Geology and Mineralogy
Geology and mineralogy
Research activities in geology and mineralogy are mainly concerned with geological processes emphasized on the generation and evolution of the Archean and Paleoproterozoic bedrock in Finland. Important applications are examining geological formations, searching and utilization of economical important formations and management of environmental questions. Magmatic processes and mafic intrusive rocks as well as supracrustal rocks in our bedrock have been studied intensively. Alkaline granites, alkaline rocks and carbonatites of the Fennoscandian Shield form also an important research subject. PGE, Cr and Ni-Cu ore deposits have been an essential area in the study of mineral resources. Recently, also Au, Zn-Pb, and W mineralizations related with the Paleoproterozoic formations have been a target of study. Issues of crustal evolution, paleosedimentology, tectonics, structural geology and metamorphic petrology have been concerned with many research projects. Collaboration with Finnish industry on applications of petrology and applied mineralogy forms a remarkable sector of the research.
Quaternary research in surficial geology covers a wide range of basic and applied research topics. Basic research focuses particularly on glacial geology, Quaternary stratigraphy and glacial sedimentology, palaeoenvironmental and palaeoclimate change and microfossil (pollen and diatom) studies. Practically all the ongoing basic research projects are international and multidisciplinary linked to the global change issues in northern hemisphere and the Arctic. The research in the applied fields includes hydrogeological research, ore prospecting techniques in the glaciated terrain and sustainable use of sand, gravel and peat resources. Applied research projects are often carried out in collaboration with private companies or national research organizations such as the Geological Survey of Finland.
Geochemistry is the study of the source and fate of chemical species in natural environments, using chemical analysis of minerals, rocks, soils and waters. One of the aims is to describe and quantify the processes that control the recycling of elements and isotopes in nature. The main applications are geochemical exploration, environmental issues, and determining the age and genesis of different rock types. There are several subfields in Geochemistry. In Isotope Geochemistry, radiogenic and stable isotopes are analysed in order to perform age determinations and make inferences on the mechanisms and conditions of rock formations or other research targets. In Environmental Geochemistry, geochemists try to identify natural and anthropological chemical changes in the environment. Geochemical Exploration utilises geochemical properties of the bedrock and its Quaternary cover for discovering new ore deposits. A huge number of geochemical analyses are performed annually in mineral exploration, resource evaluation and mining and mineral processing operations.