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News older than one year.

Geology of the Bohemian-Saxonian Switzerland embedded in a book

Long-lasting work of a team of authors dealing with the territory of Bohemian-Saxonian Switzerland was completed in spring this year. It materialized into a book under the editorship of RNDr. Zuzana Vařilová, PhD. of the Municipal Museum of Ústí nad Labem. With its 576 pages, the book represents the most extensive publication ever written on the geology of this region. Scientists of the Institute of Geology of the Czech Academy of Sciences are the leading authors of chapters Geology, Tectonics and Geomorphology. Presentation of the book with the whole team of authors will take place at Ústí nad Labem on September 24.

RNDr. Vojen Ložek, DrSc. (1925–2020)

On the 20th August this year, we said our last good-bye to Dr. Vojen Ložek – an outstanding Czech naturalist of worldwide reputation, and an emeritus employee of the Institute of Geology. He was a foremost expert in European nature, focusing his effort on the study of the Quaternary and especially molluscan biology. Vojen Ložek was not only an excellent scientist receiving many awards (e.g., the golden Albrecht Penck medal in honour of his advances in Quaternary studies in global scale and the Award of the Minister of the Environment CR) but also an endowed teacher and a highly vital man: he was loving his fieldwork and was always ready to deliver brilliant lectures to the professional audience as well as to the public. His passing is a great loss to many of his students, colleagues and followers. Nevertheless, his work is staying with us. His memory be honoured.

Zircon geochronology unveils processes of oceanic plate evolution

A paper recently published in the Earth Science Reviews journal deals with dating of zircons from folded marine sediments on the edges of oceanic plates (i.e., in accretionary wedges). A comparison of data from different sites provided a more precise interpretation of source rocks for these parts of oceanic crust. This study, performed in close cooperation with Faculty of Science of Charles University (J. Žák, J. Hajná) and co-authored by M. Svojtka and L. Ackerman of the Institute of Geology CAS, introduces a new concept of the dependence of zircon ages on the distance from source rocks. It considerably contributes to the understanding of sedimentary and tectonic processes affecting oceanic crust during its evolution.

Numerical modelling successfully applied to geomorphology

A newly published paper in the Geomorphology journal precisely described the origin of the recently recognized sandstone weathering forms – arcade cavities, but also the closely related hourglass-shaped pillars. It benefits from advanced numerical modeling. In general, this study relates to the application of a completely new approach, which yielded, within a short time, quite surprising results for the understanding of weathering of granular rocks. The research is carried out in close cooperation with the Faculty of Science of Charles University in Prague and the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology in Moscow. This particular publication was substantially contributed by Michal Filippi of the Institute of Geology of the CAS.

A new price list for laboratories

A new price list for laboratories of the Institute of Geology of the Czech Academy of Sciences has been released. Click here.

Traces of substrate feeding inside shells of dead animals in the context of Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event

The study of several thousand Ordovician (i.e., early Palaeozoic) fossils, mostly trilobites, bivalves, gastropods and echinoderms, demonstrated that most carcasses have become a subject of systematic and sophisticated feeding since the Mid Ordovician. Feeding traces have been preserved as thin tunnels insubstrate inside shells of dead organisms. For a certain period, the substrate had been enriched by microbial consortia; firm fibrous tissues could function as the source of organic matter. Feeding patterns tend to recur for each fossil group; thereby, the positions and shapes of certain non-preserved tissues can be estimated. The above mentioned complex feeding strategies appeared around the GOBE (i.e., Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event) which occurred mainly from 465 to 460 Ma. Paper.

A story of a ditch

The use of settlement space at Celtic oppida is related to the understanding of the sustainability of the functioning of a particular culture. These questions are becoming increasingly topical nowadays. This issue has been long in the focus of a geoarchaeological team also working on the Czech Science Foundation project "Oppidum as an Urban Landscape: Multidisciplinary Approach to the Exploration of Spatial Structure intra muros", the member of which is Assoc. Prof. Lenka Lisá of the Institute of Geology CAS. Recently, they published a study in the international journal Plos One (IF 2.776). This study discusses questions connected with the function of the ditch delimiting the enigmatic part of the Celtic oppidum of Bibracte in SE France. For additional details see here.

The first IAS Meeting of Sedimentology to be held in the Czech Republic rescheduled for June 22–24 2021!

The 35th IAS (International Association of Sedimentologists) annual meeting will be held in the Czech republic for the first time in entire IAS history. The Institute of Geology of the CAS participates in its organization. The meeting will be held in the Vienna House Diplomat Prague hotel on June 22–24, 2021.  The total number of participants is expected between 700–1000 including leading scientists in the field of sedimentology.  
Key themes and special sessions cover different processes leading to the origin of sedimentary rocks. Modern approaches and methods will be discussed which study sedimentary rocks as archives recording environmental changes in geological past, however, with implications for the present. All information is available at the Meeting website.

Success in Fulbright–Masaryk Scholarship

Ladislav Polák obtained the Fulbright–Masaryk Scholarship for a period of six months in the category of Ph.D. student. The research is being conducted at University of South Carolina from September 2019 to April 2020 and deals with iron and hafnium isotopes in carbonatites. Ladislav Polák actively participated in a student conference held in the Belle W. Baruch Institute for Marine & Coastal Sciences and in the Fulbright Conference at Furman University organized for Fulbright scholars from South Carolina and Georgia.

A new genus and species of fossil tubeshoulder fish

A new publication describes the first and the only articulated fossil specimen of tubeshoulder fish of the family Platytroctidae (order Alepocephaliformes). This remarkable fish inhabits deep-water environment and the specimen described has been found in the Menilitic Formation deposits (Oligocene) exposed in the vicinity of Kelč (Moravia). The specimen is housed in the collection of the National Museum in Prague. The fish represents a new genus and species. Its scientific name Vachalia moraviensis honours the outstanding Czech graphic and painter Josef Váchal, who died fifty-one years ago.