Simplicial volume of Hilbert modular varieties

  • Clara Löh

    Universität Regensburg, Germany
  • Roman Sauer

    Karlsruher Institut für Technologie, Germany


The simplicial volume introduced by Gromov provides a topologically accessible lower bound for the minimal volume. Lafont and Schmidt proved that the simplicial volume of closed, locally symmetric spaces of non-compact type is positive. In this paper, we extend this positivity result to certain non-compact locally symmetric spaces of finite volume, including Hilbert modular varieties. The key idea is to reduce the problem to the compact case by first relating the simplicial volume of these manifolds to the Lipschitz simplicial volume and then taking advantage of a proportionality principle for the Lipschitz simplicial volume. Moreover, using computations of Bucher–Karlsson for the simplicial volume of products of closed surfaces, we obtain the exact value of the simplicial volume of Hilbert modular surfaces.

Cite this article

Clara Löh, Roman Sauer, Simplicial volume of Hilbert modular varieties. Comment. Math. Helv. 84 (2009), no. 3, pp. 457–470

DOI 10.4171/CMH/169