapse and debris avalanche deposit, Central México
Contribution to a book, Journal Article (2010)
Dufresne, Anja
Salinas, Sergio
Siebe, Claus
Longitudinal ridges in mass movement deposits
Journal Article (2008)
Dufresne, Anja
Davies, T. R.