About the Department


In the Earth system (but also in relation to objects outside of our planet) the term “cryosphere” is linking most of natural environment elements operating in temperatures below zero degrees Celsius. This attempt allows much wider interpretation possibilities than only relation to the existence of water in the solid state. This conditions may be identified within atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere and biosphere as on the meeting of individual spheres, by the characteristics of cryogenic processes and the record of their traces in fossilized form.

Setting up of Cryosphere Research Department at the Institute of Geoecology and Geoinformation of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (partly as personnel and problem continuation of the Glacial Geology Department existing in the years 1981-2001 at the AMU Quaternary Research Institute under the leadership of prof. Andrzej Karczewski and in the years 2001-2011 in the frame of Geoecology Department led by professors Andrzej Kostrzewski and Zbigniew Zwoliński) is a result of many years of glacial geology and geomorphology research traditions, both in the context of formerly glaciated areas (in Pleistocene on European Lowlands, in Pleistocene and Holocene in polar regions) and areas of contemporary glaciation (in the Arctic, Antarctic and mountain regions).

The experiences of last years of investigations allow also to include in the range of interests problems connected with glaciology related to existing ice masses and paleoglaciological issues, nivation, periglacial and paraglacial processes and relief, as well as their relations with climate changes, transposed also over the biosphere.

This issues are also reflected in educational activity in the form of courses for students on undergraduate and graduate levels, lectures and labs, field trainings, B.Sc. and M.Sc. tutorship in Poland and abroad.

Regional extent of research carried by department members covers central and western Pomerania, Wielkopolska (Great Poland) on the Central European Lowlands, selected European mountain chains (e.g. Carpathians, the Alps) and polar regions (Spitsbergen, Greenland, Iceland, Antarctica – South Shetland Islands).

The basic problem realized in the frame of the Department works can be described as „The state and evolution of the cryosphere: Dynamics and record of cryospheric processes in the past in areas covered with Pleistocene glaciations and contemporarily in polar and mountain regions”.