On December 25, 1925 on the initiative of the young professor Alexandre Janelidze, a graduate of the Sorbonne and Kazan universities, the Institute of Geology was founded on the basis of the Department of Geology and Paleontology of the Tbilisi State University. It was one of the first scientific-research institutions of geological profile in the former Soviet Union. In 1941, the Institute entered the system of the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR, in 2006, it came under the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia, and since 2010, it has been part of the Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University.
Before the establishment of the Institute of Geology, from the 30s of the 19th century, the territory of the Caucasus, including Georgia, was explored by French geologists Dubois de Montperre, E. Favr and E. Fournier, and especially fruitfully and for a long time - the German geologist Hermann Abich. From the beginning of the twenties of the 20th century, this region was studied by the geologists of the Caucasus section of the Russian Geological Committee V. Rengarten, A. Agalin, K. Paffengoltz, B. Meffert, N. Vassoevich and others. From the same period, Georgian geologists carried out a detailed study of the geological structure of Georgia and later the Caucasus and its adjacent territories.
The first scientists of the Institute of Geology (then the Institute of Geology and Mineralogy) were: A. Janelidze (director), K. Gabunia, G. Smirnov, N. Kipiani, G. Tsulukidze. In the following years, the Institute was gradually replenished with scientists and the scale of scientific-research work expanded. In the 40s of the twentieth century, the institute already had several laboratories, a monographic paleontological museum and a rich special library.
First, scientific research work was carried out mainly in the direction of stratigraphy and paleontology. Later, following the extension of scientific research tasks, researches were started in other fields as well. In particular, in regional geology, tectonics, mineralogy, petrology, lithology, volcanology, hydrogeology, etc. By the 40s of the 20ieth century, at the institute factually an original Georgian geological school had already formed. Paleontologist, stratigrapher and tectonist A. Janelidze, mineralogist and petrographer A. Tvalchrelidze and specialist of minerals K. Gabunia are rightfully considered to be the creators of this school.
In the middle of the 20th century, fundamental studies in the stratigraphy-paleontology and regional geology (A. Janelidze, I. Kakhadze, P. Gamkrelidze, I. Kacharava, M. Eristavi, A. Tsagareli), in the petrology (G. Zaridze, N. Tatrishvili, Sh. Javakhishvili, S. Chikhelidze), in volcanology (G. Dzotsenidze, N. Skhirtladze) and mineralogy (G. Gvakharia) were published in the form of monographs. These works created a solid basis for a detailed study of the geological structure of the territory of Georgia. Later, geological research was continued by their pupils and with their scientific achievements, the Georgian geological school gained international recognition.
Currently, researches in the Institute of Geology are carried out in almost all directions of geological science, mainly based on the modern geological theory of Plate Tectonics. Since the beginning of the 70s, of the 20ieth century young scientists of the Institute of Geology have tried to prove the basic provisions of this theory on the example of such a unique “natural laboratory” as the Caucasus and other regions of the adjacent Alpine-Himalayan mobile belt. First, it was the study of the pre-Alpine and Alpine geodynamic evolution of this region, the mechanism of tectonic structures, including nappes, the direction and speed of recent and modern horizontal and vertical movements of the Earth's crust, and seismogenerating faults. At the same time, the detailed biostratigraphic division of the Phanerozoic sediments of Georgia and their paleogeographical research, the petromineralogical, geochemical and geochronological study of the processes of metamorphism and granite formation and the determination of the geodynamic conditions of the origin of these rocks. Also, petrological and lithological research of sedimentary rocks and volcanic formations, geochemical study of magmatic and ore processes in the territory of Georgia and study of geology of mineralization, geo-ecological, geochemical and hydrochemical research of the Black Sea water area of Georgia and hydrogeological and hydrochemical research of underground waters of Georgia are being carried out, as well as study and evaluation of deposits and determination of ways of their rational use.
Currently, there are five Scientific Departments in the Institute of Geology:
- Department of Stratigraphy and Paleontology;
- Department of Tectonics and Regional Geology;
- Department of Petrology, Volcanology, Mineralogy and Lithology;
- Department of Mineral Resources Geology and Geochemistry;
- Department of Environmental Protection.
