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Over the last six decades, the field of geophysics has experienced rapid development. Seismic methods, magnetic studies, hydrology and atmospheric sciences have expanded thanks to a boom in the computer sciences and measurement techniques. The frontiers of geophysics have also expanded, now including research on the polar areas, both Arctic and Antarctic. All these events are clearly reflected in the 60-year-long history of the Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences. This volume describes the most prominent achievements, the history of research and also the future potential of the Institute of Geophysics PAS. It describes measurements in various projects, methods of interpreting scientific data, and last but not least the people who have driven this research in many scientific projects.



History and Achievements


Best Practices in Earth Sciences: The National and International Experience of the Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences

The Institute of Geophysics of the Polish Academy of Sciences is the natural successor to the glorious tradition of geophysical research in Poland. It plays the leading role in exploration of the Earth, beginning from the atmosphere across hydrosphere to the lithosphere at the end. This chapter is prepared on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of establishment of this Institution and it shows its activities in the past and nowadays.
Paweł M. Rowiński, Anna Zdunek

On the Roots of the Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences

The Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, established in 1952, continues the long tradition of geophysical research done by the Poles in the past. The ample history of geophysical sciences, predominantly associated with academic centers in Kraków (Cracow), Lwów (Lviv), Warszawa (Warsaw), and also Wilno (Vilnius) and Poznań, is briefly outlined. The world’s first Chair of Geophysics was established at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków in 1895 by Prof. Maurycy P. Rudzki. Various geophysical observatories and stations are mentioned, some of them having roots in the 19th century.
Sławomir Maj, Krzysztof P. Teisseyre

Fifty Years of Palaeomagnetic Studies in the Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences

Palaeo- and archaeomagnetic investigations in the Institute of Geophysics were initiated at the beginning of 1960s. The archaeomagnetic study was performed in the Geomagnetic Observatory in Hel till the mid-1980s and was resumed lately in the Warsaw laboratory. Palaeomagnetic study begun in 1963 but the palaeomagnetic group obtained necessary place for the laboratory in the Central Geophysical Observatory in the newly finished building in Belsk later in 1966. Formally, the Paleomagnetic Laboratory was established in 1972. From the very beginning, palaeomagnetic studies were accompanied by studies of magnetic properties of rocks and minerals-carriers of natural remanence and by measurements of magnetic susceptibility and its anisotropy. Therefore, the laboratory became successively equipped with the apparatus for strictly palaeomagnetic study (astatic and spinner magnetometers and demagnetizing devices) as well as with devices for rock-magnetic investigations (apparatus for thermoanalysis, system for measuring of hysteresis parameters and for study of magnetic remanence at low temperatures, torsion balance, device for study of magnetic properties under mechanical stress and temperature, device for study of alterations of magnetic minerals based on thermally stimulated emission of exo-electrons (TSEE). The last three devices have not been in use for several years. At the end of 1980s, the Institute moved to a new building and the whole laboratory was moved to Warsaw. Moving palaeomagnetic measurements to town was possible due to the replacement of spinner magnetometer by the cryogenic magnetometer SQUID, which is much more sensitive and less affected by the urban disturbances. Computer software packages that are written in the Institute or obtained from their inventors became a great help in the interpretation of experimental results. Palaeomagnetic investigations have been performed in our laboratory on rocks of various origins and age, coming from various regions of Poland and other countries often in cooperation with scientists from foreign laboratories. Numerous palaeomagnetic results that are obtained in our laboratory are in the world data palaeomagnetic basis and on Apparent Polar Wander Paths constructed for various regions. Study of anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility brought interesting results concerning problems of tectonics; study of rock-magnetic properties helped to identify carriers of primary and secondary components of natural magnetic remanence in many cases. In the last 10 years, a group in our laboratory has been studying very important problems connected with environmental magnetism by applying of magnetometric methods for investigations of soil and air pollution.
Magdalena Kądziałko-Hofmokl, Tomasz Werner, Jadwiga Kruczyk

Natural Variations of the Geomagnetic Field: Observations and Application to Study of the Earth’s Interior and Ionosphere

