Geological cartography in Poland in the 19th century

Stanisław Wołkowicz, Krystyna Wołkowicz


The history of modern geological mapping in Poland began with the Carta Geologica totius Poloniae, Moldaviae, Transylvaniae, Hungariae et Valachiae by S. Staszic, often called the “father of Polish geology”. Before Staszic, a general map of Poland had been published by J.-E. Guettard (1764a); ones of the Sudety Mts. by J. Jirasek (1791), L. von Buch (1797), and Raumer (1813); and that of the Tatra Mts. by Hacquet (1796). In times of the partition of Poland (1772 to 1918), areas annexed by Prussia were covered by systematic geological surveys. These cartographic projects resulted in the compilation of two geological atlases comprising maps of the standard sheet type, in the period from 1826 to 1836. These atlases were compiled by teams of outstanding geologists, under the leadership of L. von Buch and F. Hoffmann. Another outstanding contribution to the geology of Poland was made by G.G. Pusch, the author of the excellent Geognostische Beschreibung von Polen (1833–1836), subsequently supplemented by Geognostyscher Atlas von Polen. One of the greatest achievements of L. Zejszner was the geological map of the Tatra Mts., Carte de la chaine du Tatra, published anonymously in Berlin in 1844, and a series of geological maps prepared as drafts of Geognostic maps of  the Eastern District of the Polish Kingdom. Special attention should be also paid to two extensive studies which covered areas of Upper and Lower Silesia. The first of these, Geognostische Karte von Oberschlesien und den Angrenzenden Gebieten, was completed by a team led by F. Roemer, and published in 1870. The second, Geologische Karte von dem Niederschlesischen Gebirge und den angrezenden gegenden, was compiled by a team led by R. von Carnall, and published in the same year. Out of all the studies carried out by Austrian geologists, it is necessary to mention those of E. Tietze, as they produced excellent geological maps of the Carpathians and vicinities of Kraków and Lviv. It is also worth mentioning the contributions made by the Physiographic Commission, active from 1866 until the beginning of the First World War. Its members decided to prepare the Geological Atlas of Galicia. The final product of works of this commission was a set of 25 booklets, with over a hundred geological maps at a scale 1:75000, issued in the years 1885–1912.  From 1881, the commission was also publishing its famous Physiographic Diaries, which include  papers on the geology of areas annexed by Russia, written by famous Polish geologists such as J. Siemiradzki, A. Michalski, and E. Habdank-Dunikowski, illustrated with relevant geological maps prepared by them.



Poland; historical maps; geological cartography

Full Text: