Applied geophysics is a part of those sciences which measure and evaluate physical fields of Earth. It focuses on their study with the purpose of researching the lithosphere’s structure – from the first centimetres under the earth’s surface to the depths as great as hundreds of kilometres. Its task is to detect and describe various under-the-surface objects – mainly geological, pedological, hydrogeological, depositional, archaeological, and anthropogenic structures.
Applied geophysics has a strategic value in the research of ore and non-metallic raw materials and in the search of oil and gas. It is of great significance to the study of global and regional structures, and it is used in hydrogeology and engineering geology, as well. It holds important shares in ecology and environmental geology, mostly in identifying and mapping the seismogenic zones and the neotectonics of recent dynamics, but also in the determination of anthropogenic impacts on the environment – mainly the impacts of pollution, landfills, and, most importantly, deposits of radioactive waste.
Study programme Applied and environmental geophysics an inseparable part of geological sciences, is a marginal field of study that indirectly determines a wide spectrum of geological structures on the basis of the physical properties of rock environment and their reflection in the geophysical fields. By the physical parameter being examined, it uses following methods:
- seismics, geoelectrics, and electromagnetics,
- gravimetry, magnetometry,
- radiometry and methods of nuclear physics,
- and the study of petrophysical properties.
Our department is the only training workplace of applied and environmental geophysics in Slovak Republic in regards to two higher degrees of higher education – the master’s and doctoral studies. It provides the teaching of cognitive methods of physical manifestations of rock environment: gravimetry, magnetometry, geoelectrics, seismics, radiometry, thermometry, and logging. A part of the study is the teaching of these methods’ application alongside the cognition of the lithosphere, the task solving in regional, depositional, and engineering geology, hydrology, environmental studies, and the solving of special problems that occur during the study of rock environment structures. The scientific work of the department is oriented on interpretation and synthesis of geophysical data for the purpose of researching the structure and the tectonic development of Western Carpathians and their relation to the neighbouring Alpine-Pannonian structures, and on the works connected with the problems of using and protecting the abiotic nature, often in the area of, so called, surface geophysics. These works are mainly focused on the area of monitoring the movement of underground water for the intentions of hydrogeology and engineering geology, on detecting the presence and movement of fluid pollution, on investigating landfills and other former burdens, on reviewing the stability of the core grounds and landslide territories, on exploring and searching for archaeological objects, on inspecting deposits of raw materials, on appointing the radon and radiation risk, on detecting unexploded munition, etc.