The magnetic investigations carried out incessantly from the very moment the Institute of Geophysics was established in 1953 are outlined. Since that time, continuous observations of the natural magnetic field of the Earth, also called “magnetic service”, have been carried out. The research methods are discussed, which cover a wide scope of problems relating to the use of natural electromagnetic field variations, including the recognition of the Earth’s crust and upper mantle, search for electromagnetic earthquake precursors, and the ionosphere state monitoring via surface-based observations of the magnetic field. The reported investigations are of methodological nature, relating to recording and processing of data, as well as geophysical and geological modeling and interpretation. The major results obtained during 60-year activity, referring to the structure of the Earth’s crust and mantle in central Europe, are summarized.
Waldemar Jóźwiak, Jerzy Jankowski, Tomasz Ernst

Half Century of the Ozone Observations at the Central Geophysical Observatory, IGF PAS, Belsk, Poland

The history of ozone observations at Belsk (51.84°N, 20.79°E) is shortly described and the results of a novel statistical model are presented to show various aspects of the long-term variability of Belsk’s ozone in the period 1963–2012. The model stems from previous experiences of the Department of the Atmospheric Physics, Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences (IGF PAS), in the statistical modeling of the ozone layer. The analysis corroborates our earlier finding of the first stage of the ozone recovery over Belsk, i.e., a weakening of the negative ozone trend there. The second stage of the ozone recovery, i.e., an appearance of the statistically significant positive trend in series having had removed the “natural variability”, could not be yet announced. Generally, the long-term variability of the Belsk’s total ozone follows the anthropogenic trend, which is forced by changes of the man-made ozone depleting substances concentration in the mid-stratosphere. It provides a strong support for the effectiveness of the Montreal Protocol 1987 (and its subsequent amendments) regulations for protection of the ozone layer. The slowing down of the ozone recovery and the first sign of returning back to the negative tendency, which previously existed in the period 1980–1996, are found in the Belsk’s ozone time series since 2005, especially in the summer data. Such changes in the ozone layer are of special interest as they will induce an increase of the ground level solar UV-B intensity in the season of the naturally high UV radiation and frequent outdoor activity. Thus, in spite of evidence of the ongoing ozone recovery over the globe, the ozone issue, especially its local aspect, still needs attention of both scientists and public.
Janusz W. Krzyścin, Janusz Borkowski, Anna Głowacka, Janusz Jarosławski, Jerzy Podgórski, Aleksander Pietruczuk, Bonawentura Rajewska-Więch, Anna Sawicka, Piotr Sobolewski, Jakub Wink, Wiesława Zawisza

Forty Years of Water Research at the Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences

The history of research on hydrological and hydrodynamic processes carried out at the Department of Hydrology and Hydrodynamics, Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences is discussed. The genesis and development of the Department are briefly presented. The chapter focuses on the structure of the Department as well as the people associated with it at different stages of its history. The main research and organisational achievements of the Department team are summarised and supported by selected references.
Robert J. Bialik, Jarosław J. Napiórkowski, Paweł M. Rowiński, Witold G. Strupczewski

Changes in Catchment Hydrology Caused by Changes in the Environment: A Contribution of the Water Resources Department, Institute of Geophysics PAS

A number of hydrological studies focus on identifying and examining the main processes in the catchment area that shape water conditions in the basin. Every change in the environment affects the processes controlling the outflow from the basin. It is thus very difficult to distinguish the driving forces responsible for changing the processes. Previous studies have shown the problem to be complex and not fully explained. Many environmental factors (natural and anthropogenic) are responsible for changes in catchment hydrology. To detect changes in catchment response and to identify the source of changes, it is necessary to apply a number of methods which explain different aspects of the changes. This chapter outlines the contributions of the Water Resources Department (at present, the Department of Hydrology and Hydrodynamics), Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, to research in the field of widely appreciated environmental changes (i.e., climate, land use and water management changes) with respect to catchment hydrology.
Emilia Karamuz, Renata J. Romanowicz

Five Polish Seismic Expeditions to the West Antarctica (1979–2007)

The chapter presents results of five Polish expeditions which realised an extensive programme of wide-angle refraction experiments in the northern Antarctic Peninsula region in the period of 1979–2007. The main achievement was the interpretation of materials collected along 20 deep seismic sounding profiles located along western part of the Antarctic Peninsula. Additionally, few shallow profiles in the area of Deception Island and the net of 10 reflection profiles from the Bransfield Strait and Drake Passage, and 3D experiment in the Admiralty Bay (King George Island) were carried out. Crustal velocity models extending across the Antarctic continental shelf between Adelaide Island and Bransfield Strait show typical continental crustal structure, with crustal thicknesses of 36–42 km near the coast, decreasing to 25–28 km beneath the outer continental shelf. Farther north, in the Bransfield Strait region, the models describe a crustal structure with the Moho dipping southeastward from a depth of 10 km beneath the South Shetland Trench to 40 km under the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. Beneath the trough of the Bransfield Strait, the presence of a high-velocity body, with compressional-wave velocities exceeding 7.0 km/s, was detected at a depth range of 6–32 km.
Tomasz Janik, Marek Grad, Aleksander Guterch

