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Institute of Geophysics of the CAS, v. v. i.
International Continental Scientific Drilling Program – ICDP
„Scientific drilling is an indispensable tool of modern Earth science research, as it provides the only means of obtaining direct information on processes operating at depth. Drilling allows for the determination of in situ properties of solid materials and fluids and permits testing of hypotheses and models derived from surface observations. In addition, drill holes may be used as a natural laboratory for experiments and as observatories for long-term monitoring of on-going active processes. Earth drilling, therefore, plays a critical role in scientific research directed towards improved understanding of the workings of our planet and has a key role in solving urgent socio-economic problems.“
(from U. Harms, Ch. Koeberl, M. D. Zoback: Continental Scientific Drilling – A decade of Progress, and Challenges for the Future. Springer, Berlin, 2007).
The International Continental Scientific Drilling Program, ICDP, was founded in the year 1996. The Czech Republic joined ICDP in 2003. The membership fee of the Czech Republic (25.000 USD annually) is covered by Ministry of Education of the Czech Republic through the Institute of Geophysics of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. Czech Republic is represented in two important bodies of ICDP – Executive Committee (A. Špičák, Institute of Geophysics) and Science Advisory Group (J. Šafanda, Institute of Geophysics).
The drilling experience in the Czech Republic is mainly associated with oil prospecting in the northern part of the Vienna Basin, belonging to the Czech Republic, and is summarised in Suk, M., Ďurica, D., Obstová, V., Staňková, E.: Hluboké vrty v Čechách a na Moravě a jejich geologické výsledky. Nakl. Gabriel, Praha 1991 (in Czech). In the 90s of the XX century, many Czech geologists and geophysicists took part in geoscience research associated with the prestigious German KTB (Kontinentales TiefBohrprogramm) project, situated in the westernmost part of the Bohemian Massif on German territory, only several tens of kilometers from the Czech-German border. The results of these studies are presented in Vrána St., Štědrá, V. (editors): Geological model of western Bohemia related to the KTB borehole in Germany. J. Geol. Sci. 47, Czech Geol. Survey, Praha 1997. The recent scientific drilling interests in the Czech Republic are directed towards northwestern part of the Bohemian Massif, where recent dynamics is responsible for repeated earthquake swarms of weak to moderate size, increased heat flow, numerous CO2 emissions, rich mineral waters and two small scoria volcanoes of Quaternary age. The ICDP-funded workshop on this topic was held in the Czech Republic in 2004. The workshop summary was published in the inaugural issue of Scientific Drilling journal in 2005 (Špičák, A., A. Förster, and B. Horsfield, b., 2005. Drilling the Eger Rift (Workshop Report), Scientific Drilling, 1, 44-45).