Career stories

Pekka Huhta, Geologist

I started my career with the Geological Survey of Finland in 1973 during the second year of my studies. I worked while studying as a summer assistant for 3–6 months a year. During 1973–1977 I spent summers working in Lapland doing soil mapping and working in a soil survey project aimed at ore prospecting. The project consisted of surveying the moraine stratigraphy, the composition of rock strata, and glacier flow patterns of various ages in Northern Finland. From 1978, summertime field work was transferred to Southern and Central Finland, where the survey of the stratigraphical sequence was continued. The survey also included searching the source rock of the ore boulders found.

During the field work I collected material for my master’s thesis and graduated in 1981 as a Master of Arts from the Department of Geology and Geography of the University of Turku, majoring in Quaternary geology. After graduating I continued studying stratigraphical sequences and soil survey for ore prospecting at the Geological Survey of Finland in Otaniemi. During this period we began to use heavy minerals in ore prospecting in addition to using boulders. Our working group was developing extraction and identification methods of heavy minerals. We got our first PC computers in 1986.

Later, ore prospecting assignments became fewer and were replaced by ground penetrating radar gauging used in soil and bedrock surveys. Radar is used to locate groundwater and bedrock surfaces, and to determine soil types. The aim of bedrock surveys is to locate fissures.

Now that the Internet and network connections have developed, we work with computers instead of paper. Previously we had to use aerial photographs or maps to locate research sites. Now we can do that with GPS devices.

Geological survey work is very much team work. This requires that researchers can adapt to different working conditions and work with different types of people.

Pekka Huhta
Geologist GTK Espoo