WNP/INoZ/2023_ZB01 - dr hab. Justyna Ciesielczuk, prof. UŚ
Name: Diastrophism and geohazards
Team leader: dr hab. Justyna Ciesielczuk, prof. UŚ
dr Anna Abramowicz
dr Krzysztof Gaidzik
dr Andrzej Tyc
prof. dr hab. Jerzy Żaba
Topic: Tectonic activity of orogenic zones. Thermal activity of coal-waste dumps.
The research, planned for three years, includes two main subjects:
(1) The tectonic activity in both existing and currently forming orogenic zones. The main objectives involve, particularly, seismic activity of fault zones and associated volcanic activity in the case of the Andes.
(2) The analysis and visualization of geological and environmental data in GIS systems and the time-spatial characteristics of the fire of coal mining waste dumps in the Silesian region and paleo-fires of coal seams.
WNP/INoZ/2023_ZB02 - dr hab. Małgorzata Nita, prof. UŚ
Team leader: dr hab. Małgorzata Nita, prof. UŚ
Topic: Quaternary vegetation transformations including environmental changes as well as human impact into the vegetation landscape in the Holocene.
The vegetation changes in the Quaternary resulting from the climate changes during Eemian Interglacial are going to be examined by the pollen analysis method. This research includes also the impact of human activity on the environment in the Holocen. The planned research tasks include mainly the Holocene vegetation transformations in the area of Niecka Włoszczowska, as a proper place to examine the human agricultural activity as well as the wetland ecosystem changes on the dune area of Niecka Włoszczowa over the last 100 years based on the map analysis, satellite images and the field research.
WNP/INoZ/2023_ZB03 - dr hab. Agnieszka Czajka
Team leader: dr hab. Agnieszka Czajka
Topic: Multifaceted effects of rive regulation and exploitation
The subject of my research focuses on the functioning of natural and regulated rivers. Reconstruction of the ways of a river’s adjustment to artificial conditions imposed by channel regulation allows to predict further changes in the river’s behavior. I study the evolution of river channel dynamics and river network system under anthropogenic conditions such as: channel regulation, flow volume regulation, sediment exploitation from riverbeds and floodplains, drastic changes in the catchment morphology. In my work to date, I have discussed the following topics:
degree of river channels stability,
influence of the regulation methods on channel morpho-dynamics,
impact of regulation on sediment transport methods,
ways and rate of overbank sedimentation,
The results of my research may be used to predict the direction of changes in river channel geometry and to assess its stability.
WNP/INoZ/2023_ZB04 - dr hab. Wojciech Dobiński, prof. UŚ
Team leader: dr hab. Wojciech Dobiński, prof. UŚ
dr Michał Glazer
Topic: Global extent of permafrost
The dominant issue in the work will be permafrost as the largest component of the Earth's cryosphere, along with its interaction with other icy components. The planned research studies are to be both global and regional in nature, and has comparative character, especially in a Euro-Asian context. The aim of the planned empirical work is to check whether the double-layer permafrost model can also occur in a continental climate environment. It is also planned to develop a broader synthesis concerning water as a three-phase substance, which may be essential for its proper understanding and for determining the correct research approach to the function it performs in the cryosphere and in general.
WNP/INoZ/2023_ZB05 - dr hab. Renata Dulias, prof. UŚ
Team leader: dr hab. Renata Dulias, prof. UŚ
Topic: Natural and anthropogenic determinants of aeolian processes in different climatic zones
The project concerns two aspects of aeolian geomorphology: 1) recognition of the degree of quartz grain abrasion as an indicator of the intensity and duration of aeolian processes, and 2) recognition of the stages of activation of aeolian processes caused by anthropopressure in Subboreal and Subatlantic periods. The first research task will be carried out based on samples of aeolian sands collected, among others, in the Negev Desert, Western Sahara and on the Atlantic coast of the Pyrenean Peninsula. Quartz grain abrasion will be determined by the Cailleux method. The results of the research, after statistical elaboration, will be the basis for a comparative analysis of aeolian areas with different environmental conditions. The second research task aims to correlate the phases of aeolian processes with the phases of anthropopressure on the environment of the Silesia-Cracow region. Supplementary studies of selected aeolian sites are planned, including, among others, sand sampling for laboratory analysis, including charcoal from fossil soils. Radiocarbon dating will be the basis for inference about the chronology of aeolian processes against the background of diverse anthropopressure. The research results will be published in journals from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education List (Poland).
WNP/INoZ/2023_ZB06 - dr hab. Małgorzata Falarz, prof. UŚ
Team leader: dr hab. Małgorzata Falarz, prof. UŚ
Topic: Centres of action of the atmosphere of the Northern Hemispere: changes, interactions, impact on the climatic conditions of Poland and Europe
The research envisaged is a continuation of analyses of long-term change, variability and teleconnections of the Northern Hemisphere atmospheric centers of action. The results obtained so far for both the Azores and Hawaiian High (Falarz 2019), provide a good motivation to broaden and refine research on changes in location and pressure in the main baric centers influencing the climatic conditions of the entire Northern Hemisphere. Among others, indices of movement direction of each center will be examined since the beginning of the 20th century. In the three-year study period, analyses of the “responses” of various climate elements in Poland and Europe to changes observed in the centres are also planned. The first attempts will be made to study the interaction of atmospheric activity centres and sea surface temperature. The results will contribute to explaining the causes and mechanisms of climate change in the Northern Hemisphere.
WNP/INoZ/2023_ZB07 - prof. dr hab. inż. Evgeny Galuskin
Name: New minerals in pyrometamorphic rocks
Team leader: prof. dr hab. inż. Evgeny Galuskin
Prof. dr hab. Irina Galuskina
dr Rafał Juroszek
dr Arkadiusz Krzątała
dr Dorota Środek
dr Kamila Banasik
mgr Katarzyna Skrzyńska (doktorant)
Topic: New minerals in pyrometamorphic rocks
The general research topic is “New minerals in pyrometamorphic rock ” and covers a number of specific projects, the main goal of which is the discovery and description of new and rare minerals.
