Accredited research groups at Geographical Institute

Etnikai-, politikai földrajzi és migrációs kutatócsoport – Research Group on Ethnic – Political Geography and Migration – Prof. Dr. Kocsis Károly

Gazdaságföldrajz Kutatócsoport – Economic Geography and Spatial Development Research Group – Dr. Michalkó Gábor

Urbanizációs és településkörnyezeti kutatócsoport – Urbanisation and settlement environment research group – Dr. Kovács Zoltán

Negyedidőszak és felszínfejlődési folyamatok kutatócsoport – Research Group on Quaternary and Landscape Evolution Processes – Dr. Varga György

Természetföldrajzi kutatócsoport – Research Group for Physical Geography – Dr. Szalai Zoltán



Investigation of Late Neogene geomorphological levels in the Carpathian Basin - Geomorphological Mapping Research Group - Dr. Schweitzer Ferenc
Group Leader: Schweitzer Ferenc
Group Members: Jakab Gergely, Kis Éva, Viczián István, Varga György, Balogh János, Szeberényi József
External members: Nagy István, Fábián Szabolcs Ákos, Prodán Tímea Hajnal, Varga Gábor
Research topics:1. Late Neogene topography of the Pannonian Basin:
We will provide a new perspective on the major geomorphological processes that took place in the Paratethys sub-basins, including the interior of the Carpathian Basin, during the Late Neogene and Pliocene, the resulting forms and their ages. The global nature of the subject requires geophysicists and geomorphologists to work together in age determinations, morphometric measurements, and stratigraphic positioning of covered sediments. To determine changes in the value of subsurface formations, to construct cross-sections and to detect the presence of relief, valleys and meanders on the basis of layer boundaries: ground penetrating radar (GPR), VLF, electromagnetic equipment, high sensitivity radiofrequency pron magnetometer, frequency or seismic equipment. The priority of the research is both a task for Hungarian science and of international importance, in particular because of the study of past and future changes in paleoclimatological cycles.2. Surface and subsurface topography and the possible relationship of chloride-containing waters and other accompanying phenomena to earthquakes, with special emphasis on sedimentary basins:
Our work involves interpreting and reconstructing topography of different ages, surface and subsurface, delineating tectonic lines on the map, and examining data from deep waters with high chloride content. The higher chloride content of the waters can be related to the rise or fall of the bedrock or to the structural lines. The research is aimed at protecting the citizens of Hungary and making natural hazards that threaten their daily lives more predictable.3. High-lying coastal areas at risk of collapse:
methods for protecting them: The aim of the research is to identify and map the settlements with high banks at risk of collapse in a given region, to assess the natural and social risks of the expected transformation of the cultural landscape threatened by surface movements, and to develop coastal protection methods adapted to the geomorphological conditions. The research will result in the formulation of recommendations for the rehabilitation of the coastline in line with geomorphological, environmental and landscape protection considerations. 4. Flood safety of the Tisza Valley in Hungary and the relationship between climate impacts:
One of the key tasks to increase the flood safety of the Tisza Valley is to clean up the river's floodplain in order to ensure that extreme floods can be discharged without damage.
Based on the planned geomorphological studies, we propose solutions to restore the river's freedom of movement where the surface conditions allow, thus creating the conditions for traditional water management, and to examine the surroundings of emergency reservoirs and existing vulnerable hydraulic structures from the point of view of flood safety.
Foreign contacts: Croatia (University of Zagreb), China (State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Chinese Academy of Sciences), Switzerland (Université de Neuchatel), Germany (Freie Universität Berlin), Russia (Geographical Institute-Russian Academy of Sciences), Canada (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa)
Report on the scientific work carried out in 2014

