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Department of Geology

The basis for unraveling the geological structure of a certain area is a geological map which is a graphic representation of the lithostratigraphic and tectonic settings of the terrain on top of a regular (topographic) map. In our time, geological map is a multidisciplinary scientific and professional product created by collecting data in the field and their processing in the office. Fundamental activity of the Department is production of the geological maps, the most prominent of which is the Basic Geological Map of the Republic of Croatia, scale 1:50,000, being continuously updated. Numerous specialist analyses are used in its construction: paleontological, sedimentological, stratigraphic, mineralogical, petrographical, tectonic, geomorphological, etc. Both the collected data and results from the analyses are stored in appropriate databases while the final product is a graphic representation of the acquired data – the geological map, at 1:50,000 scale.

Terenska istraživanja na otoku Visu - snimanje stratimetrijskog stupa kroz naslage gornje krede.

Stratigraphic research is the basis for construction of lithostratigraphic (formation) maps which, by default, are compiled by the Department of Geology. The geological columns of selected rock sequences are first stratigraphically measured and then lithostratigraphic units are defined as the basis for the drawing of the Basic Geological Map of the Republic of Croatia, scale 1:50,000. Stratigraphic research also includes the correlation of measured sedimentary sequences where individual units from different localities are cross-compared in order to establish their relative position in space and time.

Paleontological research is based on macrofossils (mainly various species of shells and snails) and microfossils (foraminifera, ostracods, limestone algae, limestone and siliceous phytoplankton, organic phytoplankton, spores and pollen). Information acquired through paleontological research is used for geological age determination, local and regional cross-correlation of deposits, analysis of sedimentary conditions, as well as to defining the potential of a certain facies as a source rock in hydrocarbon research for oil companies. They are also unavoidable for better understanding of climate changes in environmental studies.

Planarna kosa slojevitost u pješčenjacima „Macelj formacije“, Vučji jarak.

Complex mineralogical, petrographical and geochemical research of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks is carried out at the Department of Geology. In addition to field investigations, standard and specialized research methods are also employed. Standard research methods include microphysiographic analysis of microscopic rock and/or mineral thin sections using a polarizing microscope, as well as chemical analysis of the content of macroelements, microelements and rare earths elements. Specialized research methods include X-ray diffraction analysis, analysis of stable and unstable isotopes and electronic microanalysis. Based on the analytical data interpretation of analytical results is carried out in order to solve the geological problems on a professional and scientific level.

Bora u sarmatskim naslagama Dilja - Kasonja brdo

Sedimentological research includes analysis of the mechanisms and conditions of sedimentation, textural-structural, petrological, lithofacial, biofacial, chemical, biochemical, paleontological, lithostratigraphical, paleontographical and environmental characteristics of sedimentary rocks. Sands, sandy gravels, gravels, breccia-conglomerates and carbonate sediments represent the main aquifers. They are also significant oil and gas collector rocks. Furthermore, it is possible to reconstruct the geometry of sedimentary bodies through detailed sedimentological research, which is particularly important in defining the available mineral resources.

Rasjedna strmina kod Batine

Structural geomorphologic research is conceptually based on complex studies of landscapes which establish the relationship between the youngest tectonic movements and landscape. Since landscape morphology depends on the lithological composition and the youngest tectonic activity, studying relief is a source of significant data about structural settings, the youngest tectonic movements, and geomorphologic processes through which it is possible to establish the recent tectonic setting.

Tectonic research includes field investigations, i.e. structural measurements of the accessible elements of mechanical surfaces on the discontinuities and orientation of linear and planar elements, and the office analysis of the collected data. Fault surfaces and fissure systems as well as various types of folds are also measured. The folded structures are described according to the fold type, folding index, orientation and genesis of folds. The fault and fissure systems are defined by their spatial position and position with respect to surrounding structures. Structural-tectonic field work is used to determine the ductile characteristics of particular rocks building the area. All these elements are classified in accordance with different deformation events. Structural elements are grouped according to their origin in specific deformation phases in order to determine their genesis and time of their formation.

Digitalni terenski dnevnik

A part of geochemical research work is focused towards the analysis of the fluvial sediments (both stream and overbank sediments), soils, humus, water and rocks. This, in turn, serves as the basis for construction of the spatial distribution maps of chemical elements in the analyzed media sampled in the drainage basins.

The data acquired by investigation are stored in a database, and then processed in GIS (software used: ARCInfo, ARCView, Spatialanalyst, Geostatistics). Data processing implies primarily the standardization of all parts of relevant databases, data input, preparation and analysis, and construction of a digital lithostratigraphic map. It is important to stress that the digitalization and GIS processing of the map allows its continual updating with data from new research.

All this research work is directed to better understanding of the basic geological framework, which is necessary for the optimization of the sustainable management of the mineral resources, for better planning in construction industry and active protection of the environment. The Department carries out these activities in the form of basic scientific projects, applied research and different international projects.