Department of Geochemistry, Mineralogy and Petrology
The Department of Geochemistry, Mineralogy and Petrology carries out a wide range of studies covering all types of rocks, aiming to reproduce the conditions of their formation, the secondary transformations they undergo, and their possible practical and economical uses. As the main topics of scientific research carried out by the unit, one can point out, among others, the following:
- the mobility of the strategically critical rare earth elements (REEs), especially during the processes of hydrothermal alterations of accessory minerals rich in REEs,
- advanced studies of mineral structures, using x-ray diffraction, electron backscatter diffraction, and high-pressure x-ray diffraction with diamond anvil cells. Quantum crystallography, charge density distribution studies of minerals,
- discovery and description of new mineral phases,
- mineralogical studies of granitoid intrusions and pegmatites,
- the petrogenesis of the Sudetic igneous and metamorphic rocks, using geochemical and thermodynamic modelling,
- the genesis of crystalline rocks from drillings in northeastern Poland,
- the origin of nephrite rocks,
- the exploration of hypergene zones rich in unique secondary minerals and studies of the behaviour of arsenic phases in them,
- participation of microorganisms in the processes of formation and weathering of sedimentary rocks (e.g. the formation of carbonate cement, the genesis of framboidal pyrite, participation of biotic factors in the formation of iron sulphide phases),
- biosorbents and mineral sorbents and their use in the process of removing organic and inorganic pollutants from water solutions,
- mineralogical and petrological research on archaeological artefacts (for example the Final Neolithic/Early Bronze Age copper artefacts).
An important feature of the research carried out in the Department is that it is based on the scientific equipment available in the Faculty of Geology, especially electron microprobes, scanning electron microscopes and an X-ray diffractometer. Our research has resulted in numerous publications in prestigious scientific journals with worldwide coverage. Our employees have received awards for their scientific activities from the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Rector. We have several ongoing collaborations with foreign Universities and Research Institutions.