These are the following projects:
1) “Arctite group minerals”: modular structures, crystal chemistry and potentially new minerals. Elaboration of the nomenclature and classification of minerals with the hexagonal antiperovskite structure”;
2) “New ferrites, aluminates and related minerals from pyrometamorphic rocks”;
3) “Potentially new zeolites and zeolite-like minerals from paralavas of the Hatrurim Complex”;
4) “New Ba and K sulfides from basalt-like rocks of the Hatrurim Complex”;
5) “Minerals of the mayenite group as indicators of genetic processes”;
6) “New low-temperature minerals in the rocks of the Hatrurim Complex”;
7) “New garnets from pyrometamorphic rocks”;
8) “Rare and new barium minerals from paralava of the Hatrurim Complex. “
9) “High-temperature transformations of phosphorites”
High-temperature rocks are from localities in Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Russia, Germany, Bulgaria and Northern Macedonia are the research objects. Rock samples collected during field work are intensively studied and new discoveries accompany our work. The scientific interests of our team correspond to the priority research areas of the University of Silesia (POB 5): “Research of the fundamental properties of nature”. The main result of the planned research will be expanding our knowledge about the composition of the Earth.
WNP/INoZ/2023_ZB08 - prof. dr hab. Aleksandra Gawęda
Name: Petrochronology and experimental petrology
Team leader: prof. dr hab. Aleksandra Gawęda
dr hab. Jerzy Cabała, prof.UŚ
dr Ashley Gumsley
dr Tomasz Krzykawski
dr hab. Krzysztof Szopa, prof. UŚ
dr Rafał Warchulski, prof. UŚ
dr inż. Hakim Rabia
mgr Krzysztof Kupczak (doktorant)
Topic: Chronology and petrochronology, as well as crystallization processes involving melts at the contact with host rocks/materials
The studies carried out by the research team include a wide spectrum of crystallization and melting processes, their effects, and the interaction of melts (natural and synthetic) with the surrounding rocks/materials. This includes the dating of geological and anthropogenic processes using standard and novel isotopic methods on various minerals.
The two main research sub-topics:
Chronology and petrochronology of rocks and there petrogenesis in the vicinity of the East European Platform (Brunovistulia, Proto-Carpathians, South-European terranes) from the Neoproterozoic to Neogene, and chronology of Mesoarchean to Neoproterozoic events in southern Africa which can be linked with large igneous provinces (LIPs), climate change and paleogeography.
Experimental investigation of pyrometallurgical slags and ceramics from southern Poland, as well as potentially toxic element (PTE) migration from slags and related wastes, to the natural environment; and finally, geochemical stability/instability of the pyrometallurgical wastes.
WNP/INoZ/2023_ZB09 - dr hab. Bogdan Gądek, prof. UŚ
Name: Cryosphere and Geoinformation
Team leader: dr hab. Bogdan Gądek, prof. UŚ
dr inż. Małgorzata Błaszczyk, prof. UŚ
dr Michał Ciepły
dr hab. Mariusz Grabiec, prof.UŚ
dr Dariusz Ignatiuk
prof. dr hab. Jacek Jania
dr Michał Laska
dr Elżbieta Łepkowska
dr Agnieszka Piechota
dr Bartłomiej Szypuła
dr Andrzej Tyc
mgr Barbara Barzycka
mgr Kamil Kachniarz (doktorant)
mgr Joanna Kajdas (doktorant)
mgr Aleksandra Osika (doktorant)
mgr Dawid Saferna (doktorant)
mgr Katarzyna Stachniak
mgr Mirosław Szumny (doktorant)
Topic: Assessment of climate change influence on the cryosphere and changes in the environment by means of geoinformatics.
The research aim of the team is an identification of present and past changes in the cryogenic environment of the Arctic, mountain regions and postglacial areas, as well as recognition of factors controlling them, in particular:
Recognition of factors determining changes in glacier’s dynamics, extent, thermal structure, mass balance, glacier zones, drainage system and intensity of frontal ablation;
Determination of trends in snow cover changes as well as their influence on the environment;
Recognition of processes in precipitation-runoff transformation in the Arctic’s catchments;
Recognition of influence of changes in high mountains’ cryosphere on slope and valley bottom morpho-dynamics and on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems;
Landform classification and recognition of relief development using digital elevation models and quantity analysis;
Recognition of the role of active faults in speleogenesis and morphogenesis of glaciated and postglacial areas in highlands and mountains;
Arctic and alpine permafrost research.
WNP/INoZ/2023_ZB10 - prof. dr hab. Janusz Janeczek
Name: Environmental mineralogy & geochemistry
Team leader: prof. dr hab. Janusz Janeczek
prof. dr hab. Monika Fabiańska
dr hab. Mariola Jabłońska, prof.UŚ
dr Tomasz Krzykawski
dr hab. Danuta Smołka-Danielowska, prof.UŚ
mgr Barbara Liszka
mgr inż. Mirosław Szczyrba
mgr Joanna Adamczyk (doktorant)
mgr Karolina Paszcza (doktorant)
Topic: Study of tropospheric air pollutants within the convective mixed layer, and their health and environmental impact.
Study of vertical and lateral dispersion of air pollutants using a hot-air balloon and mobile research laboratory aimed at validation of numerical models. Tropospheric dust radioactivity. Study of hazardous minerals and materials containing hazardous minerals (asbestos, radioactive waste, etc.). Investigation of minerals and rocks that may be used as geochemical barriers for immobilizing radioactive and potentially toxic metals.
WNP/INoZ/2023_ZB11 - dr hab. Iwona Jelonek, prof. UŚ
Name: Solid fuel quality control and environmental studies
Team leader: dr hab. Iwona Jelonek, prof. UŚ
dr inż. Agnieszka Drobniak
dr Zbigniew Jelonek
Topic: Creative studies of solid fuel tests and environmental samples
In the era of economic energy conversion from fossil fuels to renewable resources, despite of a phenomenon of CO2 reduction, both industry and the majority of scientists connected with the implementation of this new transformation towards the green economy, do not consider the outcomes of such changes to the environment. Due to a wide branch of RSE (photovoltaics, electro-mobility, wave and wind concentrating power), the research team will focus on aspects of solid fuels which are a product of industry specialising in biomass acquisition and processing (known as a biomass extracted as waste). In fact, this valuable raw material (woodchips, swaths etc.), is now unpredictably decomposing, and so the greenhouse effect increases. Fuels such as pellets and briquettes can be acquired from every available biomass, which is utilized in an unproductive manner up to almost 90 %. The research in this area is mainly concentrated towards creation of congruous fuel components as well as their incineration, measurement of waste gas pollution emission and quantiification of calorific values. The obtained fuels are modified in order to make green business simpler, and so as the water vapour, CO2 and methane emission are reduced under the level of the fossil fuels such as, e.g. natural gas. In order to maintain a high standard biomass research and their parameters such as gas emissions and basic compositions, the research team, aside from physical-chemical surveys, will apply an innovative evaluation method of the fuel material mentioned earlier. This consists of a petrographic method. The methodology is currently under validation studies (standards are development) in Poland and USA, and testing activities in the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom, Canada, China and India are ongoing.