Department of Polar and Marine Research: The Hornsund Station and Other Activities in the Arctic and Antarctic Regions

The activity of the Department of Polar and Marine Research at the Institute of Geophysics PAS has been briefly outlined by a participant and witness of the reported events, working there over the years 1977–2002.
Marek Górski

Seismology and Earth Dynamics: A Variety of Scientific Approaches

Seismology and related fields were among the basic disciplines constituting the Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, from its inception. During 60 years, various experimental and theoretical researches have been conducted, and a network of seismic observatories has been managed and gradually updated, as part of international network. Novel theories of the propagation of seismic waves and the processes in the lithosphere and the Earth’s interior, especially in the seismic event preparation areas, have been developed and gradually modified. The statistical studies and profound research on innovative mathematical techniques brought about a real progress in the assessment of seismic hazard and the probability of other extreme events.
Krzysztof P. Teisseyre, Paweł Wiejacz, Jacek Trojanowski

Sixty Years of Publishing with the Institute of Geophysics

The main publications written by people associated with the Institute of Geophysics PAS are outlined. Presently, the major titles are Acta Geophysica and the GeoPlanet Book Series. The journal Acta Geophysica, formerly Acta Geophysica Polonica, is of the same age as the Institute. The GeoPlanet Book Series evolved from Monographic Volumes of the Publications of the Institute of Geophysics. Also many significant, pioneering monographs are recalled, along with some remarks on the Institute’s history.
Anna Dziembowska, Maria Wernik

Exemplary Current Research and Geophysical Methods


Discharge Measurements in Lowland Rivers: Field Comparison Between an Electromagnetic Open Channel Flow Meter (EOCFM) and an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP)

Field tests were carried out on two lowland rivers in Poland, namely Narew and Wilga, both being right tributaries of the Vistula River, in order to compare the results of flow velocity and discharge measurements. Both measurements were completed with the use of an acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP RiverSurveyor S5) manufactured by SonTek and an electromagnetic open channel flow meter (model 801) manufactured by Valeport. Narew is one of Europe’s few anastomosing and vegetated rivers. The field measurements were done in the central part of the Narew National Park. By contrast, Wilga is mostly a sandy and meandering river, and the measurements were carried out on the regulated channel that is part of the river. In both cases, field tests in each cross-section were made using both methods. The chapter mostly focuses on the potential errors and differences in the measurements of flow velocity and discharge resulting from: (1) the existence of vegetation on the river bottom; (2) the influence of obstacles such as islands or large fluvial dunes above the measuring cross-section; and (3) the quantity of measuring profiles and measuring execution time for the method using the electromagnetic flow meter. For the latter method a simple but accurate procedure, which is also briefly presented in the chapter, was applied to obtain the flow discharge. It is shown that the differences in the measured values of the flow discharge are from 12 to 35 %, depending on the method of measurement, the nature of the river and flow conditions. The findings of this study may be a suitable tutorial material for education in hydrology, civil engineering and environmental hydraulics.
Robert J. Bialik, Mikołaj Karpiński, Agnieszka Rajwa

Random Domino Automaton: Modeling Macroscopic Properties by Means of Microscopic Rules

A stochastic cellular automaton called Random Domino Automaton (RDA) was set up to model basic properties of earthquakes. This review presents definition of the automaton as well as investigates its properties in detail. It emphasizes transparent structures of the automaton and their relations to seismology, statistical physics and combinatorics. In particular, a role of RDA for modeling time series with Ito equation is emphasized.
Mariusz Białecki, Zbigniew Czechowski

Continental Passive Margin West of Svalbard and Barents Sea in Polish Arctic Seismic Studies

Deep seismic sounding measurements were performed in the continent-ocean transition zone of the western Svalbard and Barents Sea margin, during the Polish–international expeditions in 1976–2008. Seismic energy (airgun and TNT shots) was recorded along several profiles by onshore seismic stations, ocean bottom seismometers (OBS) and hydrophone systems (OBH). Good quality reflected and refracted P waves provided an excellent data base for a seismic modelling along the profiles. TNT sources were recorded up to 300 km distances. A minimal depth of about 6 km of the Moho interface was found east of the Molloy Deep. The Moho discontinuity dips down to 28 km beneath the continental part of the northernmost profile and down to maximum 32 km beneath other profiles. The evolution of the region is considered to be within a shear-rift tectonic setting.
Wojciech Czuba

