The Institute of Geology and Palaeontology offers both general and specialised courses across a wide range of Earth Science disciplines and at all levels from undergraduate to graduate (Student Information System).
Several courses in Physical Geology provide a solid foundation for further studies of Earth Sciences. The main topics discussed include the formation and internal structure of the Earth, the composition and evolution of the Earth's crust and upper mantle, magmatic and metamorphic processes, tectonic deformation and structures, plate tectonics, development of sedimentary basins and the dynamics of geological processes on the Earth's surface. Theoretical lectures are complemented by labs and multi-day field trips, by which students examine the major rock-forming minerals and rock types and learn to work with and interpret geological maps and cross-sections.
Sedimentary Geology includes courses at both basic and advanced levels, seminars, and field trips. In the basic courses, students learn about the main types of sedimentary rocks, their structures and textures, and processes of their formation. The subsequent course is a microstructural lab, focused on identifying the major components and microstructures of sedimentary rocks and the interpretation of their depositional and diagenetic history. Advanced courses are aimed at broadening the knowledge of sedimentary processes and their record in the sedimentary basin fill, and of modern Sequence Stratigraphy. At the most advanced level, a course on sedimentary basins provides a synthesis of their development in various tectonic settings and also focuses on the mechanisms controlling the geometry and lithology of basin fill, subsidence analysis, and interpretation of reflection seismic sections and borehole data.
Regional Geology courses explain the geological evolution of selected areas on planet Earth. A basic course provides provide information on the large-scale structure and pre-Variscan and Variscan evolution of the Bohemian Massif and Alpine orogeny in the Western Carpathians. An important theme of this course is also the development of post-Variscan platform cover. Another related course is Geology of the World, which discusses in detail different types of oceanic and continental lithosphere, tectonic processes along plate boundaries, and the development of mountain belts and sedimentary basins. The course also includes an overview of the structure and evolution of the continents.
Historical Geology and Stratigraphy
Historical Geology is a synthetic course emphasising a global view of the evolution of our planet as a result of complex interactions among physical, chemical, and biological processes. Firstly, the course covers the basic stratigraphic methods and discusses the measurement of geological time and the dating of geological and palaeobiological processes. Secondly, the evolution of life on Earth is put into a broader palaeogeographic and palaeoclimatological context.
Palaeontology as an interdisciplinary field occupies the interface between Geology and Biology. Systematic Palaeontology courses describe microfossils, fossil plants, invertebrates and vertebrates. Great emphasis is also placed on their evolution, palaeoecology, research methods, and their spatiotemporal distribution during the Earth's history. In addition to this systematic part, general Palaeontology courses focus on specific issues including Taphonomy, Biostratigraphy, Palaeoecology, and Palaeobiogeography. The theoretical courses are complemented with a variety of field trips to palaeontological localities with fossil record from Cambrian to Tertiary.