WNP/INoZ/2023_ZB12 - dr Marta Kondracka
Team leader: dr Marta Kondracka
Topic: Environmental studies of land degradation caused by historical mining
Soil contamination with trace elements in the mining area still remains an urgent research problem due to their negative environmental impact that needs to be assessed. Despite the wide application of the geophysical methods in different environmental problems, it continually remains methodologically challenging in soil contamination near waste dumps of historical mining and in assessing the success of the conducted remediation processes.
The aims of my study are: to validate geophysical measurements for detecting soil contamination by trace elements in the vicinity of the mining waste dumps; to determine the extent of soil contamination; and to analyse the physical and chemical properties of the soils affected and connecting them with the measured geophysical parameters.
WNP/INoZ/2023_ZB13 - dr hab. Ewa Łupikasza, prof. UŚ
Name: Climate and Climate Change
Team leader: dr hab. Ewa Łupikasza, prof. UŚ
dr hab. Zuzanna Bielec-Bąkowska, prof.UŚ
dr Katarzyna Dąbrowska-Zapart
dr hab. Magdalena Opała-Owczarek, prof.UŚ
dr Quoc Bao Pham
dr Thi Thuy Linh Nguyen
dr Artur Widawski
mgr Tomasz Budzik
dr Łukasz Małarzewski
mgr Wojciech Pilorz (doktorant)
mgr Aleksandra Renc (doktorantka)
Topic: Climate change and variability in various spatial and temporal scales
Research of contemporary climate change based on instrumental data and reconstruction of climate conditions in the Arctic, Poland and Europe, with particular attention on atmospheric circulation, precipitation and air temperature. Three scientific projects are currently executed, including: 1. Reaction of snow and rain on current changes in air temperature and atmospheric circulation, 2. Spatio-temporal changes in atmospheric circulation over Europe and The Arctic, 3. The impact of climate conditions on the annual growth of Salix uva-ursi Pursh on the SE coast of Hudson Bay. Another research area is urban climate, particularly air temperature inversions. The team is also working on the relationships between radiation balance, weather conditions and air pollution, which is important in terms of current climate change.
WNP/INoZ/2023_ZB14 - dr hab. Dariusz Malczewski, prof. UŚ
Name: Natural and anthropogenic radioactivity in geospheres
Team leader: dr hab. Dariusz Malczewski, prof. UŚ
dr Maria Dziurowicz
prof. dr hab. Jerzy Żaba
Topic: Natural and anthropogenic radioactivity in geospheres
The research issues of the proposed team include topics related to measurement and interpretation of natural and anthropogenic radioactivity levels in: (1) rocks and soils of the Sudetes, (2) minerals from global locations, (3) waters and sands of the Baltic Sea coast, and (4) fluvial riverbeds of the Vistula River. As part of the activities of the proposed team, radon exhalation measurements in selected fault zones of the Sudetes are also planned. In particular, radioactivity measurements in rocks of the Kaczawa Mountains, as well as the Table Mountains, will be performed and published.
An important element of the project, as part of international cooperation, is research of the natural radioactivity in rocks from the medieval Jeronym Mine (Western Bohemia). The Jeronym Mine was recognized as a National Heritage Site of the Czech Republic. It is a medieval, historic mine, which mainly extracted tin, tungsten, silver, bismuth and uranium ore. Geological and geophysical surveys are currently being carried out at the Jeronym Mine to securely open this facility for tourism. As part of the submitted project, in-situ gamma-ray measurements of the natural radioactivity of sands from the measurement sites located along the entire shoreline of the Polish part of the Baltic coast will also be measured. In addition, the radioactivity of the Baltic coastal water samples from the same sites as for the measurement of sands will be determined. In this scope of research, the Vistula River sediments will also be measured. Another goal assumed for the project is to conduct tests for natural beta radioactivity from metamict minerals and rocks. A new beta scintillation probe will be used for testing. The results of these studies will be the basis for applying for external funding (from the National Science Centre, Poland) to implement a larger research project.
The measurements will be carried out in situ and in the laboratory using apparatus from the Laboratory of Natural Radioactivity (Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Silesia), consisting of: a GX4018 and GX3020 gamma-ray semiconductor detectors, a RAD7 radon detector and a gamma and beta scintillation probe.
WNP/INoZ/2023_ZB15 - prof. dr hab. Ireneusz Malik
Name: Reconstruction of environmental changes
Team leader: prof. dr hab. Ireneusz Malik
dr hab. Jolanta Burda, prof.UŚ
dr hab. Maria Fajer, prof.UŚ
dr hab. Tadeusz Molenda, prof.UŚ
dr hab. Maciej Waga
dr hab. Małgorzata Wistuba, prof.UŚ
dr hab. Krzysztof Wójcicki
dr Albert Ślęzak
dr Beata Woskowicz-Ślęzak
Topic: Environmental change reconstruction
We use a range of research methods to reconstruct environmental changes, including geomorphological, sedimentological, palaeobotanical, geochemical, and geophysical methods, dendrochronology, LiDAR data and GIS. We mainly study:
past activity of geomorphological processes,
landslide activity and triggering factors,
environmental record of human activity,
air pollution in the past and in the present.
Our reconstructions are the basis for early warning and protection systems against the adverse effects of environmental changes. We focus on mapping hazards and risks related to landslides, debris flows, avalanches and floods.
WNP/INoZ/2023_ZB16 - prof. dr hab. Leszek Marynowski
Name: Organic and Environmental Geochemistry Team (GOŚ)
Team leader: prof. dr hab. Leszek Marynowski
prof. dr hab. Monika Fabiańska
dr hab. Aniela Matuszewska
dr Adam Nadudvari
dr hab. Magdalena Misz-Kennan, prof. UŚ
dr Maciej Rybicki
dr Justyna Smolarek-Łach
dr Ewa Szram
mgr Magdalena Goryl
mgr Marzena Barczyk
mgr Dorota Staneczek (doktorant)
Topic: Genesis and occurrence of organic compounds in sedimentary rocks, anthropogenic wastes and products of caustobiolite combustion.
