Regional geology 

 
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The Regional Geology department conducts a wide range of regional-geological research, thus enhancing the knowledge about the geology of Slovenia. The synthesis of our research is shown on basic and thematic geological maps, which are used for planning, management and control of sustainable development of our country.

Stratigraphy and palaeontology

Nowadays, modern instrumental methods and techniques are emerging daily; however, palaeontology and stratigraphy still remain two basic fields of geology. Moreover, complicated and expensive new instrumental methods and techniques more or less depend on them. With regard to geological applications, palaeontological – stratigraphical technique is less money and time consuming then other techniques. Palaeontology studies life in geological past, which includes the evolution of living organisms and interaction between them and the environment. This can be used further in stratigraphic studies of rock formations. Apart from lithostratigraphy, the research of our scientists is focused on biostratigraphy, which deals with the appearance and distribution of fossils in rocks and their biostratigraphic correlation. The results of our research contribute to a wider picture of the extent, composition and especially basic geological characteristics of stratigraphic units in Slovenia. They support the interpretation of past environments that have produced present rocks and their characteristics and contribute to the knowledge about organic and inorganic evolution of the Earth, as well as the characteristics of rocks for the purposes of enterprise and development.

Due to its interdisciplinary nature, our stratigraphic and palaeontological research is closely associated with different geological programs; especially with the production of modern basic geological maps.
Currently, the emphasis is on the following systematic studies:

  • Conodonts, fusulinids and fossil flora in the Palaeozoic beds of Slovenia
  • Triassic micro- and macrofossils and their assemblages in the Dinarides
  • Biostratigraphic investigations of the Permo-Triassic interval in the Dinarides
  • Biostratigraphy and dynamics of the development of the Slovenian basin during the Upper Triassic in the western part of Slovenia
  • Cretaceous fossil assemblages in laminated bituminous limestones of the Adriatic – Dinaric carbonate platform
  • Lithostratigraphic units of the Trieste – Komen plateau and Cretaceous-Palaeocene evolution of the Adriatic – Dinaric carbonate platform
  • Tertiary in Slovenia as a complex any dynamic system

Geological maps

The primary occupation of this department is regional-geological research, which results in the production of basic and thematic geological maps at various scales. The most important products are basic geological maps. On the one hand, they present the knowledge of all geological branches in an area; on the other hand they are a basis for further basic and applied research in geology as well as in other natural sciences. In the past decades, the Geological Survey of Slovenia has produced the Basic Geological Map of Slovenia, scale 1: 100.000, which is printed on 23 separate sheets, each sheet accompanied with an explanatory booklet. Apart from the geologists from the Geological Survey of Slovenia, scientists from the University of Ljubljana and the National Academy of Sciences also participated. As final users seek for more and more detailed geological information, the production of a new geological map at scale 1: 50.000 has already started. Geological maps are not useful only in the development of basic natural sciences; they are the basis for various activities related to management, control and planning of sustainable development and are as such of utmost importance for the country. Some of the activities, which directly depend on high quality geological maps, are:

  • Sustainable use of mineral resources, groundwater and energy resources
  • Environmental assessment of various spatial interventions
  • Geohazard assessment, such as landslides, rock bursts and mass movements
  • Earthquake risk assessment
  • Planning the construction of infrastructural objects, such as roads, pipelines, overhead power lines, waste disposals, including toxic and radioactive waste disposals
  • Geothermal potential assessment for planning geothermal aquifer research

Vodja organizacijske enote: dr. Bogomir Celarc

Sedimentology, mineralogy and petrology

Petrology, sedimentology and mineralogy study the composition of rocks and their distribution in the Earth's crust, processes leading to their formation, and subsequent diagenetic and metamorphic changes. They provide some basic knowledge about the geology of a certain area. The knowledge of sediments and rocks, their composition and characteristics is fundamental in the provision of mineral resources, in mitigation and prevention of geohazards, searching for aquifers, etc.

The major portion of Slovenia, as much as two thirds, is built of sedimentary rocks. The remaining portion consists of volcanoclastic, metamorphic and magmatic rocks. According to this ratio, the research priorities has been set. In the last years, the emphasis was on the following research:

  • Sedimentary basins – characteristics of sediments and sedimentary rocks
  • Tertiary volcanic rocks and pyroclastites
  • Tertiary magmatism
  • Metamorphic rocks north of the Periadriatic lineament
  • Mineralogy of rocks
  • Quality of carbonate rocks

Our research is conducted with modern investigation techniques and in cooperation with scientists in Slovenia as well as abroad. All activities are interdisciplinary interconnected with other research programmes and the entire line of work at the Geological Survey of Slovenia, including market-oriented research. For this purpose we conduct:

  • Sedimentological and petrographic analyses
  • Mneralogical analyses (optical-microscopic analyses, analyses with scanning electron microscope-SEM, X-ray diffraction analyses)
  • Calcimetric and compleksometric analyses
  • Technical support (cutting of rock samples, preparation of thin sections and polished sections, grain size analyses (sieve and laser), crushing, milling and pulverising of rock samples, heavy liquid separation)

Activities of the Regional Geology department:

  1. Production of geological maps
    • Basic Geological Map of the Republic of Slovenia M 1:50.000
    • Synoptic geological maps
    • Thematic geological maps (structure-tectonic, lithologic, maps of geothermal parameters and potentials, maps of geological hazard - "geohazard"...)
    • Geological maps for particular purposes (spatial planning, environmental protection, household and toxic waste management, management of natural resources ...)
  2. Geological research
    • Stratigraphy (biostratigraphy, lithostratigraphy)
    • Structure-tectonic research
    • Seismic-tectonic research
    • Geothermal potential of single areas
    • Photogeologic research
    • Photogeology (analysis of air and satellite images)
    • Geological supervision in civil engineering
    • Geological supervision in drilling
  3. Expert reports and consulting
    • Interdisciplinary geological research in support of national level infrastructural projects and land development
    • Engineering-geological response to the impacts of slope processes and related natural disasters
    • Groundwork for the conservation and presentation of geological heritage
  4. Maintenance of databases and an archive
    • Geological field data
    • Geological maps
    • Borehole data (geological and geophysical)
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