General information

Course type AMUPIE
Module title Geology Of Europe And Poland
Language English
Module lecturer Wojciech Stawikowski
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position adiunkt
Faculty Faculty of Geographical and Geological Sciences
Semester 2022/2023 (winter)
Duration 30


Thursdays, 10:15, Collegium Geologicum, room 14

Collegium Geologicum is located at the Morasko Campus, 200 metres from the geography building

First class, incliding organization meeting 13th October

12 lectures (2 classroom hours = 90 minutes)
1 open-air lecture (half-a-day walk) equals 6 classroom hours

Module aim (aims)

The course is aimed to introduce in an easy and comprehensible way the fundamental knowledge about the geological structure and evolution of Europe, with special reference to Poland. The knowledge is presented at the level that is accessible not only for the geology students, but also for students of other educational disciplines, who are in some extent interested in Earth sciences. Students of geography, tourism, environmental sciences, archaeology, biological sciences etc., who want to understand, what can we find and what happens meters and kilometers beneath our feet in Europe, and why this (sub)continent looks like this now are warmly welcome.
An objective of the course is to build up the basic understanding of the European geology by showing the general, universal geological processes, acting at global sale, like mountain-building events = orogenies. The geology of Europe is viewed in the context of plate tectonics, the most important theory describing the processes, which shape the Earth’s crust. Main European and Polish geological units are systematically viewed and separately discussed. Also, the synthetic explanation of the overall picture of European geology, today and in the geological past (oldest rocks formed ~3 billion years ago), is comprehensively presented.The main modern and ancient orogenic belts in Europe (Alpides, Caledonides, etc.) and events leading to their formation are described. In this way we will get acquianted with the outline of the history and structure of the maginicent European mountains: Alps, Carpathians, Scandinavian Mts. and others.
The most spectacular geological phenomena and areas of European continent and its vicinity (e.g. in Norway, Scotland, Italy, Switzerland, Iceland), as well as of Polish territory are dicsussed and explained. Current geodynamic activity in Europe is described (volcanism, seismic activity - earthquakes). With the special account of international students' expectations, the course presents also a brief panorama of geotouristic attractions representing the most valuable components of European and Polish geological heritage.
Part of the course is constructed as an open-air lecture, which is a presentation of one of the attractive geological localities situated close to Poznań, in the Wielkopolska area. One of such geosites (e.g. Kłodawa underground salt mine, Barcin open-pit mine, Konin lignite mine, Morasko Meteorite Reserve) is visited during the course. Additionally, the course is purposed to provide brief information about the European mineral and rock resources: their occurrences, types, prospecting and extraction. Last but not the least, an important aim is to build up and improve English language pracitcal skills of the participants, with a special concern of (geo)scientific nomenclature.

Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)

Basic knowledge in Earth sciences (at the secondary school level).


Week 1 Outline of development of geological knowledge in Europe and Poland.
Weeks 2-3 Geology of Europe and Poland at the background of global geology.
Weeks 4-5 East-European Craton in Europe and Poland - the oldest geological segment of Europe.
Week 6 Caledonides in Europe and Poland, and their development - formation of the NW Europe.
Weeks 7-8 Variscides (Hercynides) in Europe and Poland, and their development - remnants after Pangaea formation.
Weeks 9-10 Alpides in Europe and Poland, and their development (Alps, Carpathians and others) - the power and the beauty of plate tectonics products.
Week 11 Young and current geological processes in Europe and Poland - why does the Earth shake and volcanoes erupt in the Mediterranean?
Week 12 Geotouristic attractions of Europe & Poland and their protection - geological treasures of Europe.
Plus an half-a-day open air lecture (counted as 3 lecture weeks) - a visit at geosite. Possible localities: Kłodawa salt mine, Morasko Meteorite Reserve in Poznań, Barcin limestone open-pit mine, lignite mine in Konin area.

Reading list

Supporting literature (not obligatory):
Park G. H. (2014); The Making of Europe: A Geological History. Dunedin Press.
Plant J.A., Whittaker A., Demetriades A., De Vivo B., and Lexa J., (2005); The geological and tectonic framework of Europe.
McCann T. (2008); The Geology of Central Europe: Volume 1: Precambrian and Palaeozoic; Volume. 2: Mesozoic and Cenozoic. Geological Society of London.
Słomka T. et al. (2006); The catalogue of geotouristic objects in Poland; AGH Publishing.
Website of the Polish Geological Institute: - English version
Webpages in English related to regional geology and geotourism in Europe and Poland
In Polish (for Polish students): Mizerski W. (2019); Geologia Europy (Geology of Europe). Wyd. Naukowe PWN. Mizerski W. (2020); Geologia Polski (Geology of Poland). Wyd. Naukowe PWN.
Foster R. J. (1983); Physical geology. Merrill Publ. Company
Allaby M. (2008); A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. Oxford University Press.