History of the Department of Environmental Magnetism and Reclamation

From the very beginning, the issue of post-industrial land reclamation was addressed in one of the 9 laboratories established in 1961 in the Department of Scientific Research of the Upper Silesian Industrial Region of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the forerunner of today's IEE PAS. In March 1965, as part of the restructuring of the Scientific Research Department of the USIR, the Laboratory for Post-Industrial Areas and Brownfield Development was established. In the course of the next restructuring, which was carried out in 1970, the Laboratory for Postindustrial Areas Development was established under the leadership of the then Dr. Eng. Zygmunt Strzyszcz. With the transformation of the scientific research department of the USIR into the Institute of Environmental Engineering of the Polish Academy of Sciences in 1975, the former Laboratory for the Development of Post-industrial Areas was transformed into the Department for the Rehabilitation of Post-industrial Areas, headed by  Full Professor Zygmunt Strzyszcz until 2013. In the 1970s and 1980s, the department participated in the implementation of the major task "Bio-geochemical and physical transformations of pollutants and industrial wastes and their interaction with the environment" and carried out practical reclamation of sand pits in the "Szczakowa" and "Kotlarnia" sand pits and the central coal waste pits "Smolnica", "Przezchlebie" and "Brzezinka". Groundbreaking research on the influence of industrial and urban dust deposition on the magnetic properties of soil was started by Prof. Strzyszcz in 1988. In 1993-1996, intensive studies on the magnetic susceptibility of forest soils were carried out on the territory of the Regional Directorate of State Forests in Katowice. They led to the creation of the first maps of topsoil magnetic susceptibility at the regional level. At the same time, practical recultivation work is being carried out at the fly ash landfill of the "Siersza" power plant and the sand pit of the "Szczakowa" sand mine, as well as at the landfills for fizzy drink ash waste of the "Fizzy drink Mątwy" S.A. Chemical Works in Inowrocław. International cooperation in the field of magnetic susceptibility research in 1998 and 1999 led to the formation of the MAGPROX consortium, which carried out the major international project "Screening and monitoring of anthropogenic pollution over Central Europe by using Magnetic Proxies (1999) within the EU 5th Framework Programme. -2003) ". As part of this project, professional equipment for magnetic field and laboratory measurements was acquired, a new instrument for testing magnetic susceptibility "in situ" in a vertical profile was constructed (Magnetometer SM400 - Patent No. 101 21 137), and a large-scale map of magnetic susceptibility of soils in Central Europe was published. In 2002, a map of magnetic susceptibility of soils of Poland was published, and in 2003, a map of magnetic susceptibility of soils of Saxony (commissioned by the Saxon State Office for Environment and Geology) was prepared (last published in 2017). The next major international projects were carried out under the 6 FP EU in 2004 - 2005 SOWA (Integrated Soil and Wter Protection - Risk from Diffuse Pollution) and 2005-2007 SAFEMANMIN (Safe Management of Mining Waste and Waste Facilities). Since 2013, the head of the department is Full Professor Tadeusz Magiera. In 2014, the operation was transformed into the Department of Environmental Magnetism and Land Reclamation. In 2013-2014, the department was the lead participant in another international project IMPACT (Development of integrated geophysical/geochemical methods for assessment and control of soil and groundwater pollution in problematic areas), funded under the Norwegian Funding Mechanism 2009-2014. The final outcome of this project was the development of measurement guidelines for the use of magnetic methods in soil pollution investigations, which were published in 2019 by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) committee as the international standard ISO 21226: 2019 - "Guideline for the screening of soil polluted with toxic elements using soil magnetometry".



Institute of Environmental Engineering of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Zabrze

41-819 Zabrze, ul. M. Skłodowskiej-Curie 34
tel.: +48 32 271 64 81
tel.: +48 32 271 70 40
e-mail: ipis@ipispan.edu.pl
NIP: 648-000-67-20