Fields of research

In general, basic research is aimed at understanding the Universe rather than at providing material profit; in geology, efforts are focused on reconstructing the history of our planet and learning the causes and effects of the various ongoing processes. At PGI research activities are concentrated on the determination of the geological structure of Poland and, as a result of progress in specialized research techniques, we can reach further into the geological past and deeper into the Earth's interior.

We conduct sedimentological and stratigraphic studies

  • We explore the sedimentary environment of the rocks which occur in Poland and Europe, both on the surface and deep underground
  • Macrofaunistic macrofloristic and palynological analyses enable us to determine the age of rocks
  • We determine the lithostratigraphic divisions of sequence stratigraphy
  • In order to explore the regional deep geological structure of Poland and Europe we correlate sedimentary logs
  • We reconstruct changes in the distribution of land and sea in past geological eras, the lie of the land in ancient continents, the arrangement of waterway networks and palaeobathimetry of the seas and oceans and the history of conditions suitable for life on Earth

We reconstruct the structure of the sedimentary cover and the Earth's crust in Poland

  • We reconstruct the sequence of tectonic events through a structural analysis of surface exposures and boreholes
  • We characterise the geometry of tectonic structures, anisotropy of fissuring in the neighbourhood of boreholes, within deposits and regions
  • We measure and analyse the distribution of contemporary tectonic stresses

We use geophysical methods to document the deep structure of Poland

  • We interpret seismic data which enable us to describe the geometry of the sequence of strata and also to identify and determine the extent of structural discontinuities deep in the Earth
  • We carry out both qualitative and quantitative complex gravimetric-magnetic interpretations
  • We conduct measurements and analyses of the thermal conductivity of rocks
  • We interpret the results of borehole geophysical measurements
  • In our Paleomagnetic Laboratory, we determine the directions of magnetization of a rock and indirectly the time at which it acquired its magnetization
  • We conduct measurements of magnetic susceptibility and its anisotropy, from which we describe the environmental and climatic conditions when the rock was being formed
  • We conduct measurements of electrical resistivity of rocks which support hydrogeological and geotechnical and also geological studies as well as surface geological mapping

We perform specialized investigations of rocks and minerals

  • The structure and origin of minerals and rocks can be determined through microscopic and specialist methods such as electronic microscopy together with X-ray microanalysis, cathodoluminescence and studies of fluid inclusions
  • The results of our mineralogical-petrographic studies are used to solve tectonic, sedimentological and geophysical problems, and also those related to deposits, and regional geology and volcanology.
  • We examine geological samples (rocks, ores and minerals), environmental samples (soils, deposits, wastes, solid organic products), industrial samples (building and road stones, raw materials for chemical, metallurgical and glass- making industries) and archaeological samples.

We study the evolution of life on Earth

  • We conduct morphological and systematic studies of microfauna (foraminifera, ostracoda and conodonts) which is the key to carrying out biostratigraphic and paleoenvironmental studies
  • We analyse the evolution of invertebrates (ammonoids, bryoza and graptolites) that serve as markers of paleoenvironmental and climatic changes
  • Westudy the Devonian armoured fishes, footprints of tetrapods and dinosaurs – the link in the evolution of the vertebrata
  • We carry out paleontological analyses of Paleogene and Neogene deposits

We reconstruct the chain of events in the most recent geological times – the Pleistocene and the Holocene

  • We define the extent of glaciations and the pattern of old river system
  • We model the changes in sedimentary environments, climate changes and the human impact on the natural environment
  • We conduct paleobotanical studies of Palaeogene and Neogene lacustrine sediments