KOREA INSTITUTE OF GEOSCIENCE AND MINERAL RESOURCES
THE WORLD'S LEADING RESEARCH
INSTITUTE OF GEOSCIENCE
The Geological Museum systematically collects, manages, preserves, and displays domestic and overseas geological samples, such as minerals, rocks, and fossils, which provide information about the formation of the Korean Peninsula, the earth, and the evolution of life. The Geological Museum is taking the lead in popularizing geosciences not only through basic research on geologic samples but also through various special exhibitions as well as education and docent interpretation programs. museum.kigam.re.kr
A special exhibition entitled "Limestone: CO2-bearing rock" was held for two months. Various limestone samples were displayed, together with explanation panels on many interesting aspects of the limestone samples, including their origin, classification, landscape and utilization. Displayed limestone samples include both domestic and oversea samples of various geologic ages, such as chalk, stromatolite, trilobite limestone, limestone breccia, stalactite, crystalline limestone and bioturbated limestone. Some industrial products containing limestone as raw materials, such as cement, paper and cosmetics as well as several limestone plate samples manufactured as building stones were also displayed. This exhibition also provides a perspective on the role of limestone as a major carbon sink in the lithosphere and as a controlling factor of long-term, large-scale global climate change through geologic time.
Panoramic view of the special exhibition
Microscopic observation of limestone samples
Exhibitions of Paleozoic marine invertebrate fossils have been expanded to inform the public of the significance of early Paleozoic evolution. According to the concept of evolutionary fauna, Paleozoic invertebrate fossils were grouped into 'Cambrian fauna' and 'Paleozoic fauna'. Representative invertebrate fossils including trilobites, horn corals and sea lilies (crinoids) were displayed together with reconstructed illustrations of shallow marine environments. A video clip on the concept of evolutionary fauna was also added, increasing our understanding of the rise and decline of specific animal groups through geologic time. The preexisting VR experience booth on paleoecology was replaced by the new 'Earth Exploration' room. The new earth exploration room provides two types of VR exploration. One is the exploration of earth interior regions, where visitors can observe chemical and physical changes at different depths of these regions, from the crust through the mantle and the inner core. The second type of VR exploration displays events during the time of the late Permian mass extinction.
Cambrian fauna exhibition
Paleozoic fauna exhibition
Entrance to the 'Earth Exploration' room
Information screen for the display entitled 'Into the earth interior' (left) and original animation of a magma chamber within the crust (right)
Information screen of 'end-Permian mass extinction' (left) and original animation of the Permian sea (right)
The Geological Museum developed an automated mobile museum guide system (mobile application) for visitors, mainly focusing on preschool children and elementary school students. In 2018, a new version of the explanatory guide for middle and high school students was added to the mobile application. This application supports for English and Chinese as well as Korean for foreign visitors. A book entitled "The Story of the Geological Museum" based on the explanatory guide was also published.
Captured images of the automated mobile museum guide
The book 'The Story of the Geological Museum'
This program is designed for middle school students to provide them experience in the creation of thin sections and in identifying rocks using polarizing microscopes. Specialists in the area of thin section creation and rock identification at the Geological Museum of KIGAM joined this program to guide students. This program has been carried out annually since 2016.
Activities of the participants during the thin section creation process
Completion of thin sections and microscopic identification program
In 2018, 63,992 people visited the Geological Museum. Major visitor groups by age include preschool children (30.5 %), elementary school students (20.7 %) and adults (36.0 %). Peak months are August (summer holiday season) and April and May. For 2018, the number of visitors was decreased by 25% in comparison with 2017. This decrease may have been due to extreme weather conditions, including the frequent occurrence of yellow dust, fine dust and heat waves.
Annual statistics about visitors
Composition of visitors