Lithosphere-biosphere interactions Research Sport - Dr. Szalai Zoltán
Group Leader: Szalai Zoltán
Group Members: Jakab Gergely, Madarász Balázs, Sipos Péterné Tóth Adrienn, Balogh János, Mészáros Erzsébet, Kiss Klaudia
External members: Sipos Péter, Németh Tibor, Balázs Réka, Horváth Szabó Kata, Zboray Nóra, Kása Ilona
Research topics:In addition to earth science research with links to life sciences, this research group aims to provide a framework for methodological developments and externally commissioned work related to the natural geography laboratory. Consequently, the Lithosphere-Biosphere Interactions research group intends to focus on the following themes over the next three years:1. The relationship between spatial patterns and the biogeochemical cycling of major elements (iron, carbon, nitrogen):
Natural and man-made vegetation patterns have a significant influence on the local cycling of essential and trace elements. This is partly due to micro-climatic differences and processes in the root environment, and partly due to erosion.
We want to investigate the processes in the root environment in semi-natural wetlands (C, N, Fe) and grassland strips (SOC mineralisation processes) of hilly fields. In investigating erosion-related processes, we will focus primarily on changes in the organic carbon content of the material being moved. For these studies, we plan to carry out method development research using laboratory rainfall simulators.2. Development of sample preparation and measurement methods for laser diffraction grain analysis:
The research, planned in international collaboration, will focus on the development of a material-specific preparation protocol based on a comparative analysis of established sample preparation procedures.3. Precipitation infiltration monitoring studies in the RHFT area of Püspökszilágy:
Outsourced work to monitor the deep infiltration of rainwater in the active zone of the RHFT using two automatic stations in the vicinity of the storage area.4. Laboratory validation of hyperspectral remote sensing The aim of the research is to match the mineral and chemical composition of sediment and soil samples measured by conventional laboratory methods with laboratory reflectance spectra and to match them using hyperspectral aerial photographs and space imagery.
Foreign contacts: contacts University of West England - Bristol, UK. Contact Colin Booth, associate professor. Quantitative and qualitative analysis of soil organic matter content Slovak University of Agriculture, Department of Biometeorology and Hydrology, Nitra, Slovakia: Elena Kondrlová, Research related to grain analysis
Report on the scientific work carried out in 2014

Lösz and the Quarterly Research Group - Dr. Kis Éva
Group Leader: Kis Éva
Group Members: Schweitzer Ferenc, Viczián István, , Varga György, Balogh János, Bradák Balázs, Szeberényi József, Őrsi Anna.
External members: Fábián Szabolcs Ákos, Kovács István Péter, Prodán Tímea Hajnal, Varga Gábor
Research topics:1. Investigation of the archaeogeographical changes in the environment of known Carpathian Basin sites containing faunal successions:
In the framework of the research, Carpathian Basin excavations containing faunal successions are analysed. Our aim is to improve our knowledge of the changes in the prehistoric environment (relief, glaciation, hydrography, etc.) of the areas studied and their evolutionary history. The studies will use the environmental evaluation method developed by the lead researcher and newly introduced methods (oxygen isotope analysis, reddening index, geophysical methods /to determine changes in the value of the subsurface formations, cross-sectional construction, and to detect the prehistoric relief, prehistoric valleys, meanders on the basis of the layer boundaries: Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), VLF, electromagnetic equipment, high sensitivity radio frequency pron magnetometer, frequency and seismic equipment/) to investigate late Neogene environmental changes. The results will also be paralleled with data from full-layer ice cores and deep-sea sediments, with particular emphasis on Heinrich events. In this way, we also try to overcome the often problematic difficulties of dating by determining relative stratigraphic position.2. Reconstruction of glacial-interglacial pore-sedimentation dynamics and paleocirculation processes based on loess series:
The fine-layer and sedimentological analysis of the thick loess-paleo-soil sequences covering the Carpathian Basin allows the reconstruction of the extent of past dust deposition (sedimentation rate, dust flux), atmospheric dust concentration and dust-bearing wind systems. The two types of sedimentation mechanism identified in observations of dust storms in the present (episodic dust storms and permanent background dust deposition) can also be identified by mathematical-statistical resolution of the grain distribution curves of dust-derived sediments, thus providing the possibility to separate dust material from local and long-range (e.g. Sahara) sources.3. Explaining the conditions of formation of the Central European high thickness loesses and the impact of surface and subsurface periglacial phenomena on the relief and hydrography:
There is considerable variation in the thickness of the Central European loess assemblages, due to a combination of factors. From the ice-free corridor between the Fennoscandian ice sheet and the Alpine glaciation centre, the west/north-westerly and north-westerly and north-westerly winds blew out huge amounts of dust during the glacials. This dust material accumulated in areas with suitable geomorphological characteristics, levelling and partially propagating the former relief differences. In many places, the thickest loess layers are composed of a series of essentially superimposed dells. Their economic importance is to mark out the locations where groundwater and stratified water sources emerge. The periglacial surface formation, the characteristic shapes and the processes that form them are studied.4. Investigating Quaternary prehistoric environmental conditions and stratigraphic problems - a paleotopic approach:
A complex study of parallel segmental assemblages in complex prehistoric environments. Comparative study and parallelisation of paleosol levels with local variability, which are classified in the same stratigraphic level but which are subject to paleogeomorphological and prehistoric environmental conditions (e.g. paleosol complexes forming in depressions, aggradational or even extinct paleosols).
Multidisciplinary series of studies aimed at developing a paleo-soil genetic classification system, outlining a complex model of soil formation and evolution by comparative analysis of paleo-soils and recent soil sections.
Clarifying stratigraphic questions by studying paleosols.
Methods used in the study of paleosols: sedimentology, TOC, CaCO3, UV-Vis-NIR spectrophotometer, derivatograph, micromorphological thin sections), possibly frequency-dependent magnetic susceptibility and magnetic susceptibility anisotropy studies.
Foreign contacts: Croatia (University of Zagreb), China (State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Chinese Academy of Sciences), Switzerland (Université de Neuchatel), Germany (Freie Universität Berlin), Russia (Geographical Institute-Russian Academy of Sciences), Canada (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa)
Report on the scientific work carried out in 2014