The following scientific projects are being processed in the Departments:
- Department of Stratigraphy and Paleontology (Head of the Department Academician M. Kakabadze)
Project: Stratigraphy of Mesozoic and Cenozoic deposits of Georgia.
Within the scope of the project, the following researches are carried out:
- Stratigraphy of Lower and Middle Jurassic deposits of Georgia;
- Stratigraphy of Lower Cretaceous deposits;
- Biostratigraphy, paleoecology and paleogeography of the Upper Cretaceous and Paleogene deposits of the Greater Caucasus and the eastern part of the Lesser Caucasus according to nannoplankton;
- Biostratigraphy of Miocene deposits of Georgia.
- Department of Tectonics and Regional Geology (Head of the Department Academician I. Gamkrelidze)
Project: Tectonic deformations and geological and geodynamic evolution of Georgia and adjacent regions.
Within the scope of the project, the following researches are carried out:
- Tectonic structures of different ages, order, morphology and genesis and the study of mechanism of their origin;
- The establishment of the nature and speed of recent (neotectonic) and modern movements of the Earth's crust in the territory of Georgia;
- Olistostrome complexes of Georgia and their geological significance;
- Determination of the time and duration of Mesozoic-Cenozoic orogenic phases;
- Palinspastic reconstructions of the eastern segment of the Southern slope of the Greater Caucasus for the Mesozoic-Cenozoic period;
- Structural evolution and depth structure of the molasse troughs of Georgia based on geological-geophysical data and creation of a three-dimensional model of the crystalline basement;
- Geodynamic evolution of the Mesozoic and Cenozoic time of the territory of Georgia in connection with the geodynamic evolution of the Caucasus.
- Department of Petrology, Volcanology, Mineralogy and Lithology (Head of the Department Academician D. Shengelia)
Project: Magmatism and metamorphism in the territory of Georgia.
Within the scope of the project, the following researches are conducted:
- Precambrian and Paleozoic magmatism;
- Complex (mineralogic, petrographic and petrogeochemical) study of metamorphic formations;
- Large-scale (1:50,000) mapping of crystallinicum of Georgia;
- Creation of petrogenetic and geodynamic models of Precambrian and Phanerozoic magmatism and regional metamorphism of Georgia;
- Mesozoic intrusive and effusive magmatism;
- Cenozoic intrusive and effusive magmatism;
- Cretaceous and Paleogene effusive series; Research of Cretaceous and Eocene volcanogenic-sedimentary formations; Neogene-Anthropogene effusives.
- 4. Department of Mineral Resources Geology and Geochemistry (Head of the Department S. Kekelia)
Project: Ore formation on the territory of Georgia.
Within the scope of the project, the following researches are conducted:
- Elaboration of a geological-genetic model of volcanogenic epigenetic deposits;
- Establishing the potential of gold and copper in the Bolnisi region;
- Establishing the gold potential of the western part of Adjara-Trialeti;
- Study of gold manifestations of Guria and assessment of the gold potential of Adjara-Trialeti; Creation of metallogenic and prognostic maps for gold-bearing areas on the Southern slope of the Greater Caucasus;
- Assessment of the gold potential of the Southern slope of the Greater Caucasus (within Georgia);
- Study of hydrothermal-sedimentary ore manifestations of the Southern slope of the Greater Caucasus;
- Elaboration of geological-genetic and exploration models of hydrothermal-sedimentary polymetallic deposits;
- Assessment of the probability of discovery of hydrothermal-sedimentary copper and polymetallic deposits of the Southern slope of the Greater Caucasus within Georgia;
- Assessment of the level of exploration of the metallic deposits of Georgia and creation of a 1:500,000 scale metallogenic map of the Caucasus.
- Department of Environmental Protection (Head of the Department, Candidate of Science V. Gvakharia)
Project: Hydrogeological and hydrochemical studies of underground waters of Georgia, study-evaluation of deposits, establishing paths of their rational use;
Project: Geoecological, geochemical and hydrochemical research of the Black Sea water area of Georgia.
The research results are evaluated by the scientific council of the institute consisting of 10 members (chair Academician I. Gamkrelidze). The performed works will be monitored by the director of the institute, Dr. T. Tsutsunava.
