Department of sedimentology of provinces of combustible minerals

Department of sedimentology of provinces of combustible minerals


The department was formed in 1980. Its unchangeable head was a Corresponding member of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine Senkovsky Yu. M. till June 2016. At the present time Doctor of Geology Grygorchuk K.G. is in charge of the department.

A school of the patriarch of the Ukrainian lithology, Academician of Academy of Sciences of Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic L. G. Tkachuk who in 1945 founded a department of lithology of useful minerals at the Institute that became a scientific center for studying sedimentary formations and associated useful minerals in the West of Ukraine, has become the fundamentals of the department.

There are 20 employees working at the department, among their number: two Doctors of Science and five Candidates of Science.

Recent basic achievements in study of sedimentary processes in modern marine basins of the World Ocean obtained by the international association of geologists as a result of oceanic investigations carried out according to the programme “Deep Sea Drilling Project” and other, have emphasized the urgent necessity of widely scaled study of the ancient marine sedimentogenesis at tectonic scarps of ancient continental margins and studying the formation processes within the limits of definite genetic types of deposits and associated useful minerals. Owing to participation in the execution of the international programme of geological correlation (IPGC) within the framework of UNESCO, namely: projects Nos. 58, 89, 115, 156, 187, (Yu. Senkovsky et al., 1974, 1986), unique factual materials were collected and studied by the department of sedimentology of provinces of combustible minerals.

According to this urgent global geological problem not only of great scientific, but applied importance, over the last years the direction of scientific studies of the department is: Study of geological-paleoceanographic conditions of sedimentogenesis and lithogenesis of marine deposits of oil- and gas-bearing basins of ancient continental margins with the purpose of revealing the processes of formation and the law-governed nature of the spatial-temporal distribution of useful minerals (hydrocarbons, “combustible shales”, phosphatic, crystobalite-chalcedonic, carbonate raw materials)”.

In the light of the development of these subjects on the basis of executed theoretical and experimental works Yu. Senkovsky was the first who laid the scientific foundation of the new scientific direction of priority for domestic science: “Geological and chemical paleoceanography of ancient continental margins, their useful minerals” which is one of the principal directions of scientific investigations of the Institute at present (Resolution of the Presidium of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, 2004).

Over the last years within the framework of this scientific direction the distinguishing of new theoretical discipline, the upwelling geology, became consecrated, in the context of which the works are executed, for example on the questions of the problem of oil genesis.

To the most important scientific achievements obtained by the team of the department belong:

  • creation of the modern conception of the geological structure and the development of the ancient continental margin of the Carpathian-Podolian-Black Sea segment of the Tethys ocean, clarification of the processes of terrigenic, edaphogenic, biogenic and biogenic-chemogenic sedimentation in Vendian, Late Mesozoic and Paleogene. These elaborations formed the scientific basis of the solution of the most important scientific and national economic problems (spatial-temporal distribution of ancient Tethyan shelf deposits under the overthrust of the Carpathians and within the limits of the Podolian-Black Sea segment; evaluation of the prospects for oil and gas presence, phosphate and silicite);
  • on the basis of lithogenesis and mineralogenesis studies of the Late Mesozoic basins of the northern hemisphere, using the well-known plate-tectonic reconstructions, the Atlantic-Tethyan belt of the Cretaceous carbonate and siliceous accumulations was discovered that was formed due to latitude divergence of water mass in this part of the World Ocean, the northern segment of which forms the Northern Sea oil- and gas-bearing province;
  • geodynamics and chemism of the Albian-Cenomanian and Oligocene near-shore upwelling in the Carpathian-Black Sea segment of the Tethys Ocean were discovered and described, its decisive role in the formation and location in this upwelling formation of definite complexes of sedimentary series and associated useful minerals (hydrocarbons, phosphate material) was established;
  • on the basis of discovered ancient near-shore upwelling systems in the northern edge of the Tethys Ocean (Yu. Senkovsky, 1971) and generalized data as to the nature of sedimentogenesis in the modern upwelling areas of the World Ocean and having used the results of formational study of sedimentary beddings of the Carpathians-Black Sea segment of the Tethys Ocean, the scientists of the department for the first time in the lithology have described the new genetic type of sedimentary bedding enriched with definite complexes of biogenic deposits under the name “upwelling formations”. These elaborations have made it possible to substantiate the conception in accortdance with which separate modern upwelling belts (Peru-Chilie, California, Oregon, Black Sea and other) may be considered as future oil- and gas-bearing basins of the world in the next geological era – Psychozoic.

