chiny zaj enBetween the 18th and 25th of June 2018, Professor Przemysław Borkowski, Dr. Wojciech Jegliński and Dr. Artur Skowronek from the Polish Geological Institute–National Research Institute (PGI-NRI) visited China at the invitation of the China Geological Survey (CGS). Dr. Michał Tomczak, a marine geology expert with broad experience in Polish - Chinese cooperation, joined the delegation.

The first place visited was Beijing, where the headquarter of CGS is located. The meeting with the directors and other high representatives of the CGS was led by Professor Yan Guangsheng, the Chief Geoscientist of CGS.

The Polish guests had also an opportunity to visit the Beijing Institute of Exploration Engineering (BJIEE), the first Chinese scientific institution which both carries out research and commercially produces diamond drill bits for drilling deep boreholes both offshore and on land. The achievements of the BJIEE were presented with special attention given to developing the technology of rock coring for exploration of submarine gas hydrate resources.

Next, the delegation went to the south of China, following the invitation of the Guangzhou Marine Geological Survey (GMGS), to discuss closer cooperation in the field of marine geology and oceanographic research.

Approximately 800 people are employed by this marine department of CGS. The GMGS has its own comprehensive research centre with fully equipped laboratories, a wharf with workshops and all technical facilities for eight research vessels.

During the official meeting of the PGI-NRI and GMGS, both sides presented their experience, profile and the main marine geology programmes. Professor Przemysław Borkowski introduced the history and structure of the PGI-NRI as well as the main tasks of the Polish Geological Survey, illustrated by certain examples.

The current stage of geological exploration of the Polish seabed was highlighted by Dr. Wojciech Jegliński with examples of the mapping projects completed in the last 50 years.

Dr. Artur Skowronek described the key research currently carried out by the Pomeranian Branch focused on the geochemical study of the Odra estuary and the Odra river catchment area. He also presented the future plans for the Pomeranian Branch associated with the governmental Programme of Geological Exploration of Oceans (ProGEO).

These bilateral discussions allowed to identify potential areas of cooperation. The GMGS delegation is expected to visit the branch in Szczecin, during the November conference on Sedimentary Source-to-Sink Systems in Marginal Seas, co-organized by the PGI-NRI.

The PGI-NRI delegates had also an opportunity to visit the research ship named Hai Yang Di Zhi Ba Hao, a survey vessel launched in 2017 to collect 3D seismic data using the latest multichannel geophysical equipment. They got acquainted with the technical solutions and equipment of the ship which was important in connection with the intent to purchase and equip a research vessel for the purpose of the ProGeo program. The ship is equipped with modern devices produced by the leading American and European companies. In addition, a documentary from a seismic survey campaign as well as a video report of the first Chinese drilling platform dedicated to the production of methane from gas hydrate deposits complemented the delegation's impressions.

This working visit in China created a solid foundation for future cooperation between both geological surveys, particularly for exchanging knowledge and professional experience in the marine realm. The friendly atmosphere of the meeting, its technical focus and excellent organisation, as well as the importance of talks, emphasised also by the Chinese side promise fruitful cooperation in the future.


The Polish representatives and Mr. Jinpeng Zhang (GMGS) during the visit to the r/v Hai Yang Di Zhi Ba Hao


Professor Borkowski and Professor Shengxiong Yang, Chief Geoscientists of the GMGS after signing the protocol from the Polish-Chinese meeting

Text and photos: Artur Skowronek
Cooperation: Przemysław Borkowski, Wojciech Jegliński