Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences (GIGCAS) is one of the top Chinese research institutions in earth and environmental sciences.
The predecessor of GIGCAS can be traced back to Institute of Geochemistry under Chinese Academy of Sciences, which was founded based on part of the previous Institute of Geology under Chinese Academy of Sciences according to the state requirements in 1964. In 1966, Institute of Geochemistry under Chinese Academy of Sciences was relocated from Beijing to Guiyang, where many new disciplines in geochemistry and mineralogy were established and developed under the direct leadership of Academician TU Guangchi. Institute of Geochemistry under Chinese Academy of Sciences attained a series of high-level theoretical and applicable results in revealing origin of mineralization materials, mineralization mechanisms, mineralization rules, in energy development and application, and in exploring routes for comprehensive utilization of mineral resources in China, thus making tremendous important contributions to national economic construction, national defense construction and progress of scientific cause.
In 1986, with support from the Guangdong Provincial People’s Government, part of the disciplines and research departments of CAS Institute of Geochemistry was relocated from Guiyang to Guangzhou, and integrated with the original CAS - Guangzhou Institute of Geological New Technology, which was founded in 1978. As a result, CAS - Guangzhou Institute of Geological New Technology and part of CAS Institute of Geochemistry were integrated with each other, leading to establishment of Guangzhou Branch of Institute of Geochemistry under Chinese Academy of Sciences. In 1993, IGCAS Guangzhou Branch became an independent institute as approved by the State Establishment Committee and was formally named GIGCAS (Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry under Chinese Academy of Sciences).
In early 2002, GIGCAS was further enhanced through integration of CAS - Changsha Institute of Geotectonics according to the CAS strategic planning for a southern oceanic scientific innovation base.
GIGCAS is engaged in research of earth and environmental sciences, and is focused on continental dynamics, lithospheric evolution and associated mineral deposits, regional environment, and sustainable development. Our institute is committed to providing scientific knowledge and technical advices on fundamental scientific issues regarding natural resources and environment arising from the rapid economic and social development of the country.
Research undertaken by the institute is centered on the following fields: mineral deposits, natural gas, and petroleum resources; continental dynamics and lithospheric evolution; marine geology; composition and structure of the deep earth’s interior; environmental pollution and sustainable development; global changes.
GIGCAS is committed to research in a series of fields, including organic geochemistry, isotope geochemistry, celestial chemistry, water isotope chemistry, sedimentary geochemistry, elemental geochemistry, economical geochemistry,, Quaternary geology and geochemistry, mineral physics and mineral material study, rocks and minerals analysis and testing, mineralogy and spectroscopy, remote sensing geology and geochemistry, geophysics, sustainable development study, etc.
The institute consists of seven research divisions: the State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, the CAS Key Laboratory of Marginal Sea Geology, the CAS Key Laboratory of Isotope Geochronology and Geochemistry, the Laboratory of Extreme Condition Geology and Geochemistry, the Laboratory of Mineralization Dynamics, the Research Center for Environmental Pollution and Control in the Pearl River Delta and Research Center for Hydrocarbon and Mineral Resources. In order to promote cooperation between the CAS and the Guangdong provincial government, the institute also sponsored the founding of the Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Utilization and Protection of Environment and Resources, the Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Mineral Physics and Material Research & Development as well as the Sustainable Development & Research Center. The institute also houses the Guangzhou National Mass Spectrometer Center which is sponsored jointly by CAS, Guangdong Province, the Ministry of Science and Technology, and the Ministry of Land and Resources.
GIGCAS now has a cohort of permanent staff of 278, among which there are 230 scientific personnel (119 researchers with senior titles, 122 researchers with Ph.D. degrees), 1 CAS academicians, 1 foreign academician with Russian Academy of Sciences, 17 laureates of the CAS Program for 100 Outstanding Scientists, 13 laureates of the state foundation for outstanding young scientists. In addition, GIGCAS has the right to confer M.Sc. degrees in eight disciplines, and the right to confer D.Sc. degrees in four disciplines, and has more than 80 Ph.D. tutors (inclusive overseas tutors working on a part-time basis). Currently more than 570 graduate students are enrolled for their graduate study with GIGCAS. Two workstations for floating post-doc researchers, one in geology and the other in structural geology, were also established in GIGCAS, where 50 post-doc researchers are doing their research at the moment.
GIGCAS sponsors publication of core geoscience journals “Geochimica” and “Geotectonics and Metallogeny”. Here “Geochimica” was awarded a gold prize as an excellent academic journal by the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2000, and the title for 100 outstanding academic journals in China in 2002 and 2004 respectively.
Guangdong Provincial Society of Mineralogy, Petrology and Geochemistry and Guangdong Provincial Society of Sustainable Development are affiliated with GIGCAS.
The Library of GIGCAS houses nearly 120,000 volumes of books in both Chinese and English, in addition to nearly 20,000 drawings.
The Geoscience and Resource Education Promotion Base, sponsored by GIGCAS, was listed in 2005 as a science promotion and education base in Guangdong Province, as well as a science and technology education base for teenagers in Guangdong Province.
