Department of Geochemistry, Mineralogy and Petrography


  • New and rare minerals from pyro-metamorphic rocks and pegmatites
  • Origin, transformations and interactions of fossil organic matter
  • Coal petrology
  • Mineralogy of atmospheric and industrial particulate matter
  • Meteorite mineralogy
  • Spectroscopy of minerals containing transition elements
  • Age, petrogenesis and mineralogy of igneous rocks


  • Research, monitoring and determination of the environmental impacts of self-heating processes in coal seams, coal heaps, and coal refuse
  • Environmental mineralogy
  • Study of anthropogenic organic compounds in atmospheric aerosols, water and soil
  • Study of natural sources of radioactivity and the potential environmental impact of radioactive waste disposal
  • Study of the environmental impact of the organic matter thermal decomposition products in coal across a range of natural and industrial processes
  • Qualitative and semi-quantitative analysis of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in environmental samples and in food
  • Study of the health effects of atmospheric mineral dust


  • Comprehensive geochemical and mineralogical study of rare-Earth (critical) element ore deposits
  • Study of the impact of oxidation and self-heating on coal properties
  • Comprehensive geochemical, mineralogical and petrographic research on waste produced by the energy sector (ICCP accreditation
  • Comprehensive research on the processability of old and new waste produced by the mining and steel industries.
  • Assessment of the luminescent properties of organic and inorganic natural and synthetic materials.
  • Comprehensive research on the prediction of coke quality
  • All-encompassing research into effective carbon utilisation
  • Comprehensive research on organic gas production processes


Department of Fundamental Geology

Physical and Regional Geology:

  • tectonics and structural geology,
  • geology of Upper Silesian Coal Basin, Sudetes and Carpathians,
  • regional geology,
  • geothermics,
  • drill core analysis


  • study of processes and deposits in marine and terrestrial environments of deposition,
  • lithofacial analysis,
  • sedimentary basins analysis

Geological Mapping:

  • production of surface and subsurface geological maps,
  • exploration and documentation of resource areas,
  • application of Geographic Information Systems – GIS in geology,
  • application of remote sensing techniques in geological exploration,
  • 3D structural-geological models

Quaternary Geology:

  • palinology and Quaternary stratigraphy,
  • palaeogeographical reconstruction of depositional environments,
  • geomorphology


    • landslides and landslide-prone terrains,
    • terrain deformation in mining areas,
  • reconstruction of post-mining areas,
  • structural geomorphology in areas of active tectonics

Department of Applied Geology

    • Economic geology
    • Exploration geology (identification and documentation of mineral resources)
    • Mining geology
    • Protection of mineral resources
    • Conventional and alternative energy sources
    • Tectonophysics and structural geology
    • Environmental geophysics
    • Mining induced seismicity
    • Seismology
    • Geophysical methods in archaeology and geomorphology
    • Environmental protection in mining and post-mining areas
    • Physical properties of rocks
    • Geohazards
  • Natural radioactivity in soils, rocks and minerals
  • Polar reseachics

Department of Palaeontology and Stratigraphy

    • Palynology (miospores and acritarchs) and palaeobotany of the Polish Palaeozoic and Mesozoic
    • Taxonomy of selected groups of fossil fauna (especially corals, molluscs, echinoderms and arthropods)
    • Analysis of faunal succession in the early Palaeozoic (Devonian, Carboniferous) and Mesozoic in southern Poland, with a focus on the Holy Cross Mountains and the Silesia-Cracow Region
    • Biostratigraphic, paleoecological and paleobiogeographic studies of Palaeozoic and Mesozoic communities
  • Comprehensive ecosystem analysis of biological and geological events, primarily the late Devonian extinctions, using integrated palaeontological, facies and geochemical methods.
  • Study and monitoring of the spread of present-day aeroplankton in the atmosphere

Department of Hydrogeology and Engineering Geology

  • Determination and management of groundwater resources, including areas affected by mining
  • Preparation of groundwater balances and determination of groundwater use conditions
  • Defining a strategy for groundwater quality protection and monitoring in Upper Silesia and its periphery, with a focus on fracture-karst aquifers
  • Determination of factors and processes controlling groundwater geochemistry in the Upper Silesian Coal Basin (Górnośląskie Zagłębie Węglowe) particularly in the context of intensive mining drainage
  • Regional hydrogeological characteristics of the Upper Silesian massif and its periphery

