jurassica en210x140The Jurassica XV international conference, organized by the Polish & Slovak Working Group of the Jurassic System PGS affiliated with the Polish and Slovak Geological Societies, was held in Iłża on September 19-22, 2023.

In addition to the Polish Geological Institute - NRI, co-organizers of the event were the Institute of Paleobiology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Slovak State Geological Institute named after D. Štúr, and the Iłża Municipality, which provided significant logistical support in the conference’s organization. The Jurassic Group's fifteenth anniversary meeting was organized on its 25th anniversary and was dedicated to the exchange of experiences, as well as the results of the latest sedimentological, paleontological, bio-, magneto- and cyclostratigraphic, geochemical, mapping and geo-engineering studies of Jurassic surfaces and rocks from the Triassic-Jurassic and Jurassic-Cretaceous boundaries, from areas of Poland and other countries.

The Polish & Slovak Working Group of the Jurassic System PGS has been active since 2011, when it was formed into an international group as a result of the transformation of the Polish Working Group of the Jurassic System, active since 1999. The Jurassica XV conference was dedicated to the memory of Professor Gregory Pieńkowski, a recently deceased employee of the Polish Geological Institute - NRI. Memories of the professor were written down by A. Wierzbowski, J. Zacharski and G. Niedźwiedzki, and published in the conference materials.

The conference was attended by 43 participants from 6 countries. Thirty two lectures and posters were presented in English. Geological profiles of six exposed surfaces (Wierzbica, Błaziny, Skarbka, Wólka Bałtowska, Bałtów-Zarzecze, Owadów-Brzezinki), covering the Upper Jurassic, marine, limestone-marl surfaces of the north-eastern and north-western edges of the Świętokrzyskie Mountains, were presented during field trips. It is an area rich in fossils and recently discovered dinosaur tracks preserved in the Lower Jurassic roof, terrestrial sandstone layers occurring between clay sediments at the Borkowice near Przysucha site.

uczestnicy konferencji Jurassica XV w Iłży

Conference participants

Conference participants also visited a dinosaur park, a geological museum and a prehistoric sea world within the Bałtów Tourist Complex. During the conference, thanks to the support of the Iłża Municipality, a film music concert and a meeting of participants at the Iłża castle were organized.


The conference was opened by Piotr Szrek, PhD, Deputy Director of the PGI-NRI (left). Professor Hubert Wierzbowski, PhD (right) speaking

The Jurassica XV conference was attended by 13 PGI-NRI employees and a retired Institute employee. They presented a total of 8 lectures (including 3 so-called “key notes”) and 1 poster, which were devoted to:

  • the recently discovered Lower Jurassic dinosaur tracks in Borkowice near Przysucha, in which the late Professor G. Pieńkowski took part (G. Niedźwiedzki)
  • the ongoing work on the precise definition of the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary within the framework of the Berriasian Working Group, chaired by a PGI - NRI employee. The Berriasian Working Group was established at the Cretaceous Subcommission of the International Commission on Stratigraphy affiliated to the International Union of Geological Sciences (J. Grabowski)
  • the results of a detailed study of the geochemistry (chemostratigraphy) and organic matter content of the Upper Jurassic siltstone-marl rocks of the Palatian formation (Upper Cimeridian-Lower Tithonian) in the Polish Lowlands (H. Wierzbowski, J. Grabowski, B. Massalska i A. Feldman-Olszewska)
  • the common structural features of birds and some dinosaurs reflected in their tracks (G. Gierliński)
  • the preliminary results of studies of microfossils and shallow-water microfacies, Upper Jurassic limestone-marl formations from the vicinity of Iłża (A. Wierzbowski, E. Krzyżak, M. Fąfara, H. Wierzbowski, B. Błażejowski i J.Grabowski)
  • the reservoir potential of the Jurassic formations in Poland, which can be used to store gases and liquids for industrial purposes (A, Wójcicki, J. Zacharski)
  • the compilation of data from profiles of deep boreholes piercing Jurassic surfaces in Poland, which is published by the PGI-NRI as part of the publication series “Profiles of Deep Boreholes” (J. Iwańczuk)
  • the mapping studies conducted by the PGI - NRI in the vicinity of Iłża, as part of its work on detailed geological maps of Poland at the scale of 1:50 000 (M. Ludwiniak, R. Zabielski)

PGI - NRI employees additionally participated in research, the results of which were presented in 2 lectures given by scientists from other institutions. They concerned the facial succession and depositional environment of the Lower Jurassic marine rocks of the Himalayas (and the sedimentology and cyclostratigraphy of the uppermost Lower Jurassic surfaces of the west coast of Great Britain).

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Conference participants at the entrance to the Owadów-Brzezinki Geopark

The Jurassica XV conference tour guide, in a paper authored by Professor Andrzej Wierzbowski - a retired PIG-PIB employee, presents the latest data on the facial succession of Upper Jurassic surfaces from the sites visited and their dating, as well as the geological structure of the north-eastern edge of the Świętokrzyskie Mountains, where Iłża is located. The data was also summarized during the introductory lecture immediately following the opening of the conference. Błażej Błażejowski and Łukasz Weryński presented a summary of many years of research work from the Owadów-Brzezinki quarry on vertebrate and invertebrate fauna. The Owadów-Brzezinki Geopark has been established within the quarry.

Post-conference trips made it possible to present the Jurassic rocks of the edge of the Świętokrzyskie Mountains, which are intervening material for the reconstruction of the paleoenvironment and cyclicity of sedimentation. They contain unusual fossils, such as the dinosaur tracks discovered in Borkowice, or the perfectly preserved imprints of the soft tissues of marine organisms and insects known from the Owadów-Brzezinki site.

During the Jurassica XV conference, the group's new board was elected: Justyna Kowal-Kasprzyk (AGH); Marína Molčan Matejová (Comenius University in Bratislava) Blażej Blażejowski (Polish Academy of Sciences), Tomáš Potročný (AGH). The next meeting of the Jurassic Group will be held in Slovakia in 2024.

Text: Hubert Wierzbowski, Ewelina Krzyżak, Jolanta Iwańczuk