Ever since part of the Institute of Geochemistry under Chinese Academy of Sciences was relocated to Guangzhou, FU Jiamo, SUN Dazhong, ZHAO Zhenhua, XIA Bin and FAN Weiming have assumed the post of GIGCAS President in succession.
In the past, the major research orientations for GIGCAS are focused on geochemistry and mineralogy, as GIGCAS was mainly committed to research of the distribution rules and genetic mechanisms of crustal energy resources like oil and gas and both metallic and non-metallic mineral resources, and completed an in-depth study of solid mineral resources and hydrocarbon resources which are urgently required by the state. In the new stage as characterized by knowledge innovation, GIGCAS adjusted its research orientations and is now mainly committed to research of continental marginal dynamics and related mineral resources, sea-land interactions and environmental effects, extreme condition geology and geochemistry. Meanwhile, GIGCAS has established a new discipline devoted to research of resources, environment and sustainable development in developed regions in China. The research programs of GIGCAS are mainly focused on the following fields:
1. Compositions and dynamic evolution of mantle materials in some typical regions;
2. Geochemical records for climatic and environmental evolution in South China Sea and its peripheral regions;
3. Development and application of new techniques and methods for hydrocarbon geochemistry;
4. Regional geochemistry and pollution mechanism of toxic organic pollutants in the Pearl River Delta Region;
5. New methods and new techniques for exploration and development of oceanic resources;
6. Extremely high pressure mineralogy and mantle mineralogy.
In this way, GIGCAS has become a scientific research and talent cultivation base in geochemistry and activation structure theory in China.
“State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry” (SKLOG) was approved and constructed in 1989, and established in November 1992. According to the strategic requirements for hydrocarbon resources and energy resources by the state and the development trends of the current organic geochemistry discipline, SKLOG is mainly committed to researches in the following orientations:
(1) Hydrocarbon geochemistry. Recently SKLOG is focused on scientific issues concerning geochemical processes and dynamic mechanisms for formation of basins, hydrocarbons and reservoirs, and origin of non-conventional hydrocarbon resources;
(2) Environmental organic geochemistry. Recently SKLOG is mainly focused on environmental issues resulted from high speed economic development of the Pearl River Delta, and on environmental behaviors and pollution mechanisms of toxic organic pollutants.
“CAS PRD Research Center of Environmental Pollution and Control” was approved and established by Chinese Academy of Sciences in November 2007. It is based on Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry under Chinese Academy of Sciences, and sponsored jointly by South China Sea Institute of Oceanology under Chinese Academy of Sciences, South China Botanical Garden under Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou Institute of Energy under Chinese Academy of Sciences, Research Institute of City Environment, Guangdong Provincial Central Station for Environmental Protection and Monitoring. Through integration of disciplines and construction of a reciprocal compensation mechanism, CAS PRD Research Center of Environmental Pollution and Control is now capable of performing comprehensive innovation in science, technology, engineering and management fields, and of undertaking CAS’s tasks of environmental discipline planning in Guangdong and comprehensive, integrated, and demonstrative research projects of the state and the province. In this way, CAS PRD Research Center of Environmental Pollution and Control wishes to provide theoretical, technological and decision-making support for environmental protection in the Pearl River Delta, South China coastal belt as well as the Pan-Pearl River Delta region. CAS PRD Research Center of Environmental Pollution and Control is mainly committed to research in orientations like relationship between pollution of atmospheric toxic pollutants and human health, water supply source region protection, water quality monitoring and potable water safety –related technology, electronic waste production, pollution and control, monitoring of environmental pollution and ecological risks in the coastal belts in South China, etc.
Major research achievements
Ever since its relocation from Guiyang to Guangzhou in 1986, GIGCAS has completed 249 projects, among which 57 projects were awarded prizes issued by authorities above the provincial or ministerial level, 4 projects were awarded state natural science prize, six projects were awarded state science and technological progress prize (including two gold prizes and two silver prizes), two projects were awarded state invention prize. In total, GIGCAS researchers have published 2,051 academic papers, including 416 SCI-indexed international journal papers, 140 SCI-indexed Chinese journal papers, 1,199 Chinese core journal papers and statistical source journal papers, and 43 monographs.
As GIGCAS was established based on part of the disciplines and research departments of the original Institute of Geochemistry under Chinese Academy of Sciences (IGCAS), which were relocated from Guiyang to Guangzhou, most of the research projects undertaken here is a continuation of the original research work at IGCAS, this is especially the case at the early stage of the relocation process leading to establishment of GIGCAS.