The team’s main scientific goal is to study immature organic matter from the Mesozoic and Cenozoic formations (from southern Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary), in the context of identifying rare and unknown organic compounds of biological origin (biomarkers and biomolecules). An important aspect of the research is to determine the genesis of such compounds, and their diagenetic transformations, from the starting compound (biomolecule) to the geochemical structure (biomarker). In addition, the purpose of the research is to obtain palaeoecological information based on the genesis and concentration of identified biomarkers. The research will also be conducted on objects of anthropogenic origin (post-mining dumps), where, in addition to the primary compounds found in coal and coal-bearing rocks, the entire spectrum of secondary compounds occurs. Due to self-heating of dumps in high temperatures, carcinogenic and mutagenic compounds (e.g., PAH, phenols, etc.) can formed and migrated. In addition, the team plans to conduct burn test studies and aqueous pyrolysis of immature organic matter. As a result of the experimental methods application, the presence of individual organic compounds and their transformations in the rocks and environment can be predicted.
WNP/INoZ/2023_ZB17 - dr Maciej Mendecki
Team leader: dr Maciej Mendecki
Topic: Natural and anthropogenic seismicity
The seismological research of the team covers analyses of seismic events occurring in the Upper Silesian Coal Basin (USCB), as well as, in the Pannonian-Carpathian region. The origin of seismic events is different for different areas, but seismic effects on the surface – always the same – cause a negative influence on the surface, infrastructure, nature and humans.
Research on natural seismicity will focus on the geodynamics of the USCB block in the context of tectonic influence from the Alps and the Carpathians. The subject of this seismological research is associated with the ongoing PACASE project and the planned AdriaArray. These projects are so-called passive seismic experiments based on ambient seismic noise or earthquake records which are in general the natural vibrations of the lithosphere. These records will be used to model three-dimensional layers deep in the Earth’s interior, the properties of anisotropy, the properties of elastic rocks, and to find boundaries of discontinuity. Results will show the geodynamics of Central Europe and minimize the effects of earthquakes. The seismic apparatus of the University of Silesia in Katowice is been involved in these seismic experiments. This infrastructure consists of a portable seismometric network which contains seven broadband seismometers with accessories.
Another topic, realized during seismological research, is the analysis of dynamic phenomena caused by mining. This research is focused on the estimation of mining tremor mechanisms, analysis of seismic event origin: induced or triggered. Moreover, an attempt to forecast strong high-energy phenomena will be also made. This prediction will be based on the assumption of a “critical-to-point model” which uses the study of the variability of the rate of release of seismic energy/Benioff strain/seismic moment before a strong tremor. Furthermore, in 2020 and the following years, it is planned to continue work on the effectiveness of torpedo blasting and further analysis of seismic hazard in the hard coal mines in the Upper Silesian Coal Basin.
WNP/INoZ/2023_ZB18 - dr hab. Urszula Myga-Piątek, prof. UŚ
Name: Landscape research team
Team leader: dr hab. Urszula Myga-Piątek, prof. UŚ
dr Michał Apollo
dr hab. Jerzy Nita
dr Katarzyna Pukowiec-Kurda
dr Michał Sobala
dr inż. Anna Żemła-Siesicka
Topic: Directions, dynamics and perspectives of transfomation of Polish landscapes in light of retrospective cartographic analyzes and monitoring of contemporary natural and socio-economic processes against the background of selected regions of the world.
Research problem: developing a landscape transformation model in regions under variable human pressure using own methods.
The research team aims to: a) internationalise studies results of landscape change analysis, b) obtain external financial resources for landscape studies.
Research assumptions: the research topic assumes the continuation of studies on the evolution and directions of transformation of various types of landscapes in Poland and selected regions of Europe and Asia. The research in following research approaches will be conducted: a) geosystem and geocomplex (structural) approach, b) architectural and landscape approach, c) cultural approach, d) functional approach, e) methodological approach.
According to the above aspects, different landscape types and subtypes distinguished based on the uniformity of the landscape background and morphological features will be analysed. Selected regions of Europe and Asia will be studied: flat landscapes – Liswarta Depression, hummocky landscapes – Moravia (Czech Republic), hilly landscapes – Cassubian Lakeland, Szczecin Coastland, upland landscapes – Silesian Upland, Częstochowa Upland, mountain landscapes – Western Carpathians, Paklenica, Velebit (Croatia), high mountain landscapes – Fann Mountains (Tajikistan), Himalayas (Nepal, India), valley and depression landscapes – Oświęcim Basin, Lonsko Polje (Croatia).
WNP/INoZ/2023_ZB19 - dr hab. Magdalena Opała-Owczarek, prof. UŚ
Team leader: dr hab. Magdalena Opała-Owczarek, prof. UŚ
dr hab. Ewa Łupikasza, prof. UŚ
mgr Mohit Phulara (doktorant)
Daniel Adamecki (student)
Topic: Reconstruction of climate changes in the last millennium based on growth rings of trees and shrubs in different climatic zones
The research includes reconstructions of climate changes in the pre-instrumental period based on dendroclimatological studies, particularly on high mountain and arctic areas and the Silesian region. The research planned for 2023 will be primarily related to the implementation of NCN research grants: on the reconstruction of climatic conditions in the Arctic based on historical botanical collections from European and American herbaria and the study of the contemporary response of tundra vegetation to climate change using multidisciplinary field and remote sensing studies. Specific research goals include the construction of multi-century growth-ring chronologies of arctic shrubs and dwarf shrubs from Greenland, Iceland and Spitsbergen, reconstruction of changes in the natural environment in the high mountains of Central Asia, identification of extreme years recorded in the wood anatomy, and analysis of the climatic signal recorded in the isotopic composition of alpha-cellulose and wood density. In addition, research issues include monitoring the natural environment of urbanised areas using dendroindication, especially in heavily degraded areas. An important element of research is also the dating of timber from historic buildings.