Selected Theoretical Methods in Solid Earth Physics: Contribution from the Institute of Geophysics PAS

Solid Earth Physics, including Seismology, Physics of the Earth, Earth Magnetism to name a few more topical disciplines, strongly relies on mathematical and numerical possibilities of modeling very complex physical processes ongoing in the Earth interior. Tremendous progress in geophysical instrumentation and still increasing quality and quantity of observational data also prompts for advanced processing methods in order to get more reliable interpretations. The goal of this chapter is to review some contributions from the Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences (IGF PAS) to physical and mathematical concepts used in Solid Earth Physics. We have selected some topics which are general enough to be interesting for a wide range of readers, leaving many topical issues uncovered in this review.
Wojciech Dębski, Roman Teisseyre, Włodzimierz Bielski

Application of Passive Hydroacoustics in the Studies of Sea-Ice, Icebergs and Glaciers: Issues, Approaches and Future Needs

Arctic and Southern Oceans are extremely noisy places. Various geophysical and biological processes generate underwater sounds at different frequencies. Using spectral, wavelet and statistical analysis, it becomes possible to distinguish almost all individual phenomena. This allows the assessment of, among other things, the rainfall intensity, various characteristics of wind-generated waves, abundance of marine organisms and shipping traffic. These issues are now relatively well-understood. What is more, for such studies hydroacoustic methods have been widely used for many years and provided satisfactory results. In the last decades, however, more and more attention is paid to sea-ice processes and properties, calving events and drifting icebergs. Melting ice and retreating tidewater glaciers are also sources of underwater ambient noise. This becomes more and more noticeable due to the observed climate shifts. Dynamic nature of these phenomena and harsh conditions encountered during field measurements still limit the progress in this area of research. In spite of all, recent preliminary studies show the possibility of using passive acoustic methods for both analyzing calving events in the Arctic fjords and investigating the behavior of icebergs. It became possible, for instance, to identify and describe various stages of calving processes: large rumbles, ice fractures, impacts on the water and iceberg oscillations. On the other hand, ambient noise related with freshwater outflows and sound propagation in the vicinity of glaciers are still unstudied. Moreover, underwater sounds associated with sea-ice processes occurring in small basins are also poorly understood, as well as their directivity and relationships with meteorological and oceanographic conditions. These topics require further investigation, which will enable the development of appropriate classification algorithms. For this purpose, new field experiments and methods of data analysis as well as state-of-the-art measuring devices are needed. A review of existing research articles concerning underwater cryogenic sounds is presented here, supplemented by a summary of the main gaps and suggested future needs. All papers are sorted thematically and chronologically, showing the historical development of hydroacoustic methods and approaches in this area.
Oskar Glowacki, Mateusz Moskalik

Pigeon Navigation Model Based on a Vector Magnetometer

A model of pigeon navigation is proposed. It is based on the assumption that a pigeon is in possession of a magnetometer to measure two geomagnetic field components. Another assumption is that in the linear approximation these components form a skew reference coordinate system. The model can explain not only how the birds find their way back home, but also a series of characteristic traits of their navigation, which, in spite of numerous experiments, still remain puzzling. An analysis of the model has also shown that the sensitivity of the magnetometer must be extremely high, in excess of the present-day technological achievements.
Jerzy Jankowski

Analysis of Surface Ozone Variations Based on the Long-Term Measurement Series in Kraków (1854–1878), (2005–2013) and Belsk (1995–2012)

One of the first long-term ozone measurement series in the world, as described in the chapter, was made in Poland (Kraków) during the period 1854–1878. The data obtained by the method of Schönbein papers reveal that annually averaged concentrations of ground level ozone in the second half of nineteenth century ranged between 11 and 24 ppb. For comparison, this chapter presents the results of contemporary measurements performed at rural background station in Belsk (1995–2012) and at urban background station in Kraków (2005–2013). Nowadays, annually averaged surface ozone values ranged between 22 and 31 ppb in Belsk and between 12 and 17 ppb in Kraków. Seasonal variation of nineteenth century Kraków series exhibited the highest surface ozone concentration during spring and early summer and the lowest in late autumn and winter. Current data present similar shape of distribution, although the sharp spring peak of high values has been replaced by a broad spring-summer maximum. Long-range averages of surface ozone concentration in rural areas are significantly higher than in urban areas (reaching 26 and 15 ppb, respectively).
Izabela Pawlak, Janusz Jarosławski

