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The Department is organized in 10 academic units comprising six Sections with their dependencies (Laboratories or Museums) and four independent Laboratories:

Section of Mineralogy and Petrology

The Section of Mineralogy and Petrology addresses questions pertaining to the description, classification and formation of minerals and rocks. Special emphasis is put on mineral chemistry and structure as well as on igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic processes and their evolution in space and time. The social, environmental and health impact of rocks and minerals and the nature and consequences of volcanism are also examined in detail.

Specific research topics include:

  • Geometrical properties and internal structure of crystals
  • Generation, evolution and emplacement of magmas
  • Volcanoes, their activity and products; volcanic hazards and their management
  • Depositional and diagenetic processes, products and environments of sedimentary rocks; tectonic settings of sedimentary deposits; provenance analysis of siliciclastic rocks 
  • Metamorphism at spreading centers, subduction zones, collisional orogens and the deep interior of the Earth
  • Physicochemical conditions and thermodynamic modelling of igneous of metamorphic reactions and processes
  • Dating of geological processes through mineral and whole-rock isotopic techniques
  • Environmental and applied mineralogy and petrology.
  • Archaeometry – Conservation and restoration of monuments.
  • Gemmology and medical geology.

Section of Historical Geology and Palaeontology

The Section of Historical Geology and Palaeontology (SHGP) studies the scientific topics of Historical Geology, Stratigraphy, Palaeontology and Sedimentology, as well as many other more specialized topics, thus producing important scientific and educational work in the Department of Geology and Geoenvironment. These topics include:

  • Invertebrate Palaeontology
  • Micropalaeontology
  • Vertebrate Palaeontology, Palaeoanthropology, bone and teeth diagenesis
  • Palaeobotany, Palynology
  • Fossilization, geochronology, Archaeometry, geoarchaeology
  • Fossil conservation and preparation, museum studies, Enhancing of geological heritage
  • Lithostratigraphy, biostratigraphy, chemostratigraphy, magnetostratigraphy, stratigraphy of alpine and metalpine formations, etc
  • Palaeoecology, palaeoclimatology, evolutionary palaeoecology, palaeogeography
  • Environmental micropalaeontology, palaeoenvironments
  • Sedimentary basin analysis, Marine geology
  • History and Philosophy of geosciences, didactics of Geosciences

All the above contribute to the knowledge concerning the evolution of life and biodiversity on the planet, the reconstruction of environmental conditions during the geological past, palaeogeography, climatic changes in older geological periods and their effect on living organisms, the use of microfossils as indices of environmental health in marine environments, monuments of Geological heritage. Palaeontological excavations are also conducted by our Section.

Section of Geography and Climatology

The Section of Geography and Climatology (SGC) deals with earth surface processes, both terrestrial and marine. It hosts the Laboratory of Physical Geography (LPG) and the Laboratory of Climatology and Atmospheric Environment (LACAE). It offers the Postgraduate course of “Geography and Environment”, since 1991; it is also involved in the Postgraduate program “Oceanography and Management of Marine Environment” since 1978 (School of Sciences). The SGC has participated in several national and international (mostly European) research programmes (e.g. MATER, CINCS, PDTD, INTERREG IIIB-CADSES, CAVESNETWORK - INTERREG III C., COST Action C22, INTERREG III Β ARCHIMED (ARISTHOT), INTERREG IIIΒ (MEDOCC), IKYDA and has hosted a Marie-Curie fellowship.

Research topics include:

  • The recent geomorphological and geological evolution of the terrestrial and seabed surface.
  • The atmosphere and climate change, the processes of extreme weather/climate events and their adverse effects on the natural and social environment
  • Coastal and inland waters with emphasis on the management and utilization of aquatic systems
  • Coastal erosion and sea level rise effects
  • Desertification phenomena and the environmental consequences of extensive forest fires
  • The study, analysis, assessment and management of natural hazards and mitigation of impacts
  • The management of complex environmental problems of habitats and of the coastal zone
  • The development of techniques for digital analysis and modelling of geomorphological processes
  • The study, protection and promotion of karst forms
  • Land-use planning and regional planning, from a geographical-geomorphological point of view

Section of Geophysics and Geothermy

The Section of Geophysics and Geothermy was established in 1983, as successor to the Chair of Seismology (est. 1931) and the Laboratory of Seismology (est. 1929). The Section underwent rapid and multi-faceted development during the last 25 years, keeping pace with the corresponding rapid development of geophysics and Seismology at the international level. This, in turn has led to the establishment of a second dependent laboratory, the Laboratory of Geophysics (1999).

Throughout its long history, the Section has accumulated extensive experience in practically all aspects of pure and applied geophysics by teaching and researching topics such as: Theoretical and Applied Geophysics, Physics of the Earth’s interior, Earth System science, mineral and energy resource prospecting, Engineering and Environmental Geophysics, Seismology, Engineering and Historical Seismology, Seismotectonics and Geodynamics, Physics of the earthquake source, Geomagnetism, Palaeomagnetism, Physical Volcanology and Geothermics, Remote Sensing, Satellite Geodesy and space-borne applications to Earth Sciences and Earth system Science. It has also developed intensive cooperation with numerous international research establishments and academic institutions.

The Section offers under- and post-graduate courses in geophysics, seismology, environmental science and natural disaster analysis, assuming an integrated approach towards the earth system sciences. The educational, research and other activities of the Section of Geophysics are thoroughly presented in the web pages of the Section and its dependent laboratories (see below).

Section of Economic Geology and Geochemistry

Economic Geology and Geochemistry combines the study of geology of ore deposits and geochemistry to describe and understand the processes of mineral resource formation as well as to quantify the environmental impact of mineral and energy resource exploitation. Research in the Section is also focused on the development of techniques and solutions related to sustainable production of mineral resources, quality control of industrial raw Matterials and assessment of contaminated land and water.

Research topics include:

  • Exploration and assessment of mineral resources
  • Baseline geochemistry of soils and water
  • Biogeochemical processes related to ore deposits
  • Environmental impact of mining activities
  • Use of mineral resources for environmental protection
  • Recycling of by-products from metal mining and metallurgy
  • Soil and water pollution assessment and management
  • Sustainable reclamation of polluted grounds
  • Urban Geochemistry

Section of Dynamic, Tectonic and Applied Geology

The Section studies the dynamic interior of the Earth. To this effect, it collects geological data and develops new tools for their analysis and interpretation, complemented by numerical modelling and use of digital technology. The research and educational interests and activities of the Section span a wide range of topics including tectonics and structure of the Earth's crust and lithosphere, seismic hazard, dynamics of plates, engineering geology, hydrogeology, environmental geology and natural disasters. The educational curriculum offered by the Section includes, besides classroom lectures and exercises, a wide range of field exercises which, together with the field course of geological mapping, provide students with the necessary foundations and experience for subsequent scientific development.

Through a wide network of collaborations, both at the national and international level, with educational and research institutions, the Section has developed interdisciplinary research activities, funded mainly by EU research grants and the wider public sector (Ministries, Prefecture and Local Authorities etc.). Many of these programs are innovative and have enjoyed international recognition.

Research topics include:

  • Development of geotectonic maps (both conventional and offshore),
  • Restoration of  Uncontrolled Waste Disposal Sites,
  • Water Resources Management,
  • Geotechnical design of large scale infrastructure projects (roads, dams, foundations of buildings, industrial plants, oil pipelines and natural gas, etc.) in Greece and abroad.