WNP/INoZ/2023_ZB20 - dr hab. Łukasz Pawlik, prof. UŚ
Name: Biomorphodynamics of Mountain Geoecosystems Research Team
Team leader: dr hab. Łukasz Pawlik, prof. UŚ
dr Albert Ślęzak
mgr Janusz Godziek – doktorant
Topic: Dynamics of biogeomorphological and weathering processes and their impact on the development of land relief at various spatial and temporal scales
Members of the Biomorphodynamics of Mountain Geoecosystems Research Team focus on the following scientific problems:
biomechanical and biochemical weathering of bedrock caused by tree roots, rhizospheric bacteria, and mycorrhizal fungi
geohazards in forested landscapes
hillslope biomorphodynamics within windthrow areas
impact of biogenic factors and geomorphology on forest ecosystems development in montane regions
studies of deep weathering profiles and their meaning in long-term landscape evolution.
We focus on factors and mechanisms responsible for the activity and effectiveness of biogeomorphic processes. These processes are initiated and modified by biotic agents (living organisms). The aim of our research is also an evaluation of the intensity of short- and long-term consequences of living organisms’ impact on the circulation of matter and energy on the hillslope, river valley, and channel geomorphic domains. The main processes under our investigation comprise bioweathering, biotransport, and bioaccumulation and related with it soil, ecological and biological processes.
WNP/INoZ/2023_ZB21 - prof. dr hab. Grzegorz Racki
Name: Evolution of the Biosphere and Global Events
Team leader: prof. dr hab. Grzegorz Racki
prof.. dr hab. Paweł Filipiak
dr Agnieszka Pisarzowska
dr hab. Michał Rakociński, prof. UŚ
mgr Marcelina Kondas (doktorant)
mgr Daria Książak (doktorant)
mgr Jakub Kucharczyk (doktorant)
mgr Zuzanna Wawrzyniak (doktorant)
Topic: The history of the Phanerozoic biosphere , with emphasis on global events and mass extinctions
Starting from the general principle “the present cannot be understood and the future cannot be predicted without a deep knowledge of the past”, the general research topics include the evolution of the biosphere in the Phanerozoic, with particular emphasis on crucial global events and mass extinctions. A more complete understanding of the conditions for the development of fossil biota will be based both on the systematics and paleoecology of selected groups of fossils, as well as on interdisciplinary studies of key successions in the biofacies, sedimentological and geochemical (both isotopes and trace elements) contexts.
Detailed research issues for 2020 mainly result from four recently finalized or ongoing grants dedicated to the Devonian deep-sea environments as a key to understanding global perturbations (headed by G. Racki), Early Devonian flora from the Holy Cross Mountains (P. Filipiak), environmental changes in Givetian and Frasnian sediments in the light of palynological and isotopic studies (M. Kondas), and affinities and environmental significance of the Middle Paleozoic carbonate microfossils (G. Racki). Additional research comprises, among others, Ordovician microflora from the Holy Cross Mountains, as well as the completion of the Ph.D thesis “Late Triassic flora of southern Poland” by Z. Wawrzyniak.
WNP/INoZ/2023_ZB22 - prof. dr hab. Oimahmad Rahmonov
Team leader: prof. dr hab. Oimahmad Rahmonov
dr Dorota Środek
Topic: Ecological and geochemical aspects of ecosystems changes.
The team’s research interests include issues related to understanding and determining the mechanism of relationships between vegetation and soil cover at different stages of ecosystems succession against biocenotic, pedogenic, geochemical, paleopedological, paleobotanic and paleoecological changes, which occurs in soil under the influence of natural and anthropogenic factors. The research involves the influx of macro- and microelements in the soil-vegetation system, determining the course of geochemical and mineralogical changes in mineral and organic soils, environmental conditions leading to the formation of soil and algae crust soil in sandy areas and their impact on the formation of initial soils and elements release to the pedosphere and the role of primary and secondary minerals in soil processes at its initial development stage. The research is conducted in natural ecosystems (juniper forest of the western Pamir – Alay massif, Fans Mountains, Tajikistan) and transformed grounds (southern Poland). The result of the research will be the expansion of knowledge of the functioning of ecological systems in various climatic conditions in the contemporary and historical aspect and their ecosystem services. The results can be used in the ecosystem plans (for forests, peat bogs), spatial development and in the next editions of the Polish Soil Systematics.
WNP/INoZ/2023_ZB23 - dr Sławomir Sitek
Name: Groundwater under human impact
Team leader: dr Sławomir Sitek
mgr Kinga Ślósarczyk
mgr Krzysztof Janik (doktorant)
Topic: Evolution of groundwater resources and quality under the influence of environmental and climate change in selected study areas.
The research problems include issues related to the quantitative and qualitative characteristics of: 1) regional and local groundwater systems, 2) zones of interaction between groundwater and surface water, and 3) groundwater well fields using methods of managed aquifer recharge.
The studies carried out on a regional basis relate to the identification of hydrodynamic and hydrochemical factors and processes responsible for the formation of groundwater resources and the interpretation of risks associated with the impact of environmental and climatic changes on groundwater. Research in the local perspective focuses mainly on investigating the functioning of well fields, including sites using methods of managed aquifer recharge (MAR). The objectives of this research are to optimise the operation of these sites, to identify risks associated with the supply of water of adequate quantity and quality to the well fields, and to forecast potential changes associated with climate change or other anthropogenic environmental hazards.
The main research methods include: 1) field studies related to the design and performance of continuous monitoring of selected physicochemical parameters of groundwater and surface water, as well as the sampling of water and soils for hydrogeochemical studies with particular emphasis on studies of emerging contaminants and isotopic studies, 2) model studies, including recognition of the current state of aquifer systems and performance of predictive simulations on hydrogeological and/or hydrological models, 3) methods of digital hydrogeological cartography in a GIS environment, 4) analysis of the risk and vulnerability of groundwater to contamination in MAR areas.
WNP/INoZ/2023_ZB24 - dr hab. Marek Ruman, prof. UŚ
Team leader: dr hab. Marek Ruman, prof. UŚ
Topic: Processes shaping water quality in different climate zones in the context of local and global spreading of pollution
Environmental pollution is a global problem that finds particular reflection in hydrology by changing the quality of circulating waters. The study of environmental pollution is also a tool for studying physical and chemical processes occurring in hydrology (marker function).
