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Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Raziskave in ohranjanje naravnih vrednot s področja mineralogije v Sloveniji (Slovene)

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
1.06.01  Natural sciences and mathematics  Geology  Mineralogy and petrology 

Code Science Field
1.05  Natural Sciences  Earth and related Environmental sciences 
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (9)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  19029  PhD Nina Daneu  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2011 - 2012  428 
2.  10667  PhD Mateja Gosar  Geology  Researcher  2009 - 2012  431 
3.  11229  PhD Uroš Herlec  Geology  Researcher  2009 - 2012  355 
4.  30874  PhD Aljaž Iveković  Materials science and technology  Junior researcher  2009 - 2012  128 
5.  30879  PhD Alenka Lenart  Geology  Junior researcher  2009 - 2012  26 
6.  29608  PhD Miloš Miler  Geology  Junior researcher  2009 - 2012  194 
7.  10083  PhD Aleksander Rečnik  Chemistry  Head  2009 - 2012  651 
8.  15597  PhD Zoran Samardžija  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2009 - 2012  583 
9.  30892  PhD Saša Zavadlav  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Junior researcher  2009 - 2012  50 
Organisations (3)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0106  Jožef Stefan Institute  Ljubljana  5051606000  91,961 
2.  0215  Geological Survey of Slovenia  Ljubljana  5051410000  11,212 
3.  1555  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engeneering  Ljubljana  1627074  19,946 
Significance for science
The research project »Exploration and preservation of Slovenian mineralogical heritage« was designed as a multidisciplinary project. The research plan did not include only the mineralogical topics, but, particularly in the case of ore deposits, we tackled much wider spectrum of research challenges starting from the discovery of mineral locality, through understanding the priciples of occurrence of the ore bodies in hosting rocks and related development of mining methods. Mineralogy is interpreted in the context of geological history, tectonics and the associated geochemical processes that led to the formation of various mineral assemblages. In the 3-year project period we produced two exceptional scientific monographs on history of mining, geology and mineralogy of the two largest Slovenian ore deposits Mežica and Idrija. The work was performed in close cooperation between the research group and the mining teams from both mines. The monographs disclose complex correlations between the geological processes and the crystallization of minerals. Based on paragenetic relationships between minerals and sulfur geochemistry we were able to propose the theory about the formation of both ore deposits. Mežica ore deposit was classified as the Mississippi Valley type of Pb-Zn ore deposits where the most probable origin of the hydrothermal convection cell were magma through relations between the host rock and the primary minerals, and partially also by the pathways of subsequent oxidation processes. For the major mineral of the oxidation zone, wulfenite, we have demonstrated an uncommon low symmetry (I4 instead of I4/a), which is the cause of hemimorphic morphology of the wulfenite crystals and occurrence of two twin laws, previously unknown to the literature. They were named after their type localities: Igrčevo and Doroteja Law. Worth to mention, these are the first twin laws, named after some Slovenian locality. In mercury ore deposit Idrija, we dedicated special attention to hydrocarbons, present in elevated concentrations in the surrounding sedimentary rocks. Hydrocarbons played an important role in mineralization processes through the system of open faults during the intrusion of high-temperature Hg-rich solutions. Considering the high degree of pyrolysis, we have shown that the majority of sulfur that was required for the formation of cinnabar originated from the host-rock embedded hydrocarbons, while other sources were less important. For the first time we have explained the relationship between the two HgS polymorphs, cinnabar and metacinnabar, reflected in twinning of cinnabar and in their topotaxial intergrowths. The rather unusual coexistence of both polymorphs suggested that they have crystallized simultaneously. This was explained by an increased content of zinc in the solutions, which is known to lower the crystallization temperature of high-temperature polymorph metacinnabar. Using electron microscopy we determined some new minerals. Both monographs are written at high scientific level while using clear and understandable explanations, suitable for a wide readership. Both books are precious documents disclosing the exceptional natural wealth of Slovenia. They present the genesis of mineral localities in the context of geological development of the territory. Following the high interest of the international scientific community, they were translated to English and German, while most recently, the Idrija monograph was also translated to Italian. The monographs are important reference works and will serve as supplementary material for the university studies and to professionals in the fields of geology, mining, mineralogy, chemistry and preservation of natural heritage, as well as the source of new topics for diploma and doctoral theses in the field of mineralogy.
Significance for the country
The scientific and the socio-cultural orientation of the project invigorates the overall comprehension towards protection of the natural environment and natural assets, the promotion and popularization of the acquired knowledge including information activities and last but not least, the activities contribute to regional development, geotourism and a general active mind-set towards our cultural and natural heritage. Work accomplished within this project greatly contributed to international recognition of our natural heritage. Given that in the past years Mežica and Idrija mines abandoned mining activities, mainly due to the temporary decrease of ore prices in the beginning of the 90-ies, they became increasingly aware of the forefront of the cultural, historical, and scientific significance of mineral exploration studies. During shutting down the mining activities, their work was shifted towards preservation of the remaining geological, mineralogical, technical as well as cultural heritage for future development of mining tourism and thus their participation in our project arose as the most natural choice. As both mines were still well maintained during the time of the project and in most parts they were easily accessible this was the last opportunity to restitute all that was deemed lost, and by carefully planned research and underground explorations obtain a sufficient number of specimens for investigations and to build new mineralogical collections at the mines. These specimens are nowadays important type material of newly discovered twin laws and other unusual assemblages, which, after being thoroughly studied, and presented to the international mineralogical community, represent an important part of Slovenian natural heritage. In the frame of the project we started to build an interactive database of mineral occurrences based on the available stratigraphic, geological and cartographic data, which will serve for the assessment and prediction of spatial distribution of the ore bodies in future exploitation. Knowledge on hydrological conditions, distribution of mine workings and still embedded ore bodies will assist effective remediation of environmental risks related to the existing ore deposit and potentially new mining activities. The work done within the project will serve as valuable basis for the new studies of mineral occurrences, and as an important source for new research projects in the field of mineralogy in Slovenia. According to the regional and historical emplacement of Slovenia in the Alpine region, we contributed to better recognition of Slovenia in the map of European mineralogy, while based on first responses of many renowned mineralogists, our work already serves as an example of systematic and multidisciplinary treatment of this topic. Our research has partially helped the establishment of Geoparks in Mežica and Idrija and was a significant contribution to the inscription of the Idrija mine on the UNESCO list of World's natural heritage in 2012. Similar approaches to research and conservation of natural assets, especially in the field of mineralogy are a worldwide novelty and represent a worthy challenge for neighboring regions. Knowledge gained in the frame of our project is presented to the general public in various ways. The research results were regularly presented on domestic and foreign audience in form of presentations at the scientific meetings and symposia. In addition to publications special exhibitions of the collected specimens were organized and mineral collections from the explored mineral localities were carefully documented. To complete the work, illustrated monographs were issued for each of the investigated localities. This is the ultimate way to build an asset, whether cultural or natural, and make it become an important part of common treasury of knowledge and heritage for future generations.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2009, 2010, 2011, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2009, 2010, 2011, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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