Fields of research

 

Ever since its foundation in 1919 one of the Institute’s main tasks has been the geological mapping of the country to provide information about mineral resources. One outcome of the research effort of several generations of geologists has been the discovery of the economically most valuable mineral resources of Poland. To meet the demands of the national economy, mineral exploration in recent years has been focused on securing the energy supplies of the country.


We explore for and verify energy resources

  • We explore, document and verify the resources of lignite and hard coal
  • We establish new criteria for establishing the quality of hard coal resources in the Upper Silesian Coal Basin with regard to the standards of the international market and the Restructuring of Poland’s Coal-Mining Industry Program
  • We assess the geological conditions at the occurrences of hard coal and lignite deposits and the possibilities of their management with modern, clean technologies being employed,  using underground gasification and liquefaction methods in particular
  • We develop a methodology for prospecting for oil and natural gas
  • We establish out potential areas of unconventional resources of gas hydrocarbons, i.e. shale gas, tight natural gas and coal-bed methane
  • We keep records of the domestic fuels and analyse trends in the world markets

We contribute to the development of nuclear energy

  • We examine geological and environmental conditions at the locations of nuclear power plants, including: hazards caused by seismic movements, geological engineering conditions, access to the water resources needed to cool down reactors, and environmental conditions - including the rate and directions of contamination migration in case of a breakdown
  • We outline areas suitable for the location of nuclear waste repositories
  • We evaluate the possibilities of getting uranium from domestic deposits or importing it from other countries

We assess the feasibility of using geothermal energy and other renewable energy sources

  • We examine the potential of geothermal energy generation in Poland and construct thermal maps and models
  • We fix locations of thermal water intakes and provide guidelines on the implementation of medium-low temperature geothermal systems (including low enthalpy geothermal systems) and hot dry rock geothermal systems
  • We carry out analyses of the geological and environmental conditions at water-power and wind-power plants
  • We evaluate the possibilities of recovering methane from landfill sites

We address the prospects of fuel storage in geological structures

  • We assess the usefulness of geological structures for locating in them strategic storage sites of oil and gaseous fuels and having the capacity to accumulate supplies of these fuels for many months
  • We design the arrangement of such storage sites in geological structures, their cubic capacity and operatingl conditions 
  • We lay down guidelines on storage site monitoring

We analyze the practical and environmental aspects of mineral resources management

  • We assess the impact of the exploitation of energy raw materials on the natural environment and plan rehabilitation programs for post-mining areas
  • We protect energy raw material deposits through identifying prospective areas of raw material occurrence and providing the state administration with studies and guidelines on rational space management
  • We make feasibility studies to assess the economic viability of deposit exploitation