About the Institute
Institute of Hydrogeology, Engineering Geology and Applied Geophysics
Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague
Albertov 6, 128 43 Praha 2
tel.: 221 951 556, fax: 221 951 556, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Head of the institute: Jan Vilhelm (email@example.com)
Institute of Hydrogeology, Engineering Geology and Applied Geophysics is the leading Czech institution focused to applied geology. According to the specializations it consists of three departments. More than 600 specialists have graduated here during more than 50 years. The research is oriented to the topics of groundwater, civil engineering, environment, utilization of natural resources and structure of the Earth crust.
Hydrogeology deals with subsurface waters (i.e. all the waters that occur under the ground), their origins, conditions of occurrence, physical and chemical properties as well their interactions with rocks, surface waters and atmosphere. Modern hydrogeology is an applied science and by its nature appears to be at the boundary between geology and chemistry, hydrology, hydraulics, as well as certain fields of technology (water management, civil engineering, water treatment and purification technologies, etc.). The present methods of hydrogeology inevitably include numerical modeling to simulate natural processes and effects of human activity upon nature. The mission of today’s hydrogeologists includes prospection for water resources, planning of their exploitation and protection against contamination, as well as surveying and removal of pollution from environmental accidents.
Engineering geologists provide civil engineers with data, which enable them to design most of their structures. Any building activity and all engineering projects need to be evaluated with respect to the geology of the building site or even to the geology structure of a broader area. Tunnels and other underground structures obviously require knowledge of the geology. Roads, railways, dams, levees, buildings and other engineering structures need to be founded in soil or rock and therefore engineering geology (geotechnical) site investigation reports are required. Further, soil and rock represent the building material for dams, embankments and other earth structures.
When examining the site, the engineering geologist must recognise and appreciate the general geology structure and the geological processes that led to its development and to the particular geomorphology. On the other hand he/she needs to be able to predict the effect of the development on the natural environment due to, for example, lowering of ground water table, undercutting of slopes etc. Engineering geologists therefore should have a good command of both natural science and technical disciplines, for example rock and soil mechanics, hydraulics and the principles of civil engineering design.
Applied geophysics studies the physical fields of the Earth to solve problems of geology, archaeology and environment. According to the type of physical field geophysics uses a number of methods; the staff of our institute covers most of them. Seismics deals with velocities of elastic waves in different rock environment; gravimetry and magnetometry studies the anomalies of gravity and magnetic fields; geoelectric methods study the electromagnetic field and its anomalies; radiometry examines radioactivity of rocks and environment; geothermics studies the temperature field and heat flow of the Earth and geophysical well logging measures all the above fields in the boreholes.
Applied geophysics is useful for solving global geological problems (plate tectonics), it is efficient in geological mapping, in economic geology (prospecting for minerals, monitoring of mining) in hydrogeology (mapping of aquifers, and their contamination) in engineering geology (depth to non-weathered bedrock, mapping of cavities), in environmental protection (radioactivity of building sites and building materials).