Historical background - the event
After establishing the Association of Hungarian Geophysicists (MGE) in 1954, autumn meetings of geophysics were organised to deal with the recent tasks and results of geophysical prospecting as well as research. In the last half-century, these events of both scientific and social importance developed into two directions. From 1964 on, the Association aspired to make these meetings to be international, inviting foreign readers and organising instrument exhibitions. As a result, the regular feature of “International Geophysical Symposium” were gradually established, organised by turns annually by the East European (“socialist”) national geophysical associations. First in 1967 (Leipzig, East Germany that time), last in 1991 (Kiev, Soviet Union that time), sometimes these symposiums meant the rare possibility to meet international standards and technics to numerous colleagues of several countries (remember: the Budapest Annual Meeting in 1985 was the first and sole EAEG congress in the COMECON countries that time). Having opened the skies and the borders in the early nineties, this historic and often memorable series became unnecessary, and economically not feasible.
The other line of the meetings has a living history. From 1965 on, regional chapters of the Association organised (mainly in Autumn) meetings to present the "local" geoscience and mining subjects for domestic audience. 15 localities of Hungary gave place to the 33 meetings of the past. Presently the co-organisers of the event are the Hungarian Geological Society, and the Hungarian Mining and Metallurgical Society.
It was Hugo Böckh, the Head of the Mines Section of the Finance Ministry, who first drew attention to the great practical possibilities offered by Eötvös’ torsion balance in the detection of anticlines and salt-domes in hydrocarbon exploration. A test of the usefulness of torsion balance exploration was set up on the oil field in the vicinity of Egbell (now Gbely, Slovakia).
The Egbell discovery was said to have been made by a certain János Medlen, a farmer, who had spent some time in America. On his return to his native country he bought some land near Egbell, and, while ploughing his land he noticed a strange smell which he identified, on the basis of his American experience, as natural gas leaking from the subsoil. His supposition was confirmed when he set the gas alight. Being a practical man he built a ‘pipeline’ out of bricks to his house and used the gas for cooking and heating. News spread quickly in the neighbourhood and the discovery of free fuel reached the ear of the authorities who immediately reported it to their superiors until finally it reached the relevant ministry. Three geologists, Hugo Böckh, Vazul Lázár and Simon Papp visited the area and mapped out an anticline. This was drilled in 1913 and hydrocarbons were found at remarkably shallow depths; gas between 70-160 m and oil 160-250 m. Producing wells drilled later mapped out the exact extent of the anticline.
After some preparatory works with Sterneck pendulums (to have base points for the survey) in autumn of 1915, the Eötvös balance survey started in the summer of 1916. From Pekár’s notes we know that readings were taken at 92 stations. The survey was pronounced as a success because the isogams, computed from the gradients, reflected the exact contours of the productive anticline (Fig.15). Based on the map Pekár was able to state confidently that: “In the vicinity of Egbell our survey produced exactly the same structure that was identified by the geologists” (Pekár 1941).
Excerpts from the paper “The history of the Eötvös torsion balance” by Zoltán Szabó, member of the Association
24th September, Thursday
8:00-9:45 „Subject: Geophysics”: papers for high school pupils
10:00 opening, chamber exhibition of our history
10:30-12:30 Opening session, plenar speeches
19:00-22:00 Gala dinner, Benczúr Conference Centre
25th September, Friday
19:00- Visit the Eötvös Memorial Collection and the Exhibition of old geophysical devices (MFGI, Columbus Str.)
26th September, Saturday
9:00-12:00 Study tour to the Buda Castle caves (not open to the public) with geoscience introduction and expert guidance
- oil and gas prospecting
- geothermal investigations
- lithosphere investigations
- geophysics in the archaeology
- engineering geophysics, geotechnics
The Autumn Meeting is organised by the Association, co-organisers of the event are the Hungarian Geological Society, and the Hungarian Mining and Metallurgical Society, traditionally backed by EAGE (European Association of Geosciences and Engineering), its Budapest Chapter, and the Hungarian Section of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE).
Organising Committee: Ms. Judit Petrovszki (ex officio), Ms. Erzsébet Petró (ex officio), Attila Cs. Kovács, and Kristóf L. Kakas