News archive

News older than one year.

Cooksonia barrandei – the oldest known terrestrial vascular plant

Cooksonia barrandei, the oldest known (432 million years old) terrestrial vascular plant, was described by a team of authors including Milan Libertín, Jiří Bek and Petr Štorch of the Institute of Geology of the Czech Academy of Sciences. The paper was published in the scientific journal Nature Plants (IF 10.300). For more details see the original paper or an article of the popular scientific journal Vesmír supplemented by a video (in Czech).

Study of Permian plant Pompeii in Wuda, Inner Mongolia, China

Two scientists of the Institute, Jiří Bek and Jana Frojdová, participated in the research of flora of „Pompeii in Wuda“ in November 2017. Uncovering of the Permian tropical forest was made special by frosty temperatures of minus ten degrees Celsius during the excavations. The difficult weather conditions were rewarded by the discovery of various species of ferns, sphenopsids, primitive conifers and also rare genera of Pterophyllum and Tingia. These Permian plants were studied by our scientists in the depository of Chinese Academy of Sciences in Nanjing. Now, they are processed in detail at the Institute of Geology CAS.

Not only a small experimental catchment suffered a loss

In preparations for the next field sampling at a reference site, which has been monitored for more than 25 years, we received a sad news about our colleague. Assoc. Prof. Petr Skřivan who started the monitoring of the Lesní potok catchment will not join us. We will miss Petr’s attitude, his great knowledge and merry nature. The coming field sampling campaign will be sad for us but we will be thinking of Petr this time and at all future occasions.

Lithium economy - what are the benefits?

Lithium is currently one of the most often discussed raw materials for modern technologies. Efficient storage and conversion of energy from solar and wind power plants, as well as promotion of electromobility will increase the demand for Li batteries. The Bohemian Massif represents a positive geological Li anomaly within Europe and contains the largest potential Li sources within the European Union - the Cínovec/Zinnwald deposit in the Krušné hory/Erzgebirge Mts. Discussion about the technical possibilities and economic benefits of planned lithium mining at Cínovec has become a political problem in recent months. In order to return the discussion to the subject-matter, the Masaryk Democratic Academy and the Ecological Platform Zvonečník organized a panel discussion on February 7, with the participation of representatives of the potential mining company, local government, and experts in the field of economic geology from the Academy of Sciences and the Czech Geological Survey. The lecturers and the present audience agreed on the positive contribution of the potential mining and processing of lithium for the regional development of northern Bohemia and called for a substantive approach in the search for a consensus allowing an efficient use of the Cínovec deposit.

What factors determine which part of the cliff will be “eaten” by salt crystals?

Numerous small pits on cliff surfaces have been noted by almost everyone who visited some of the sandstone rock cities. These pits are called honeycombs. Long ago, they were believed to form by wind erosion. For some time already, they have been understood to be shaped by a different mechanism: their origin is largely contributed by the crystallization of salts from groundwater/pore waters. A paper on this topic was released in the February issue of the Geomorphology journal: it brings additional evidence for the origin of honeycombs and, using dye experiments, documents the crucial role of the reach of hydraulic field in this process. This field, or, more exactly, its margin (i.e., the evaporation front) controls the sites of salt crystallization hence also the way the cliff surface is shaped by the salts. More information can be found in the paper, which was also contributed by scientists of the Institute of Geology: Michal Filippi as a co-author, and Jan Rohovec and Šárka Matoušková as analysts.

In memory of Jiří Fiala

This week, we learned a very sad news about the death of our colleague ing. Jiří Fiala, CSc.
Jirka graduated from University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague in 1961. His whole professional life was connected with the Academy of Sciences. He completed his post-graduate studies in the Institute of Geochemistry and Mineral Resources of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. After the re-organization of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, he was working in the Institute of Geology until his death. He was the Director of this institute in years 1991–1993. From the year 2008, he was an emeritus scientist of the Czech Academy of Sciences.
Jirka was a very successful scientist, measured by his publications. He specialized in geochemistry and petrology of metamorphic and magmatic rocks. In his research, he collaborated with many colleagues from abroad. Besides others, he can be credited for the foundation of the laboratories of mineral separation at the Institute of Geology.
Jirka had very open and friendly relationships with his colleagues, always willing to share his broad field experience and scientific knowledge.
With Jirkaʼs decease, the Institute of Geology as well as Czech science are losing a significant scientist and an outstanding personality. May the memory of him be honoured.
The last respect will be paid in the Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord in the main cemetery of Vimperk at 1 p.m. on Friday, February 16, 2018.

Climatic record of Marine Isotope Stage 3 in Moravia

The Last Ice Age, was not “icy” at all times. During this period, certain climatic variations occurred, being characterized by warming and higher precipitation rates. The interpretation of sedimentary record from the Last Ice Age is subject to change based on new observations from the field and new interpretations of the climatic curve. A possible definition of climatic events in this period in central Moravia is presented in the paper: „Podhradem Interstadial; A critical review of the middle and late MIS 3 (Denekamp, Hengelo) in Moravia, Czech Republic“ published in Quaternary Science Reviews (IF: 4.747). The paper was contributed by scientists of the Institute of Geology CAS, v.v.i.

Honorary professional medal

Assoc. Prof. Jozef Michalík, DrSc. of the Earth Science Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences was awarded the František Pošepný honorary professional medal for his achievements in the field of geosciences on January 18, 2017. This award was nominated by the Institute of Geology CAS, v.v.i. Congratulations!

A documentary on rock arches

In the first week of this year, the Czech Television presented a documentary called “Arches”, dealing with sandstone weathering and the origin of sandstone arches. Both the documentary and the preceding research were contributed by scientists of the Institute of Geology: Michal Filippi, Radek Mikuláš and Jiří Adamovič. For more, click here.

A new database of rockfall phenomena in Czech sandstones

Sandstones are porous rocks extremely sensitive to temperature and humidity changes. Climatic extremes of the last decades therefore induce accelerated destruction of sandstone outcrops in the whole Bohemian Cretaceous Basin. These events have not been registered yet. Now, a database of rockfall events, both recent and fossil, has been established with the support of the Geohazards Programme within Strategy AV21. Descriptions of individual objects are accompanied by photos taken at different times after – and before – the event. The database is fully open to contributions from professional and lay public. Annotation of the Kokořínsko – Máchův kraj  PLA in 2016 and Bohemian Paradise PLA in 2017 will be followed by other sandstone areas. To enter the application, click HERE.
Registration of users: Mgr. Jiří Adamovič, CSc., adamovicatgli [dot] cas [dot] cz