Dissolved Oxygen in Rivers: Concepts and Measuring Techniques

This chapter presents the basic concepts of methods and techniques used in the measurement of dissolved oxygen in flowing water. Based on field tests carried out on the Narew, Świder and Vistula Rivers, sensor performance was analysed. The results show that the comparability of sensors depends not only on their accuracy, but also on the hydrological conditions under measurement, as well as the duration of measurement and sensor location. For diel measurement, the time delay between the maximum temperature and minimum oxygen concentration is acknowledged and briefly discussed. Moreover, in contrast to other studies, the main attention has been focused on abiotic factors that affect oxygen conditions in rivers. Finally, the key research challenges are highlighted.
Agnieszka Rajwa, Robert J. Bialik, Mikołaj Karpiński, Bartłomiej Luks

Gradient-Based Similarity in the Stable Atmospheric Boundary Layer

A structure of the stably-stratified atmospheric boundary layer is examined in terms of a novel gradient-based similarity theory. The presented approach introduces similarity scales based on the vertical gradient of the potential temperature, contrary to the traditional method, which is based on momentum and temperature fluxes. The length scale, defined using the semi-empirical form of the mixing length, is demonstrated to be effective in the entire stable boundary layer. In more complex cases, an alternative formulation of the mixing length, based on vertical velocity or temperature variances, can be employed. The empirical similarity functions of the Richardson number are expressed in analytical form, valid in the entire stable boundary layer. The introduced similarity approach allows for evaluating the minimum values of the dimensionless turbulent heat flux and the temperature standard deviation as functions of the Richardson number. It can also be used as a closure scheme for a single column model.
Zbigniew Sorbjan

Asymmetric Continuum Theory: Fracture Processes in Seismology and Extreme Fluid Dynamics

A new joint approach to deformations and motions in solids and fluids is presented. For the theory of solids, in addition to the shear and rotation strains, we define the molecular transport, while for fluids we consider the transport motions and the shear and rotation molecular strains. In this way we arrive at a common asymmetric theory for solids and fluids. Thus, for solids we present the release-rebound relations and related wave equations for strains, while for fluids we present the Navier-Stokes transport relations; moreover, for solids the included molecular transport and for fluids the molecular rotation and shear strains are considered additionally. The molecular transport in solids helps us to understand the fracture preparation processes. Of course, to each of these continua we include an influence of pressure; thus, in fluids we have both the pressure and its time derivative, that is, the molecular pressure related to sound phenomena.
Roman Teisseyre

Time Scales: Towards Extending the Finite Difference Technique for Non-homogeneous Grids

Tremendous progress in seismology over last years is greatly due to availability of high quality seismic waveforms. Their availability prompts the new mathematical and numerical algorithms for their more detailed analysis. This analysis usually takes a form of the inverse problems—an estimation of physical parameters from seismic waveforms called the full waveform inversion (FWI). No matter which inversion algorithm is used, the FWI technique requires precise modeling of synthetic seismograms for a given lithological model. This is by no means a trivial task from the algorithmic point of view, as it requires solving (usually numerically) the wave equation describing propagation of seismic waves in complex 3D media, taking into account such effects as spatial heterogeneities of media properties, anisotropy, and energy attenuation, to name a few. Although many numerical algorithms have been developed to handle this task, there is still a need for further development as there is no single universal approach equally good for all tasks in hand. In this chapter, the possibility of using the Time Scale Calculus formalism to advance the synthetic seismograms calculation is discussed. This modern approach developed the late 1990s with the aim of unifying analytical and numerical calculations provides the very promising basement for developing new computational methods for seismological, or more general geophysical applications. In this chapter we review the basic elements of the Time Scale Calculus keeping in mind its application in seismology but also we extend the initial concept of Hilger’s derivative towards the backward-type and central-type derivatives using the unified approach and compare their properties for various time scales. Using these results we define the second order differential operators (laplacians) and provide explicit formulas for different time scales. Finally, the formalism of time scales is used for solving 1D linear, acoustic wave equation for a velocity model with large velocity discontinuities. Based on this simple example we demonstrate that even in such a simple case using an extension of the classical finite difference schemata towards irregular grid leads to a significant improvement of computational efficiency.
Kamil Waśkiewicz, Wojciech Dębski
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