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Department 480 - Centre for Lithospheric Research

Research at the CLR focuses on the characterisation, imaging, quantification, and modelling of geodynamic Earth systems related to convergent plate boundaries. We apply a multidisciplinary approach, through which, we are able to develop large-scale syntheses and conceptual and numerical models for orogenic processes. The majority of our research is centered around two natural laboratories: the Bohemian Massif, which provides an example of a large hot collisional orogen and the Central Asia Orogenic Belt, representing a large accretionary complex. These natural laboratories serve as a reference for understanding deep crustal processes operating in large-scale modern orogenic systems like Tibet or the western Pacific orogens.

The lithospheric structure and orogenic processes are studied by a combination of three main approaches:

  • Geophysical potential methods focused on imaging and modelling of the lithosphere, and palaeomagnetism combined with structural geology applied on large-scale kinematic models.
  • Characterisation and quantification of metamorphic and magmatic systems related to structural characterisation of geodynamic setting.
  • Numerical and analogue modelling of orogenic processes from micro- to continental scales based on conceptual geodynamic syntheses.


The Centre for Lithospheric Research was formed in 2012 at the Czech Geological Survey based on an initiative of the Czech government, which encouraged outstanding Czech researchers living abroad to create excellent research groups of international level in the Czech Republic.

The Czech government program provided the necessary conditions for the return of several internationally recognised Czech researchers from abroad and to attract specialists from other countries to form a core of the Centre for Lithospheric Research. The Czech Geological Survey provided an appropriate base for the new team, equipment and the institutional framework. The research is carried out together with our closest research partners: Institute of Petrology and Structural Geology of Charles University and the Geophysical Institute of Academy of Science.

The group integrates geoscientists coming from a variety of different research fields; including, geodynamics, tectonics, metamorphic petrology, isotope geochemistry, geochronology and geophysics with active research on five continents. The main focus of the research group is to develop new research linking the geodynamics of Pacific type accretionary and Tethysian collisional systems. The main processes studied is the flow of orogenic lower crust in these orogens, rheological behavior of the lithosphere and mechanisms of continental growth.

Karel Schulmann

Head of the Department - Prof. Karel Schulmann

Researcher with 35 years of field experience with the main emphasis on structural geology and geodynamics of orogenic belts. Established the Centre for Lithospheric Research in 2012 through the "Return of Czech scientists" project of the Ministry of Education. Further projects and funding from the Czech grant agency GAČR, the French grant agency ANR and the French-Hong Kong grant initiative PROCORE. He is editor of Tectonics, International Journal of Earth Science, Journal of the Geological Society of London and Terra Nova.

Current Projects

  • Contrasting mechanisms of formation of the Pangea supercotinent: new insights into formation of continental crust - GAČR 17-17540S (2017-2019)
  • The role of inherited continental margin architecture on early Variscan convergence - GAČR 17-22207S (2017-2019)
  • Granulite–migmatite domes - insights to Devonian and Carboniferous evolution in the Variscan belt on the examples of the Náměšť granulite and Góry Sowie massifs - Institutional 321190 (2017-2018)
  • Melting the metagranitoids: important but poorly understood aspect of crust evolution - GAČR 16-17457S (2016-2018)
  • Understanding of high pressure fluid present melting of metagranitoids: examples from Eger crystalline and Kutna Hora crystalline complexes - Institutional 321440 (2015-2017)

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Czech Geological Survey
Klárov 131/3
118 21 Praha 1
phone: +420257089432
fax: +420 257 531 376