Factors affecting the state of the environment include geographical location and local physical and geographical conditions, as well as the presence of sources of pollution within and outside it. Considered issues of the spread of pollution require an interdisciplinary approach and consideration of multi-faceted processes. The goal of the study will be to identify processes that significantly change the water quality of areas located in different places and the interactions between them. During the conducted research, selected methods and techniques will be used to thoroughly examine the environment in terms of water quality. This is one of the first studies of this type of multi-faceted topic on the spatial scale.
WNP/INoZ/2023_ZB25 - prof. dr hab. Mariusz Rzętała
Name: Hydrology and water management
Team leader: prof. dr hab. Mariusz Rzętała
dr Robert Machowski
dr hab. Martyna Rzętała, prof.UŚ
dr Maksymilian Solarski
Topic: Trend of changes in hydrological conditions and water management in areas with varying degrees of anthropogenic transformation
The purpose of research carried out in the hydrology and water management team is to assess natural and anthropogenic changes in the aquatic environment, in particular – surface waters. The main directions of research include: (a) assessment of changes in the quantity and quality of water in industrialised and urbanised areas (e.g., changes in the small water cycle, building of so-called small retention, high and low waters, water quality), (b) assessment of the functioning of lakes and water bodies in conditions of varied anthropogenic pressure using as a case study selected limnic processes (e.g., water exchange, thermal and oxygen conditions, ice phenomena, eutrophication, alkalisation, bottom sediments), (c) assessment of the presence of toxic metals in the bottom sediments of aquatic ecosystems, (d) assessment of land and water management in areas of varying degrees of anthropogenic pressure (hypsometric changes, land management, occurrence and management of water). Field work is carried out in Poland and abroad. The obtained research results are of cognitive, methodical and application significance, e.g., in the development of land reclamation concepts, environmental impact assessments and optimisation of the management of water bodies.
WNP/INoZ/2023_ZB26 - prof. dr hab. Mariusz Salamon
Name: Axonomy, ecology and evolution of daylilies (Crinoidea)
Team leader: prof. dr hab. Mariusz Salamon
Topic: Charakteryzacja taksonomiczna i paleoekologiczna liliowców.
In the near future it is planned to characterize, taxonomically and paleoecologically, crinoids (Crinoidea, Echinodermata) of the Czech Republic (Jurassic and Cretaceous; Outer Carpathians) and Ukraine (Jurassic and Cretaceous; the Carpathian Foredeep). It is also planned to start taxonomic observations of Early Carboniferous crinoids of Poland. So far, only Carboniferous columnals/pluricolumnals from southern Poland have been characterized. The author of this project has several complete forms and plans to acquire more. Parallel to the above, research on the body size changes of Palaeozoic crinoids on a macro-evolutionary scale will be conducted. If it turns out that crinoids have changed their size, an attempt will be made to answer the question whether the size trend (depending on what will be observed), resulted from neutral evolutionary drift or rather was induced by active selection. Particular emphasis will be placed on the Ordovician/Silurian and the Middle Permian. The author of the application considers the research of modern crinoids that will be observed in their natural environment in the Caribbean Sea. On the one hand, the research initiated by Prof. Baumiller describing the predator-prey interactions will be continuing, and on the other hand, it is planned to study the traces left on the bottom surface by the crinoids. This image will be supplemented with fossil data, which are partly already in the applicant’s possession.
WNP/INoZ/2023_ZB27 - dr hab. Tomasz Salamon, prof. UŚ
Team leader: dr hab. Tomasz Salamon, prof. UŚ
Topic: Sedimentological record of environmental changes in the Pleistocene
The main goal of the project is the reconstruction of various sedimentary environments existing in the Pleistocene, especially during the development and decay of glaciations. It will allow us to recognize the conditions for the development of these environments and the main factors determining their nature. One of the most important factors was climate characterized by a very large amplitude of cyclical fluctuations. Therefore, the study of the sedimentary succession recording environmental changes in the Pleistocene allows not only a detailed understanding of the nature of the sedimentary environments themselves, but in the longer time perspective, also provides the possibility of a more complete understanding of the relationships that exist between the lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere, which seems particularly important in the light of observed current and predicted climate changes. The topic being implemented includes a number of more specific research objectives, such as: Geological record of the development of subglacial drainage as a result of catastrophic flood flows; Research on glacial sediments in the light of the dynamics of the Scandinavian Ice Sheet; Specificity of outwash plain development in north-eastern Poland; Pleistocene river evolution.
WNP/INoZ/2023_ZB28 - dr hab. Beata Smieja-Król, prof. UŚ
Team leader: dr hab. Beata Smieja-Król, prof. UŚ
Topic: Mineralogy and geochemistry of peatlands
Geogenic and anthropogenic dust deposition in peatlands. Characterization of inorganic particles in peat and their application in tracking past pollution sources, mainly from large-scale fossil fuel combustion. Peatland biogeochemistry and seasonal variations in trace metals cycling. Biogenic metal sulfide formation in polluted peatlands.
WNP/INoZ/2023_ZB29 - dr Joanna Szafraniec
Team leader: dr Joanna Szafraniec
Topic: Glacier surges and glacial floods – the rate and characteristics of deglaciation of contemporary and former glaciated areas (in the light of geomorphological and geospatial analyses)
Glacier surges and the accompanying floods are violent phenomena concerning glaciers and their forefields occurring today (e.g., Spitsbergen, Iceland) and at the end of the Pleistocene (e.g., in the Polish Lowland). They intensify especially during periods of global warming, when an intensive recession of glaciers progresses, and thus the deglaciation processes. In addition, the relief of the area as an important local factor is considered forcing the nature of the ice cover and the evolution of the glacial drainage system.
determining the impact of the dynamics of Spitsbergen glaciers on the relief of marginal zones and its changes during the deglaciation period;
studying the morphometry of the frontal zone of tidewater from Spitsbergen glaciers to predict the phenomenon of glacier surge;
determination of the influence of morphometry of the Spitsbergen valleys on the nature of ice cover and deglaciation processes;
estimation of the melting rate of the buried blocks of dead glacial ice, detached from the glacier edge during the glacier floods in Pomerania in the light of similar studies for Icelandic forms.