In addition to the implementation of scientific topics of the institute, the scientific staff constantly participated in such large-scale State projects as: determination of geological and seismotectonic conditions of the Transcaucasian railway, Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and Shah-Denis gas pipe line and hydroelectric power stations, determination of geoecological conditions of large construction objects, etc. Institute staff compiled (elaborated) international digital maps of the Greater Caucasus and Georgia of various sizes and scales (in Georgian and foreign languages); the Institute participated in the compilation of the National Atlas of Georgia; in creating the concept of natural gas production from clay shales; in the preparation of the concepts of seismic and geoecological safety of Georgia. Currently, the institute is conducting researches on the geology of metallic and non-metallic deposits of Georgia; for the purpose of industrial utilization, underground water resources, their hydrochemistry and ecology are being studied; new water treatment technologies are being introduced, etc.
With the participation of the institute international maps were published: Map of Metamorphic Formations of the Greater Caucasus Crystalline Basement (1:200,000), Metamorphic Facies Map of the Greater Caucasus Crystalline Basement (1:200,000), International Tectonic Map of Europe (1:500,000), digital maps: Geological Map of Georgia (1:500,000, in Georgian and English, author G. Gujabidze, editor I. Gamkrelidze), Tectonic Map of Georgia (1:500,000, in Georgian and English, editor I. Gamkrelidze), Metallogenic Map of the Caucasus (1:500 000), Metallogenic Map of the Lesser Caucasus (1:500 000), Volcanogenic Map of Bolnisi Ore District (1: 200 000), Metalogenic Map of Adjara and Svaneti (1: 200 000), Metalogenic Map of Pontides (1: 500 000), Metallogenic Map of the Western Part of Adjara-Trialeti (1: 200 000), Alaverdi (1: 200 000) Armenia) Volcanogenic Map (1:25 000), Volcanogenic Map of Merisi Ore knot (1:25 000), Metallogenic Map of the Caucasus (on the geodynamic base, 1: 500 000), Geological Map of the Loki Crystalline Massive (1:50 000), Map of the Loki Crystalline Metamorphic Facies (1:50 000) and specific detailed large-scale digital maps of various metallic and non-metallic minerals.
Under the leadership of the Institute of Geology, many international and local scientific events have been held in Georgia. In its turn, the staff of the Institute actively participates in various local and international scientific events. The scientists of the Institute are involved in the process of international cooperation and have professional connections with various foreign Universities and Scientific Centers. The scientists of the Institute have obtained many international and national scientific grants. They have received numerous state and nominal prizes and awards. The Institute’s scientists are involved in educational activities in various Universities of Georgia and supervise Master’s and PhD topics. Since 1932, the Institute has been publishing its own periodicals. Since 1965, a new series of "Proceedings of the Institute of Geology" has been published. By present, 134 issues of this series have been published in the Institute of Geology.
There is the oldest and rich scientific library in the Institute. A unique paleontological museum was created by the Institute's scientists, in which 130 collections monographically studied and published for many years are kept.
In addition to scientific activities, the Institute carries out works of applied character. In particular: the complex geological study of the project areas for the construction of civil and military objects (hydro power stations, highways, railways, tunnels, etc.) in Georgia, drawing up specific detailed large-scale digital maps of different profiles and scales of the territory of Georgia, including metallic and non-metallic useful minerals; the study of young faults in the vicinity of Tbilisi in relation to seismic zoning; allocation of landslide-prone areas in settlements and cities; compilation of guides for geotourist routes of various load for the territory of Georgia; expert and consulting services in different directions of geology; compilation of the monographic atlas of rocks and minerals of the territory of Georgia (in color, with explanations) and others. In the Complex Laboratory of Geological Research multi-profile analytical services are provided for a wide range of customers (various branches of geology, oil and gas exploration, chemistry, geochemistry, engineering geology, environment, soil science (pedology), building materials sector, glass and ceramic processing, etc.).
The scientific researches carried out by several generations of the Geological Institute has won international recognition for the Georgian Geological School. According to the world famous scientist, academician Viktor Khain: “It is difficult to overestimate the significance of the contribution of the Georgian geological school, its three generations, to the geology of not only Georgia, but also the Caucasus and even the entire Alpine-Himalayan belt.”