Department of Reconstructing Environmental Change

  • the importance of climatic and human-related factors for environmental change, in particular: human-related changes of relief, geoarchaeology, the record of environmental change in the late Pleistocene and in the Holocene, human-environment relations in the prehistory, Quaternary malacology (Hruby Jesenik Mts, Opole Plain, Bierawka River and Kłodnica River valleys),
  • dendrochronology, dendrogeomorphology and dendroclimatology, in particular: climate reconstruction using modern dendrochronological techniques (Scandinavia, Central Europe, Balkans and Iceland), temporal and spatial analyses of extreme phenomena such as debris flows, snow avalanches, floods, landslides, rockfall and particle fall, developing dendrochronological tools for environmental research and dendroarchaeological dating (Tatra Mts, Karkonosze Mts, Góry Kamienne Mts, Babia Góra Mt, Czech Republic and Canada),
  • sedimentary environment of Quaternary deposits, in particular slope and alluvial deposits, sedimentological interpretation of slope deposits based on analyses of their macro- and micromorphology, stratigraphy of slope covers in mountain and upland areas of southern Poland, sedimentary environment and lithology of biogenic deposits in river valleys (Holly Cross Mts, Krakowsko-Częstochowska Upland, Bierawka River and Kłodnica River valleys),
  • fluvial geomorphology and river valley deposits, in particular: anabranching river systems, gravel-bed rivers in mountains and mountain forelands, river channel dynamics, consequences of river engineering (Oder, Vistula, Soła River and Liswarta River), river valley development, past industrial development of river valleys and adjacent areas (Silesian Beskid Mts, Opole Plain, Holly Cross Mts),
  • geohazards, in particular analyses of landslide hazards, debris-flow and snow-avalanche hazards, methods for early warning against natural catastrophes (Beskid Żywiecki Mts, Kamienne Mts, Beskid Niski Mts, Podhale, Tatra Mts and China),
  • relief development in mountain areas (Kamienne Mts, Hruby Jesenik Mts, Silesian Beskid Mts),
  • air pollution impact on tree rings and using plant indicators in environmental epidemiology (Silesian Upland, Podhale and Żywiec Basin),
  • orogen development, evolution of Variscan orogenic belts in Central Europe, reconstruction of multiphase deformation processes and metamorphism, U-Pb dating (Western Carpathians)

Department of Climatology

  • The climate of urban and industrial areas
  • The climate of mountain and polar regions
  • Synoptic climatology, including long-term climate variability
  • Satellite climatology

Department of Geomorphology

  • Studies on evolution of polar glacier systems in response to climate change, with particular emphasis on their dynamics with use of modern quantitative methods (field hi-tech instruments, satellite remote sensing and GIS methods).
  • The study of the high-mountain and polar environment with a focus on the cryosphere changes in the Pleistocene and Holocene.
  • The study of karst phenomena and processes in different climatic zones, including environmental issues.
  • Geomorphological studies of landforms of different origin based on remote sensing methods, advanced morphometric analyses and GIS tools.

Department of Physical Geography

  • Trends in the transformation of geosystems under varying degrees of human pressure
  • Assessment of surface water resources and of water management
  • Transformations of physiogeographic processes under various levels of human pressure
  • Concepts in geography teaching based on new approaches to the Earth sciences and teaching methodologies
  • Development of biocenotic systems in anthropogenic substitute habitats on the periphery of the eastern part of the Upper Silesian Industrial Region

Department of Economic Geography

  • Spatial aspects of the quality of life of the inhabitants of the Katowice Province in the context of the demographic and social transformations in the region. This comprises studying:
    • Environmental pollution, with a focus on industrial plant
    • Environmental awareness among populations living in polluted regions
    • The local market of selected municipalities
    • Access to healthcare
    • Population-related issues
  • Selected aspects of transformations in the spatial and organisational infrastructure of cities, with a focus on:
    • Changes in the level of market infrastructure in the city and its functioning
    • Spatial and functional transformations of urban complexes in the context of the functional concept of the organisation of space
    • Local networks of urban and rural settlements

Department of Regional Geography and Tourism

The Department focuses on two research areas:

  1. Tourism in the regional perspective: valuation, potential, impacts.
  • general typology of tourism and tourist assets
  • influence of the tourism on the natural environment and cultural landscape
  • theoretical aspects of sustainable tourism
  • interactions between tourism and cultural landscape
  • evaluation of the tourist attractiveness and tourist potential in selected regions
  • the strategy of development and branding of tourist product and regions
  • management and marketing in tourist services
  • senior tourism and their influence on tourist attractiveness of Poland
  • demographic processes, senior migration and their influence on tourism
  • tourist management and infrastructure
  1. Regional development and landscape management in Poland in the context of landscape and spatial policy.
  • cultural landscape evolution
  • typology of cultural landscape
  • identification of cultural landscapes
  • landscape management (landscape audit)
  • landscape conservation and evaluation of the potential threats to cultural landscape
  • landscape policy in Poland
  • evaluation of the degree of anthropogenic landscape transformation
  • assessment of landscape values for tourism

the influence of tourism on landscape changes (westernization, hybridisation)