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Installation of a new Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometer (TIMS)

The Institute of Geology of the Czech Academy of Sciences  was granted financial support from the Czech Academy of Sciences for a Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometer (TIMS) Thermo Triton Plus. This instrument offers ultra-high precision isotopic measurement of selected elements (e.g., Sr, Nd, Os, U, Pb) providing an outstanding opportunity to several research topics in the field of rock and environmental geochemistry, palaeontology and paleoecology, but also archaeometry and anthropology. It is equipped with nine Faraday detectors, an electron multiplier, five 1013 Ω amplifiers and a RPQ system, and will be used for ultra-high precise U-Pb age determination by CA-ID-TIMS method and several projects dealing with Sr, Nd, Os, U, Pb and Mo isotope geochemistry. Several photographs from the installation procedure of the instrument can be found in the attached gallery.

The newly determined Ar/Ar ages for the youngest Czech surface volcano

Assoc. Prof. RNDr. Lukáš Krmíček, Ph.D. of the Institute of Geology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, v. v. i., together with his colleagues of the University of Potsdam (Universität Potsdam) presented new results of radioisotope dating of the Železná hůrka (Eisenbühl) volcano near Cheb at the Basalt 2017 conference. Based on the results of Ar/Ar step-heating of dark mica, the age of this volcano was shown to be "only" 400,000 years. Thus, the Železná hůrka represents the youngest Czech surface volcano. Volcanic activity in the vicinity of the Železná hůrka resulted in the formation of subsurface explosive maar-diatreme volcanic structures about 100 to 200 thousand years later. As yet, the "echoes" of volcanic activity in the Cheb area (similarly to the Yellowstone National Park in the USA) can be registered in the form of CO2 emanations accompanied by frequent earthquake swarms.

Participation in an archaeological expedition to southern Uzbekistan

The international expedition to southern Uzbekistan returns home. It was attended by specialists from the Institute of Geology and Institute of Archaeology of the Czech Academy of Sciences together with archaeologists from University of Brisbane, Charles University and University in Temez. They worked in the Kaptar Kamar Cave in the foothills of the Kugitang and confirmed the presence of an Early Iron Age (Yaz I) settlement in the cave and probably the first find of site-specific Neolithic pottery. The sedimentary archive of the Kaptar Kamar Cave provided valuable information about the Holocene climate in Central Asia. Preliminary fieldwork report. Photogalery.

Tomáš Hrstka invited to the AMAM-ICAM 2017 Conference

RNDr. Tomáš Hrstka PhD. was invited as a plenary speaker to an important international conference AMAM-ICAM 2017 (2nd International Conference on Applied Mineralogy & Advanced Materials - 13th International Conference on Applied Mineralogy)  in June 2017 to present the potential use of artificial intelligence and neural networks in automated mineralogy. Moreover, he also presented new findings based on the project Strategy AV21 related to the use of automated scanning electron microscopes in the study of individual dust particles and environmental monitoring..

Institute of Geology co-organized the ICOS 2017 International Symposium

The 4th International Conodont Symposium jointly with the International Subcommission on Devonian Stratigraphy and the International Subcommission on Silurian Stratigraphy (ICS/IUGS) took place in June 2017 in Valencia, Spain. This important event was focused on progress in the investigation of enigmatic conodont organisms that are considered direct ancestors of vertebrates. They are fundamental for global stratigraphy of the Paleozoic, dating marine sedimentary rocks, thus serving as a basis for subsequent geological studies. Specialists and stratigraphers from five continents took part in the follow-up Post-Symposium Excursion to the Prague Synform and Carnic Alps.

A paper co-authored by the Institute scientists published in Nature Communications journal

Three authors affiliated to the Institute of Geology of the CAS participated in the publication of a paper in one of the Nature journals portfolio. The paper appeared in the issue of open-access journal Nature Communications published on 9th August 2017. The study was produced within the Czech Science Foundation project “Combined use of novel and traditional stable isotope systems in identifying source components and processes of moldavite formation”. This research is a joint activity of scientists of the Czech Geological Survey, Institute of Geology of the CAS and Nuclear Physics Institute of the CAS, together with colleagues from foreign institutions. Using a combination of chromium isotopes and triple oxygen isotopes it was documented that one of types of impact glasses of the Zhamanshin impact structure in Kazakhstan contains a minor proportion of matter from the impactor. The impactor was identified to be a carbonaceous chondrite of a less common type. Moreover, the oxygen isotope data enabled to study the oxygen isotope exchange between the glass droplets and atmospheric oxygen. No admixture of meteorite matter and no exchange with atmospheric oxygen was evidenced for the Czech tektites –  moldavites. This combination of analytical approaches has been applied on impact-related glasses for the first time.

Scientific collaboration on the project and the book “Material Finds from the Renaissance Waste Pits at Prague Castle”

Šárka Jonášová and Roman Skála of the Department of Analytical Methods participated in the post-doc project No. 13-34374P of the Czech Science Foundation “Everyday life of inhabitants of the Prague Castle in times of the first Habsburgs. Material culture analysis set into Central European context.” The principal investigator of the project, Gabriela Blažková of the Department of Rescue Research - Workplace Prague Castle of the Institute of Archaeology of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague, was awarded with the prize for outstanding results in solution of grant projects by the President of the Czech Science Foundation. Among the most important outputs of the project is the book “Material Finds from the Renaissance Waste Pits at Prague Castle” published by the Institute of Archaeology last year. The scientists of the Institute of Geology together with the Prize winner authored the chapter “A chemical analysis of glass finds from early modern waste pits at Prague Castle” (Blažková et al., 2016, Castrum Pragense 13/II). For more information, please visit the Institute of Archaeology of the CAS web pages.

The team of Australian and Czech researchers described the environment of Moravian Karst during the Middle-Upper Paleolithic transition (published in Journal of Human Evolution, IF: 3.767)

Study of the Pod Hradem Cave (Moravian Karst) yielded new information about environmental conditions in the Moravian Karst during the Middle-Upper Paleolithic transition. The Pod Hradem Cave is the first archaeological cave site in the Czech Republic with such sedimentary and archaeological record from 25,000 – 45,000 years BP. New excavations confirm infrequent human visitation, and the diversity of lithic raw material suggests long-distance imports and ephemeral visits by highly mobile populations. The research was published in the Journal of Human Evolution on March 29, 2017.

Contemporary analogue of Medieval tramped floors

Fieldwork in the Eastern part of Romania was conducted within the Czech Science Foundation project Transformation of the Burgher House in the 13th Century (Brno–Prague–Wroclaw). The principal aim of the fieldwork was to describe analogies of Medieval trampled floors for a better understanding of their formation processes, maintenance and abandonment. Photo gallery.

A book on the Křivoklátsko area awarded the Miroslav Ivanov Prize for regional literature

The book Křivoklátsko – The Story of the Royal Hunting Forest, two authors of which work for the Institute of Geology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, was awared the Main regional prize for masterpieces in non-fiction literature at the recently held Book World Prague 2017 Fair. The prize is awarded by the Jaroměř-Josefov town – the birthplace of Miroslav Ivanov, the Club of Authors of Non-fiction Literature and the Administration of the Legacy of Egon Ervín Kisch.

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