Hungarian National Atlas Research Group - Prof. Dr. Kocsis Károly
Group Leader: Károly Kocsis
Group Members: Kovács Zoltán, Michalkó Gábor, Horváth Gergely, Keresztesi Zoltán, Nemerkényi Zsombor, Agárdi Norbert, Bradák Balázs , Kovács Anikó, Szabó Balázs , Szabó Renáta , Poór István
External members: Klinghammer István, Márton Mátyás, Zentai László, Gercsák Gábor, Győrffy János, Elek István, Farkas Zoltán, Gede Mátyás, Faragó Imre
Research topic: The new edition of the National Atlas of Hungary (MNA) (after 30 years) would be published in traditional (analogue, print), DVD and online versions between 2015-2018 (if the project starts in 2013). The traditional and DVD versions would consist of four volumes (1. The Hungarian State and Nation - Introduction, 2. Natural Environment, 3. Society, 4. Economy). The online (public and restricted government access) version of the MNA would be made available on a dedicated website as the work progresses, with the individual topics (subject to conditions) being continuously updated (Online MNA Nonstop). The research was directly preceded by the English and Hungarian versions of the country image atlas Hungary in Maps (2009) and Magyarország térképekben (2011), edited by the head of the research team.
Foreign contacts: a member of the research team (L. Zentai, ELTE) is the current Secretary General of the International Cartographic Association (ICA). Commission on Atlases of the ICA (Jordan, P. Vienna, OTA), Institut für Länderkunde (Leipzig, German National Atlas), UTA Geographical Institute (Kiev, Ukrainian National Atlas), other atlas-cartographic cooperation (e.g. Bratislava, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Bucharest, Zurich, Warsaw, Moscow, Minsk).
Report on the scientific work carried out in 2014

