Lennart de GrootPaleomagnetic laboratory Fort Hoofddijk - Utrecht University


I am an associate professor at Paleomagnetic Laboratory Fort Hoofddijk, Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, in the Netherlands.

Dr. Lennart V. de Groot
Paleomagnetic laboratory Fort Hoofddijk
Utrecht University
Budapestlaan 17
3584 CD Utrecht
the Netherlands

Fieldwork La Palma

Research interests

In my research, I aim to understand the behavior of the Earth's magnetic field on both human and geological time scales. The Earth's magnetic field protects us and our technology from harmful electromagnetically particles expelled by the Sun, but is constantly changing. To study the behavior of the Earth's magnetic field and reconstruct its past, I work together with my group of students, PhD candidates and postdocs to analyse magnetic signals stored in rocks. Volcanic rocks take a snap-shot of the state of the Earth's magnetic field when they cool and retain that information over many millions of years. The magnetic signal stored in volcanic rocks, however, is often difficult to interpret. To improve our ability to derive magnetic information from them, I also study the micromagnetic behavior of iron-bearing minerals that are the actual magnetic carriers in volcanic rocks. This makes my work an exciting combination of field work, meticulous laboratory measurements, analyses, and computational modeling.

Micromagnetic Tomography

MIMATOM Micromagnetic Tomography, MMT or Mimatom, is a new paleomagnetic and rock-magnetic technique that I am currently developing. Funding by the European Research Council (ERC) and the Dutch Science Foundation (NWO) enabled me to start the Mimatom research group, build the necessary research facility in Utrecht and accelerate the development of this new technique considerably. With Mimatom we aim to determine magnetic moments of individual grains in a sample in a non-destructive way. Ultimately, this will enable selecting and interpreting magnetic information only from grains that have good recording properties, while disregarding the contributions of adversed behaved grains that may be present. All information on Micromagnetic Tomography can be found on a dedicated website: mimatom.org ERCMIMATOM


I consider science communication and outreach an integral and important part of being a scientist. I enjoy explaining my own research as well as more general Earth scientific topics to the public, including children. This allows me to share my enthousiasm for research and the planet we live on. I appear regularly on (national) tv and radio, and I contribute to articles in newspapers and popular scientific magazines. A full overview of my outreach activities can be found on the 'Outreach' page.

Beyond communication about my own field of research, I developed the 'Hoe?Zo! Show' together with a colleague from the Free University Amsterdam. This project aims at teaching children basic scientific principles and fostering their natural curiousity with an education package and a theater show. More information about this initiative can be found on the website of the Hoe?Zo! Show, also in English.

Atlas outreach Hoe?Zo! Show