Scientific achievements of the department as to this large-scale problem are described in the monograph “Geological paleoceanography of the Tethys ocean (Carpathian-Black Sea segment)” (Yu. Senkovsky, K. Grygorchuk, V. Gnidets, Yu. Koltun. – Kyiv: Naukova Dumka, 2004) and in a number of other publications.

Today creative efforts of the employees of the department are directed to the development of new actual subjects: ascertaining of the processes of ancient marine sedimentogenesis in the periods of global oceanic anoxic events that caused the formation of specific by genesis sedimentary beddings – oil- and gas-bearing, “black shale” and phosphate-bearing series in the shelves of the World ocean, including those in the territory of Ukraine (Carpathian-Podolian-Black Sea segment of the continental margin of the Tethys ocean).

As the results of these studies, a monograph “Anoxic events of the Tethys Ocean (Carpatho-Black Sea segment)” was published (Yu.M. Senkovsky, Yu.V. Koltun, K.G. Grygorchuk, V.P. Gnidets, I.T. Popp, N.Ya. Radkovets – K: Naukova Dumka, 2012. 182 pp.), which deals with the complex issues that are the subject of chemical paleoceanography. The development of this scientific direction highlights the example of ancient epi-pelagic and meso-pelagic basins of Carpatho-Podolski-Black Sea continental margin of the Tethys Ocean.

For the last 5 years the results of scientific achievements of the employees of the department were published in 7 monographs and 78 articles and described in one dissertation.

  • On the basis of certain aspects of the geological and chemical paleoceanography of Carpatho-Podolian-Black Sea segment of the Tethys established and monograph described the five major anoxic ocean events, sedimentology evidence of them are “black-shale” layering of  Vendian (OAE-V), Barremian-Aptian (OAE -1) Turon (UAE-2) and Oligocene (OAE-Oli), which can be traced in the Carpathian-Black Sea oil province.
  • For the first time from the positions of the developed fluid-dynamic model of catagenesis, postsedimentation transformation of Phanerozoic strata of the Black Sea segment of continental margin of the Tethys Ocean have been studied.
  • Paleooceanographic conditions of avalanche carbonate sedimentation have been established that led to forming carbonate oil and gas strata (Upper Cretaceous, Upper Jurassic) in the Carpathian and Black Sea shelf.
  • Lithogenetic model of reservoir formation of “shale” gas has been developed and space-time discreteness of their development has been grounded. Geochemical and physic-chemical processes of sorbtion of organic compounds, hydrophobization of deposits and “capillary condensation of gas,” causing potential gas bearing “black shale” formations of stratosphere have been designed.
  • For the first time, based on geochemical research quantitative description of generation properties of black shale deposits of menilite formation of the Ukrainian Carpathians has been given and studied their evolution in the process of catagenetic transformation of sedimentary measures.

The department realizes the training of scientific personnel. Every year young future scientists study at the post-graduate course and the employees are working on their doctor’s thesis. Four dissertations have been defended for the last five years:

Grygorchuk K.G. “The dynamic of catagenesis of the rocks of sedimentary complexes of oil and gas bearing basins”. Dissertation for scientific degree of doctor of geological sciences by speciality 04.00.21 – lithology. Lviv, 2012.

Koltun Yu.V. “Geochemical evolution of black shale measures and oil and gas systems of the Ukrainian Carpathians and the Carpathian Foredeep  “. Dissertation for scientific degree of doctor of geological sciences by speciality 04.00.21 – lithology. Lviv, 2013.

Moroz M.V. “Lithology of the Upper Jurassic deposits of the outer zone of the Carpathian Foredeep”. Dissertation for scientific degree of candidate of geological sciences by speciality 04.00.21 – lithology. Lviv, 2012.

Rever V.B. “Lithology of the Eocene deposits of the north-western shelf of the Black Sea (in context of oil-and gas-bearing) “. Dissertation for scientific degree of candidate of geological sciences by speciality 04.00.21 – lithology. Lviv, 2012.

Election of Yu. Senkovsky as the corresponding member of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, V. Vernadsky prize-winner, confering a title “Honorary explorer” and rewarding with the Honorary Badge of 1st degree of National Joint Stock Company “Naftogaz of Ukraine” – all these became the appreciation of the work of the department of sedimentology of provinces of combustible minerals