Department

Palaeontology & Stratigraphy

Palaeontology is the science of the development of life on earth.

Ten different Radiolaria against blue background.
Radiolaria from the Triassic.
© Geological Survey of Austria

Occurrence and distribution of fossils grant fundamental informations on the age of sedimentary rocks and on the environmental conditions under which they were formed. These data are precondition for the reconstruction of climate history of our planet, which again can be used to create conclusions on future climate development. Due to their high occurrence mainly nano- and micro fossils are important sources for palaeoenvironmental data.

Pterophyllum from the Triassic.
© Geological Survey of Austria

The micropalaeontological preparation of rock samples is done in laboratories at the department. The identification and evaluation of the fossils is performed by specialists for nano plankton, chitinozoen, foraminifers and ostracodes. With around one million samples (fossils, minerals, rocks) the collections from the Geological Survey of Austria are an important base for fundamental research and applied economical questions. Databases ease the access to the sample collections