Osiągnięcia Instytutu Geologicznego w zakresie poznania budowy geologicznej Polski i poszukiwań złóż surowców mineralnych

Roman Osika





The activity of the Geological Institute may be subdivided into three periods: from 1919 to 1939, from 1939 to 1944, and from 1945 to the present day.
1. The period from 1919 to 1939 corresponds to the time of organization of geological survey backward owing to the fact that the territories of Poland were for more than 150 years under the foreign domination, and the western territory came back to Poland only after the World War II. During the period here considered a uniform reconnaissance geological survey was made for the entire area of Poland, most investigations being concentrated in the regions of the Świętokrzyskie Mountains, Upper Silesian Coal Basin and Carpathians. As a result of these works some sheets of the detailed geological map of Poland were published on a scale 1: 100 000 for the area of the Carpathians, Silesian Coal Basin and Świętokrzyskie Mauntains, and the map of mineral resources of Poland was issued on a scale 1: 750 000. As concerns search for mineral raw materials a deposit of iron ores was discovered at Rudki and a deposit of phosphorites at Rachów.
2. In the years 1939–1944, the activity and development of the Geological Institute was set back by the Nazi occupation. Geological collections and buildings were devasted and numerous prominent geologists were murdered.
3. After the World War II, thanks to the assistance of the Party and the Government of the Polish Peoples Republic, the activity of the Geological Institute revived. The extent and scope of works rapidly increased, geological staff raised, and financial means increased each year so that in 1952 the geological researches and prospections were carried en in all possible directions, according to the requirements of the developing national economy. The most intense development of the Geological Institute, however, was noted in 1953, i.e. since the moment of the establishment of the Central Office of Geology that included also the Geological Institute. Geological researches were part of the national economical plan, the Institute disposed of adequate staff of geologists, laboratories were equipped with modern instruments, and considerable financial means were at the disposal of the Geological Institute. At Kielce, Cracow, Sosnowiec and Wrocław, the branches of the Geological Institute were extended and their tasks comprised the investigations of geological problems in the individual regions of the country.
The period from 1953 to 1967 is distinguished by the greatest development of the researches ·of the geological structure of Poland, and by considerable discoveries of mineral deposits.


The achievements of the Geological Institute may be observed in all trends of the geological sciences, i.e. in the fundamental researches, geophysics, regional investigations, prospectings, in hydrogeological and engineering-geological examinations, as well as in information, documentation and publications.
1. In the domain of the fundamental researches including geological surveys, stratigraphical examinations, petrography, lithology, sedimentology, mineralogy, geochemistry, palaeogeography and tectonics, notable progress may be observed. The results of the researches guarantee the right development of the prospections for oil and .gas and other mineral deposits, as well as hydrogeological and engineering-geological examinations. The level of these researches do not differ greatly from the researchers conducted in other countries referred to the leaders in this domain.
2. Geophysical surveys are carried on using all methods, and the achievements completely cover the demands as concerns the reconnaissance of the deep geological structure of the country and the search for mineral deposits. Magnetic and gravimetric maps on the scale 1: 2 000 000, 1: 1 000 000 and 1: 300 000 were elaborated by the Geological Institute for the entire area of the country, some sheets of the detailed maps being also prepared.
Intense geoelectrical investigations are made by means of various methods mainly in connection with the prospections of the deposits situated in shallow zones and in deep zones (telluric method). To recognize the deep geological structure of the country, several thousands of seismic profiles were made by the Geological Institute by means of reflexion and refraction methods.
3. As to the regional researches concerning the deep geological structure in terms of oil and gas deposits, the works are concentrated within the areas of Alpine type, i.e. in the Carpathians and the Carpathian Foredeep, particularly, however, in the platform areas.
Drillings were made parallelly to the fundamental and geophysical researches. Location of the deep bore holes made for this purpose by the Geological Institute in 1963–1967 is illustrated in Fig. 2. With the aid of these researches a series of regional geological units of the first, second and third order were distinguished and over 450 local geological structures promising in search for bitumens were discovered in the platform area. Numerous bore holes show the presence of oil and gas, particularly in the Devonian, Carboniferous, Permian, Jurassic and Cretaceous formations.
4. As a result of searching for stable mineral deposits, some tens of these deposits were discovered and documented in the category C2 (Fig. 3), characterized by the total resources amounting to over 63 milliards tons. For this purpose, several thousand metres of drillings were performed. Fig. 4 presents the amounts of metres of drillings and their costs for the individual mineral raw materials. For comparison, there are presented also the drillings made for the regional and cartographical surveys.
The part of the individual mineral raw materials in the total increase of the reserves discovered and documented by the Geological Institute is illustrated in Fig. 5. The increase in the reserves of mineral raw materials in the last fifteen years is presented in Fig. 6. Beside the large salt deposits occurring in the Ziechstein formations, hard coal of the Upper Carboniferous, and brown coal of the Miocene formations, also sulphur deposits in the Tortonian formations of the Carpathian Foredeep, copper deposits in the Lower Zechstein formations in the Fore-Sudetic monocline, and zinc-lead deposits in the Triassic carbonate formations within the Silesian-Cracow area are worthy of being stressed here. These no doubt are of world-wide importance. Moreover, recently also an interesting deposit of palyhalites was discovered in the Zechstein formations in the Pomeranian areas, and a new coal basin was found to occur in the Upper Carboniferous formations in the Lublin region.
5. As concerns hydrogeological and engineering-geological researches, regional studies were made throughout the entire area of Poland. As a result of these studies numerous maps were published, and a series of examinations were made for the industrial objects being constructed, and for newly discovered deposits.
Fig. 7. Presents areas and more important objects investigated from the hydrogeological and engineering-geological points of view.
6. Archives with geological documents and those with geological collections, as well as quantities of published text and cartographical elaborations considerably increased (Fig. 8). The Geological Institute has published more than 220 Bulletis including in them 17 specialistic branches of study. Moreover, in Prace there are published papers of monographic character. “Kwartalnik Geologiczny” (Geological quarterly) includes recent results of the geological researches, and geological bibliography of Poland appears once a year. As far as cartographical publications are concerned, numerous serial, regional, general and detailed maps were issued. After the World War II, the Geological Institute published about 600 titles of maps, i.e. more than 1200 sheets, and about 480 volumes, i.e. over 1800 papers. At present, the text publications are thought to correspond to about 8255 sheets.
The Geological Institute exchange its publications with over 500 institutions abroad and 80 in the country. The library of the Geological Institute comprises over 145 000 volumes, among them 50 000 books and 95 000 periodicals. The Geological Institute is the greatest geological scientific-research centre in Poland with its 1060 persons, including 480 scientific workers and 400 engineering-technical employees.



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