WNP/INoZ/2023_ZB30 - dr Jacek Szczygieł, prof. UŚ
Team leader: dr Jacek Szczygieł, prof. UŚ
Topic: Tectonic and geomorphological processes research based on the analysis and dating of cave deposits
Caves, as an environment shielded from external erosive factors, favor the preservation of sediments and structures resulting from processes after which traces on the surface have been obliterated. This is particularly important in the mountains, where the last glacier has eroded the marks left by previous ones. An additional advantage of the caves are deposits which are perfectly suited for dating. For precipitates, U-series dating has a resolvable age range of up to 550 ka. The cosmogenic nuclide method (10Be and 26Al) allows us to constrain the burial age of clastic sediments that can be determined between 0.3 and 5 Ma. Combining these two cave assets (preservation potential and dating), I investigate tectonic processes (such as quaternary fault activity, paleoseismology, uplift rate) and geomorphology (gravitational processes, the valley incision rate in mountainous areas in response to Quaternary climate change).
WNP/INoZ/2023_ZB31 - dr Eligiusz Szełęg
Team leader: dr Eligiusz Szełęg
Topic: Research on rare, critical and ore minerals with particular emphasis on pegmatite minerals
The main objects of my research are Nb, Ta, Sc, Y, rare earth elements (REE), U, Th, Sn, Ti, Zr, Cs, Li, Be minerals of granite pegmatites from the Sudetes area and their surrounding vicinity (Góry Sowie block, Strzegom-Sobótka massif, Karkonosze massif). Since 2008, I am also part of the research team headed by Prof. Adam Pieczka (AGH, Kraków), which also includes scientists from Wrocław and Warsaw universities. We began our cooperation with research on pegmatites from the amphibolite and migmatite mine in Piława Górna.
In addition, I deal with the use of ore microscopy and scanning microscopy in the study of critical element deposits, mainly REE (Lugin Gol, Mongolia) and Co (Przecznica, Poland).
I also deal with topomineralogy and collecting of Polish minerals.
WNP/INoZ/2023_ZB32 - prof. dr hab. Lesław Teper
Name: Geology of ore deposits and mining and post-mining areas
Team leader: prof. dr hab. Lesław Teper
dr hab. Jerzy Cabała, prof.UŚ
dr hab. Sławomir Kędzior, prof.UŚ
dr Katarzyna Sutkowska
mgr Marcin Dreger (doktorant)
mgr Dariusz Nawrocki (doktorant)
Topic: Mining and post-mining areas – space of threats and opportunities
Relationships between hazards (seismicity, methane emission, heavy metal migration in soils and sediments resulting in contamination), and both geogenic and anthropogenic processes will be laid down in the areas of long-lasting coal and ore mining and processing.
Structural, tectonic and seismotectonic analyses will be performed. Spatial distribution of methane content and temporal distribution of gas emission will be assessed. Heavy metal behaviour will be traced using XRD, SEM-EDS, AAS, ICP-MS, EPMA and MC-ICP-MS (isotope fractionation) methods.
Tectonophysical results open up opportunities for more effective protection against seismicity related risks. A reliable account of methane-bearing capacity may stimulate activities aimed at reducing gas emission to the atmosphere and alternative use of coal-seam related hydrocarbons. Establishing characteristics and distribution of pollutants enable spatiotemporal source apportionment.
WNP/INoZ/2023_ZB33 - dr hab. Dominika Dąbrowska, prof. UŚ
Name: Risk and protection of the soil and water environment
Team leader: dr hab. Dominika Dąbrowska, prof. UŚ
dr Sabina Jakóbczyk-Karpierz
dr hab. inż. Jacek Różkowski, prof. UŚ
dr inż. Marek Sołtysiak
prof. dr hab. Andrzej Witkowski
mgr Kinga Ślósarczyk
mgr inż. Wojciech Rykała (doktorant)
Topic: Qualitative and quantitative research on groundwater and its protection
Determining resources and groundwater management, among others, in urban and industrial areas
Hydrogeological cartography and regional hydrogeological studies
Groundwater vulnerability to anthropogenic and geogenic pollution stimulated by anthropopressure and assessment of their risk degree from various pollution sources.
Protection and qualitative and quantitative monitoring of groundwater in the Upper Silesia region and its peripheries, with particular emphasis on fracture-karst aquifers. The use of artificial intelligence to analyze monitoring data
Multi-scale pollutant leaching studies (static, dynamic and lysimeter research)
Groundwater flow and pollution migration modeling.
Research on the environmental effects of using industrial waste in remediation work.
The study of the chemical composition and assessment of groundwater quality.
Research on the occurrence and sources of so-called emerging contaminants in groundwater and their migration in the soil and water environment.
Assessment of geological and engineering conditions in selected areas in the Upper Silesia region and its periphery.
WNP/INoZ/2023_ZB34 - prof. dr hab. Michał Zatoń
Name: Paleoecology and Taphonomy
Team leader: prof. dr hab. Michał Zatoń
dr Grzegorz Sadlok
dr Dawid Surmik
dr Tomasz Wrzołek
mgr Jakub Słowiński (doktorant)
Topic: Paleobiology of marine and terrestrial ecosystems
Our research group is interested in wide aspects of paleobiology. Although paleoecology and taphonomy are leading themes, we deal with systematic paleontology and ichnology (trace fossils) as well, also in the paleoenvironmental context. Our specialities are:
1) paleoecological and systematic research of hard substrate biotas and their symbiotic relationships (Michał Zatoń, Tomasz Wrzołek, Jakub Słowiński);
2) systematics and taphonomy of Paleozoic arthropods (Krzysztof Broda, Michał Zatoń);
3) systematic paleontology of the rugose corals (Tomasz Wrzołek);
4) Mesozoic sedentary polychaetes (Jakub Słowiński);
5) ethological, taphonomic and paleoenvironmental analysis based on marine and terrestrial trace fossils (Grzegorz Sadlok);
6) taxonomy, paleopathology and taphonomy (including molecular) of fossil vertebrates (Dawid Surmik).
WNP/INoZ/2023_ZB35 - dr inż. Magdalena Zielińska
Team leader: dr inż. Magdalena Zielińska
Topic: Thermal maturity of flysch sediments of the Grajcarka unit (Pieniny Klippen Belt, Poland)
The intricate geological structure of the Grajcarek Unit’s succession causes a variety of its interpretations in the context of the tectonic structure. The Grajcarek Unit is described as an oceanic suture zone, a flower structure associated with oblique-slip faults between the Magura Unit and the PKB (Pieniny Klippen Belt), or as a group of tectonic windows of the Magura unit within the PKB. The thermal maturity analyzes and erosion calculations of the Grajcarek flysch succession can be used to obtain the dynamics of development of the southern part of the external Carpathian sedimentary basin and help to solve the complexity of the structural interpretation of Grajcarek Unit.
