The Institute of Earth Sciences specializes in multifaceted studies of inanimate nature and the environment covering all components of the Earth system as well as processes occurring in it. We carry out basic research aiming at explanation of processes occurring on the surface and inside the Earth, as well as application research focused on solving contemporary problems related to the functioning of the environment. We offer the opportunity to conduct research in the broadly understood geology, geomorphology, hydrology, hydrogeology, climatology and glaciology. Our distinguishing features are interdisciplinary research aimed at explaining global ecosystem changes in the history of the Earth, evolution of the Earth’s lithosphere, and polar research in all their cognitive aspects. The Faculty boasts a very high quality of R&D and education – Category A according to the parametrisation of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education (2013 and 2020) and had the status of a Leading National Research Centre.
The subject of the proposed research is Coal-derived carbon influx in contaminated soils and sediments in industrialized areas across Silesia. Within the cooperation, samples of soils and waste rocks from various locations within Silesia will be collected. The aim will be to determine the amount and type of organic matter in soils and various types of waste rocks in relation to different type of previous industrial activity. The applied methods of investigation will include among others optical microscopy, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, determination of element content. The research will help to understand the processes that lead to alteration of the soils and rocks and allow applying the appropriate methods for their management.
The “Cryosphere and Geoinformation” research team in cooperation with the Centre for Polar Studies offer collaboration in the studies of the Arctic and high mountain environments. The team is currently conducting advanced studies on:
- understanding the conditions determining changes glaciers’ dynamics, extent, thermal structure, mass balance, glacial zones, drainage system and calving intensity (focusing on Svalbard);
- determining trends of changes in the snow cover properties and its environmental effects;
- recognition of rainfall-runoff transformation processes in Arctic catchments;
recognition and age determination of permafrost in mountain and Arctic environments;
geomorphological studies in periglacial areas including landforms evolution;
- recognition of the impact of changes in the high mountain cryosphere on the morphodynamics of slopes and valleys, and on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems;
- digital adaptation of geomorphological maps, studies on digital elevation models, geomorphological classification and recognition of the landforms development by quantitative methods;
- recognition of the role of active fault zones in speleogenesis and morphogenesis of glaciated and postglacial areas.
The above studies are based on geoinformation technologies and spatial data obtained in situ using geophysical, geochemical, geodetic, photogrammetric, remote sensing and GIS methods.