Meet the Scientist #11 – Gyula Maros PhD

Stability and change

I am Gyula Maros from Hungary. I work in the wonderful “ArtGeo” building in Budapest, which is named after its architectural style, Art Nouveau. Despite the fact that the building has always been the “castle” of research geologists, the institution has been renamed several times during its 151 years long history: first it was the Hungarian Royal Geological Institute, then the Geological Institute of Hungary (MÁFI), later the Geological and Geophysical Institute of Hungary (MFGI) and now the Mining and Geological Survey of Hungary (MBFSZ). Yes, sometimes stability and change can walk in the same shoes.

I lead Work Package 4 in the frame of the GeoConnect3d project. It is being implemented in cooperation of 8 countries in a clockwise spiral: Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia and Hungary.

Meet a scientist? When this blog series started it was a special way to meet a scientist, now it is almost the only way to do so. So you are welcome in my home office. How can a geologist work in home office? It is strange, isn’t it? In Hungary there is a saying “iron ring, made of wood”. A geologist has nothing to do with the state borders just like a virus. But now the virus forces geologists inside their borders, even inside their homes.

Fly above the underground

You know, my almost 35 years working as a geologist is almost nothing compared to the 151 years of my institution, but long life – lots of stories. Oh no, don’t go away please, I won’t tell you all.

What has always allured me is to understand the processes in the Earth and this has lead me straight into the arms of tectonics. For about a decade I was dealing with sensu stricto structural geology, tectonic mapping, measuring of slickensides and fold axis. I wrote my MSc thesis about brittle tectonics in the Vértes Mountains.

After that, life gently took my collar, pushed me out of my nest and introduced me to the nuclear power vs. geology problematics. I took part in research for the disposal of low and intermediate, then later high level radioactive wastes, as well as in geological research for a new nuclear power plant for at least twenty years, at first as a research fellow, later as a project leader. The investigations were based mainly on geophysics, evaluation of boreholes and documentation of shafts. So with my co-workers I developed a geological data collecting and evaluating HW-SW station, named ImaGeo, which consists of self-developed equipments: a Corescanner, a Laser induced plasm spectrometer and a so called Photorobot to image the walls of outcrops and mining spaces in a photogrammetric way. During this time we evaluated about 5 km of shafts and 20 km of borehole cores in high resolution not only in Hungary, but in the Czech Republic and in Kazakhstan too and I prepared my PhD thesis from the evaluation of borehole scanning data in the granitic pluton that was selected to host the low and intermediate level wastes in SW-Hungary.

During these times I had become more and more a manager and leader of the Geological Division of the Survey. For the solution of applied geological tasks it was necessary to build complex geological models based on geophysics, so I gradually got closer to the regional or country-scale geological models. In the EU founded projects of Transenergy, DARLINGe and partly in the PanGeo I coordinated the correlation of the 3D geological models of the participating countries. These models constituted the base for the water flow and heat transport models, so that we understand the geo-energy potentials.

To hand over my experiences I write (with my colleagues as co-workers of course) books for the public, e.g. about the geology of Budapest or the history of the ArtGeo Palace of MBFSZ, and I also take part in the university education.

What about my hobbies? I love stones but I like wood as well, so I gladly make little pieces and furnitures of wood. This is a flow experience and hobby for me.

Remain GeoConnect³d

In the frame of WP4 we aim to make a geo-tectonic model of the Pannonian Basin in 5 seismic horizons, based on a very detailed structural framework database. The age interval of our efforts spans from the Neogene synrift stage, when the Pannonian Basin initiated on the crystalline and paleo-mesozoic fragments that occupied the Carpathian embayment due to the push of the Adria microcontinent, till today.

Based on our model, two pilot territories will be investigated in more details to bound the existing geomanifestations to these Neogene structures. Our experiences will be realized in a visualisation for policy makers and stakeholders to conduct a future-friendly management of the geological space, and to decide among the possible competitive usages in a sustainable way.