In the field of organic geochemistry of carbonate rocks and coal-formed hydrocarbons, GIGCAS has published a monograph titled Application of carbonate organic geochemistry in genetic study and assessment of oil, gas, coal and strata-bound ore deposits, which is the first one that fully reflects the latest achievements attained in carbonate organic geochemistry in China, so will guide the direction of exploration of oil and gas resources in China; Another monograph titled Coal-formed hydrocarbon organic geochemistry is a systematic summary of coal-formed hydrocarbon in China, as it proposes new views, new concepts, new data and new evidences on coal-formed hydrocarbon, and establishes a model for generation of hydrocarbon from coal. Due to its important theoretical implications and tremendous applicable prospects, the project was awarded the CAS silver prize for natural science in 1992. The project Study of molecular biomarkers in geological bodies leads to discovery of lanostane in geological bodies and geochemical applications of a series of molecular biomarkers. The results can help us to deepen our understanding about the terrigenous oil formation theory, and to attain a series of research achievements in Tarim Basin, Sichuan Basin, Ordos Basin, Junggar Basin, Dongpu Basin, and a series of Mesozoic to Cenozoic basins in North China, so having made great contributions to develop the theories on hydrocarbon exploration and hydrocarbon formation in China. The project was awarded national copper prize for natural science in 1999.
In isotope geochemistry, “Study of H, O, S and Pb isotopes in uranium deposits in granites in South China” is a comprehensive research project, as its research results can help us to further understand and reassess the formation mechanism and exploration means for uranium deposits in granites in South China; “Study of radioactive nuclides of hydrogen isotopes in sea water from Nansha Islands sea area”, “Characterization of isotope composition of paleo-fossil hot water in miarolitic alkaline granite”, “Characterization and classification of isotope compositions of Crust-type (S-type) granites”, “Theoretical and experimental study of multi-component isotope system in geological processes”, and so on, are all isotope geochemical research results completed at this stage. “Isotope geochronology of major geological events in northern Xinjiang” is a Quaternary geological and geochemical study project, and the results can help us to reassess the history of geological evolution in West China, to explore the history of formation of global crust and to deepen the study of the laws governing formation of ore deposits deep down the earth. The research results of the project “Geochemistry of Cenozoic volcanics in China” provide new data for understanding the rifting process and the formation and evolution of basins in East China, the lifting of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the expansion of the South China Sea Basin, and the collaging between the north and south continents. Based on the results of the project “Geological and geochemical study of Hetai gold deposit field in South China”, a mineralization model was established, which provides theoretical criteria for exploring similar gold deposit types.
GIGCAS’ environmental geochemical study is focused on internationally recognized frontier field and hot subject – toxic organic pollutants, aiming to establish and perfect the method for systematic separation and analysis of trace toxic organic pollutants and related QA/QC system. By taking advantage of the superiority in the discipline, GIGCAS has carried out researches in the fields of water, air, soil and sediments which are closely related to human health and achieved important results. “Study of toxic organic pollutants in the Pearl River Delta environment” was awarded Guangdong Province gold prize for science and technology.
In the process of reform of research system, GIGCAS paid attention to development, promotion and application of new technologies and products, aside from the basic and applied basic study in geochemistry and mineralogy. In this way, GIGCAS has created huge social and economic benefits to the society. For example, the project “Study of mechanism and technology for lead reduction (exsolution) in color glaze” has helped to solve the issue of high lead content that has long plagued the Jingdezhen ceramic products intended for export. The research results help Jingdezhen ceramic industry to maintain the export volume in the amount of 20,000,000 USD each year, and to maintain the status and reputation in the world market. In addition, by applying the synthetic technology for piezoelectric quartz and smoky quartz, some crystal production plants were built in Guangdong and Zhejiang.
In the period from 2002 to 2006 after GIGCAS was admitted to the experimental stage of the CAS knowledge innovation program in 2002, GIGCAS has secured 510 research projects, with funding totaling 234 million yuan. In research fields like composition and dynamic evolution of mantle materials in some typical regions in China, geochemical records for climatic and environmental evolution in South China Sea and its peripheral regions, extremely high pressure mineralogy and mantle mineralogy, regional geochemistry and pollution mechanism of toxic organic pollutants in the Pearl River Delta, development and application of new technologies in hydrocarbon geochemistry, study of new techniques and new means for exploration and development of oceanic resources, etc., GIGCAS has achieved representative innovative results.
GIGCAS maintained extensive exchange and cooperation with the international academic communities. In the period from 2002 to 2006, GIGCAS received 494 people times in 240 batches of experts and scholars from more than 20 countries including USA, UK, Germany, France, Australia, Dutch, Canada, Russia, Japan, Viet Nam, India, etc. and 3 regions including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, held 2 international conferences and 6 bi-party symposia, and sponsored 2 international meetings in cooperation with Peking University, etc. Also in the period from 2002 to 2006, GIGCAS dispatched 330 people times in 229 batches of experts and scholars to more than 10 countries including USA, UK, Germany, France, Dutch, Russia, etc. and 3 regions including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, to attend academic conferences, perform cooperative researches or execute professional explorations, etc. GIGCAS secured more than 30 cooperative projects with scholars in more than 10 countries including USA, UK, Germany, Australia, Dutch, Canada, Russia, Japan, etc. and 3 regions including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. About 60 person times secured funding for studying abroad or performing international cooperative research, including 30 person times funded by the State Foundation for Studing Abroad, 21 person times funded by CAS Bureau of Human Resources and Education, 9 person times funded by overseas sources.
President: Prof. XU Yigang
Address: 511 Kehua Street, Wushan, Tianhe District, Guangzhou, GD 510640