General information

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 2021/2022 (winter)
Duration 30


Module aim (aims)

The course is aimed to introduce the fundamental knowledge about the geological structure and evolution of Europe, with additional 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, biology etc., who want to understand, what do we have beneath our feet in Europe are warmly welcome. The objective of the course is to build the understanding of the European geology by showing the general, universal geological processes, acting worldwide. The geology of Europe is viewed in the context of global geology, following the concepts of plate tectonics - the most important theory describing the processes, which shape the Earth’s crust. Specific 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, is comprehensively presented.The main modern and ancient orogenic belts building Europe (Alpides, Caledonides, etc.) and the events leading to their formation are described. The most important/most spectacular geological phenomena and areas of European continent and its vicinity (e.g. Iceland, Sicily, Norway, Scotland, Switzerland), as well as of Polish territory are explained. Recent geodynamic activity in Europe is described (volcanism, seismic activity, glacier advances and retreats). With the special account of international students' expectations, the course presents also a short panorama of geological (geotouristic) attractions representing the most valuable components of Polish and European geological heritage. Part of the course is made by a practical presentation of one of the attractive geological localities situated close to Poznań, in the Wielkopolska area. One of such geosites (e.g. Kłodawa 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. The 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. Week 6 Caledonides in Europe and Poland, and their development. Weeks 7-8 Variscides (Hercynides) in Europe and Poland, and their development.Weeks 9-10 Alpides in Europe and Poland, and their development (Alps, Carpathians and others)Week 11 Young geological processes in Europe and Poland. Mineral and rock resources of Europe and Poland.Week 12 Geotouristic attractions and geological treasures of Europe & Poland, and their protection. Geological evolution of Poland: a concise summary . Plus an half-a-day open air lecture (counted as 3 weeks) - a visit at the geosite. Possible localities: Kłodawa salt mine, the Barcin limestone open-pit mine, the Konin lignite mine, Morasko Meteorite Reserve or others.

Reading list

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. Foster R. J. (1983); Physical geology. Merrill Publ. Company Słomka T. et al. (2006); The catalogue of geotouristic objects in Poland; AGH Publishing. Allaby M. (2008); A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. Oxford University Press. Website of the Polish Geological Institute: - English version Webpages in English related to regional geology, resources and geotourism in Europe Poland Geological Quarterly (2006): vol. 50, no 1. (The issue fully focused on regional geology of Poland) and other review papers referring to the regional geology of Europe and Poland. In Polish: Mizerski W. (2019) Geologia Europy (Geology of Europe). Wyd. Naukowe PWN. Mizerski W. (2020) Geologia Polski (Geology of Poland). Wyd. Naukowe PWN.