Tallinn University of Technology

Division of Bedrock Geology and Collections

Headed by Prof. Olle Hints

Bedrock geology has been among the key study fields in the Department of Geology since 1950s. At present, the research group of bedrock geology holds competences on regional geology, sedimentary rocks, stratigraphy and paleontology of Estonia and beyond. Such expertise is needed in applied geosciences, but the main work of the group is aiming at better understanding of the interactions between geo- and biosphere processes in deep time. The group holds leading palaeontological competence in Estonia, and for some fossil groups, leading expertise worldwide (notably for conodonts, chitinozoans and scolecodonts). The group's main research directions are:

  • Paleoenvironment and paleoclimate reconstructions using multiple proxy indicators such as carbon and oxygen isotopes, sedimentology etc.
  • Paleobiodiversity dynamics including mass extinction and their links with climate and environmental changes.
  • Paleobiology and evolution of various groups of organisms during the Paleozoic.
  • High-resolution bio- and chemostratigaphy that provides regional spatio-temporal framework and global time correlations.

The group is using the large geological collections at the department that constitute a globally unique archive of deep time Earth environments, climate and biodiversity. The group is responsible for the development and opening up this archive for researchers worldwide as part of national and pan-European research infrastructure.


Division of Quaternary Geology

Headed by Prof. Siim Veski

Quaternary geology, palaeoecology and related research disciplines explaining the current paradigm of actualism in geology, have been one of the principal targets of research at the Department of Geology since the 1950s.
The group focusses on:

  • Postglacial retreat of the ice sheet
  • Paleoclimate variation using multi-proxy analyses (such as pollen and chironomid based inference models);
  • Palaeobiodiversity (terrestrial and aquatic), functional and phylogenetic diversity dynamics and relationships with climate and environmental changes;
  • Past human impact upon landscapes, waterbodies, vegetation structure and cover
  • Shoreline displacement of the Baltic Sea.

A sediment sample from Lake Udsu.

Research on Lake Pangodi in 2020. Filmed by Argo Jõeleht:

Division of Mineral Resources and Applied Geology

Headed by Senior Researcher Rutt Hints

The focus of the Division of Mineral Resources is the mineral potential and inventory of Estonia.

The group plays an important role in teaching Earth-related subjects within the TalTech study programmes and in training future geoscience and mining specialists.

Basic competence and study fields include:

  • Studies of metallic and non-metallic minerals from sedimentary rocks of Estonia
  • Studies on carbonate construction materials
  • Stock, fields of use and environmental research of peatlands in Estonia
  • The mineralogy, geochemistry and potential production of crystalline rocks
  • Modelling of geoprocesses
  • Management of geological data (database development, GIS)

Division of Mining and Mineral Technology

Headed by PhD Veiko Karu

Division of Mining and Mineral Technology is a leading organisation for technical education and research in the field of mineral resources in Estonia.

The Division’s activities cover all the important areas of sustainable enrichment of Estonia’s mineral resources for the benefit of society. The main competencies of the of the Division include:

  • Educating and training mining engineers;
  • Providing research and development projects for public authorities and enterprises;
  • Conducting measurements, tests and evaluations in the Laboratory of Mining Conditions.
  • Waste or rock/mineral by-products are produced by mining activities and have both beneficial and deleterious properties

The Division’s activities focus on assessing the economic, environmental and social impact of mine waste production and management and seeks to develop strategies and new commercial products from these materials

Activities include:

  • Mineral Carbonation for CO2 management
  • Waste pile remediation and post mining-land use
  • Enhanced CO2 uptake carbonate materials in the cement industry
  • Recycling and Up-valuing in Urban Mining