The tasks are planned in two stages. The first stage is covered by field work in Czorsztyn – Szczawnica-Jaworki area, to collect about 40-50 samples from the following Jurassic-Cretaceous lithostratigraphic formations: the Skrzypny Formation (Fm), Szlachtowa Fm, Opaleniec Fm and the Kapuśnica Fm.
The second stage includes the analytical research such as: vitrinite reflectance (VR) measurements, the quality and quantitative determination of organic matter maceral composition, as well as comparative assessment of the Tmax burial and calculation of maximum erosion values using both Tmax and geothermal gradient.
WNP/INoZ/2023_ZB36 - dr hab. Bogdan Żogała
Team leader: dr hab. Bogdan Żogała
prof. dr hab. Adam Idziak
dr inż. Krzysztof Jochymczyk
dr Jolanta Pierwoła
dr hab. Prof. UŚ Iwona Stan-Kłeczek
mgr Przemysław Romański (doktorant)
Topic: Geophysical surveys of geohazards
The scope of conducted research concerns geohazards occurring in a shallow geological base, including those resulting from mining exploitation.
Shallow geophysical reconnaissance connected with geodetic measurements allows us to study, among others areas designated for investment, including the detection and monitoring of landslide threats, the location of voids and zones of rock mass relaxation of both natural (karst) and anthropogenic (mining) origin, as well as for the identification of aquifers and the location of contamination. The diagnosis will be carried out by geoelectric, electromagnetic and seismic methods.
One of the significant negative impacts on the environment is the occurrence of seismicity in mining areas. To this day, the genesis of the strongest shocks and their connections with geology and mining has not been clearly explained. It is now recognized that induced seismicity is associated with two mechanisms that are reflected in bimodality of shock energy distributions. Low-energy seismic phenomena are considered a direct result of mining activities, while high-energy phenomena indicate the relationship of seismicity with the geological structure. The planned research will shed new light on the questions posed and resolve some of the controversies regarding the causes of strong shocks.
The established research team has extensive experience in the presented field of research, documented by publications and cooperation with other scientific and research centers as well as industry. The research will be conducted in cooperation with the Central Mining Institute, KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. and the Institute of Geonica of the Czech Academy of Sciences.
WNP/INoZ/2023_ZB37 - dr hab. Damian Absalon, prof. UŚ
Team leader: dr hab. Damian Absalon, prof. UŚ
dr hab. Magdalena Matysik
mgr Radosław Droździoł doktorant
mgr Natalia Janczewska doktorantka
mgr Łukasz Pieron doktorant
Topic: Hydrosphere - hydrology and water management under varied anthropopression and climate change.
The team conducts research in several areas, including:
- changes in runoff and water quality under strong and varied anthropopression ;
- changes in runoff and water quality caused by mining activities;
- extreme hydrological events and their environmental consequences;
- opportunities for the use of anthropogenic reservoirs for climate change mitigation;
- floods and droughts,
- causes and consequences of a dam and reservoir decommissioning in Poland and worldwide;
- development of a methodology for the numerical assessment of the impact of projects on the surface water environment at the level of quality indicators for qualifying elements based on mathematical models,
- modern methods for monitoring precipitation and water quantity and quality in terms of environmental risk and human safety,
- developing a methodology for an inventory of inland surface waters using remote sensing methods and GIS tools.
WNP/INoZ/2023_ZB38 - dr hab. Artur Szymczyk
Team leader: dr hab. Artur Szymczyk
Topic: Holocene evolution of lake-peatland ecosystems with special emphasis on human-environment interaction.
Research topics include issues related to learning about environmental changes during the Holocene, their mechanisms, and understanding the dynamics of human-environment interaction. The research mainly concerns: the mechanisms of changes taking place in lake and peat bog ecosystems and the surrounding environment, the assessment of the role of both natural (climate change) and anthropogenic (settlement, changes in farming, peat exploitation, melioration) factors in these changes, the conditions of peat accumulation and assessment of changes taking place in wetlands in the historical aspect as well as their threats and possibilities of restitution. The following research tasks will be carried out: 1) Environmental changes in the ecosystems of peat bogs and dune-bog complexes of the Włoszczowa Basin in the time horizon of the Late Vistulian and Holocene. 2) Conditions of peat accumulation in the upper Vistula's catchment area and vegetation evolution in Holocene environmental changes. 3) Changes in the depression wetlands and landscape in the dune areas of the Włoszczowska Basin in the perspective of the last 100 years. The research will be conducted mainly in Southern Poland, using, among others, the analysis of plant macroremains, and will have both cognitive and application significance.
WNP/INoZ/2023_ZB39 - mgr Sylwia Skreczko
Team leader: mgr Sylwia Skreczko
Topic: Record of climatic changes in Holocene organic deposits and modern alluvial sediments.
Research issues include topic related to the reconstruction of climate and environmental changes, primarily in the Holocene, as well as learning about their mechanisms and tracing the variability of human-environment relations in this period. Climate change also affects the composition of modern bottom sediments, so geochemical studies have been planned to assess the intensity of chemical weathering.
Sediments accumulated on the bottom of river channels are represented by autochthonous material origin (goethite and fluoroapatite precipitating from the water, as well as plant and animal remains)and allochthonous (products of erosion and weathering of catchment rocks). Moreover, important components of sediments in urbanized areas are persistent organic pollutants (POPs), inorganic pollutants, and heavy metals. The weathering process, especially chemical weathering, is of great importance for activating, migrating, and accumulating elements in surface environments.
The research will focus on four issues: 1) changes in peatland ecosystems and the surrounding environment; 2) determining the role of natural (climate change, increased fluvial activity of rivers in southern Poland) and anthropogenic (settlement) factors in the process of change; 3) reflecting the intensity of chemical weathering using chemical weathering indicators; 4) an attempt at correlation and broader interpretation of the record of climatic changes in organic sediments of southern Poland and modern river sediments from different regions of the country.