Recens Natural Geographical Processes and Landscape Research Group - Dr. Kertész Ádám
Group Leader: Kertész Ádám
Group Members: Jakab Gergely, Madarász Balázs, Sipos Péterné Tóth Adrienn, Szalai Zoltán, Viczián István, Őrsi Anna
Research topics:1. Research on floodplain erosion based on the statistical processing of the national gully density map and the GIS database prepared by the working group and the analysis of the GIS data levels.2. Assessing the importance of grassland strips in mitigating soil erosion and runoff.3. Tracking spatial changes in soil organic carbon composition moved by erosion. The research will investigate three soil types most affected by erosion, which are subject to intensive arable farming.4. Investigation of landscape degradation processes in Hungary . The topic is of great importance from an international perspective and from the perspective of Hungarian science and practice, as it serves to maintain and improve the natural state of Hungarian landscapes. The importance of research on landscape degradation and desertification is also justified by the impact of extreme weather events, which are becoming more frequent as a consequence of climate change.5. This will include an assessment of land use conflicts, agricultural suitability, suitability for renewable energy, and ecosystem services and potential primary production.
Domestic and foreign contacts: among our domestic contacts we would like to highlight our relationship with Balázs Madarász (PhD), Assistant Professor at the Department of Soil and Water Management, Faculty of Horticulture, Corvinus University of Budapest. The main hallmarks of the international relations of the working group are the EU Framework Programme projects awarded in the last two decades and the bilateral cooperation projects. Among the close collaborations over several decades, we highlight Professor Jean Poesen, Catholic Universtiy of Leuven, Professor Mike Fullen, School of Applied Sciences, Wolverhamton Polytechnics, , Professor Donald Gabriels, International Centre for Eremology, Dr. Josef Krecek, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Department of Hydaulics and Hydrology, Techchnical Univerisity of Prague.We have a 10 year long relationship with Syngenta Hungary Kft and Syngenta International AG, both in the framework of a funded project in the business sector.The head of the working group has been invited several times by the FAO to give lectures in the framework of projects related to the Western Balkans and to represent the FAO REU office (Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia) in Budapest.
Report on the scientific work carried out in 2014

Spatial Mobility Research Group - Dr. Michalkó Gábor
Group Leader: Michalkó Gábor, az MTA doktora
Group Members: Kiss Edit Éva (DSc), Tiner Tibor, Karácsonyi Dávid (PhD), Erőss Ágnes
Research topics:Research topics:Spatial mobility is one of the defining phenomena of contemporary socio-economic processes. Spatial mobility can be interpreted in different ways, with changes in residence and workplace (migration), leisure and recreational travel (tourism) and occupational mobility (freight transport, inter-industry mobility, business tourism, etc.) becoming a way of life for people in developed and developing countries. In this context, the main task of the research group is to study the movement and 'migration' of industrial enterprises, the transport and logistical conditions that make mobility possible, leisure and professional tourism, and the commuting and migration of labour and population. The exploration of the phenomena of spatial mobility, in particular the border areas between them, the Hungarian aspects and the related international relations will be investigated along the following lines: - The spatial structure of industrial investments and their transport links in Hungary - Transport, communication links in economic mobility - Invisible tourism in Hungary, economic, social and environmental aspects of unconventional tourism mobility - Migration between Eastern Partners (Belarus, Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova) and the Visegrad Countries (EASTMIG) research programme The research group is a member of the European Migration Network Hungary National Network.
Foreign contacts: IGU Commission on Global Change and Human Mobility (GLOBILITY)
Report on the scientific work carried out in 2014
Urban space and urbanisation research sport - Kovács Zoltán
Group Leader: Kovács Zoltán, DSc MTA
Group Members: Kiss Edit Éva (DSc), Egedy Tamás, Tátrai Patrik, Karácsonyi Dávid, Szabó Balázs, Erőss Ágnes
Research topics:– A comparative study of post-socialist urbanisation in East-Central Europe- The transformation of the economic and social spatial structure of Hungarian cities- The environmental and social impacts of urban renewal- A geographical study of residential segregation and social exclusion- Spatial differences in quality of life at different levels of the settlement hierarchy
Foreign contacts: Z. Kovács participates in the international research network "GDRI Espaces et Réseaux Urbains" supported by CNRS. The network aims to compare the spatial processes of post-socialist urban transformation.
D. Karácsonyi organizes the EASTMIG international research consortium, which includes 4 Visegrad and 4 Eastern partners: the Charles University in Prague, the University of Warsaw, Comenius University, Belarusian State University, the Geographical Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, as well as the Transnistrian State University (Tiraspol) and Tbilisi State University.
Report on the scientific work carried out in 2014