Geological Mapping and Modelling

The Geological Mapping and Modelling Expert Groups (GMMEG) ambition is to share at a European scale the knowledge and expertise of the different national and regional geological surveys along with the other public and private sectors active in the field of geosciences, in order to improve the quantity and quality of the geological data, information and knowledge, and hereby develop a world leading European geological information platform (via the EGDI-information platform and contributing to the subsurface in “Europe’s digital twin”) to better serve the needs of society.

The specific objectives of the GMMEG are:

  1. Develop new and refined scientific nomenclatures (with respect to GeoSciML and INSPIRE) for the following themes: lithology, lithotectonic units, geological structures (tectonic boundaries), lithogenetic units, lithostratigraphic / lithodemic units, geomorphological units, geological structures (point related measurements/features), geological processes, geological age, sedimentary environments, magmatic environments, metamorphic environments, mineralogy, and anthropogenic features and deposits. Most of these vocabularies need to be hierarchically organised, ready to be applied in multiscale geological map datasets and models;
  2. Share best practice data-models (within which the above standards can be implemented) and develop a reference data-model;
  3. Explore and promote automated scalability tools for map data as key for new digital European map products;
  4. Develop new European, digital, transboundary, geological models and datasets;
  5. Develop new quality evaluation tools and procedures for geological maps, models and datasets;
  6. Develop and deliver digital solutions for field data acquisition and storage;
  7. Develop and share tools to describe, manage and display uncertainty in geological maps and models;
  8. Produce lobbying material for the promotion of geological mapping and modelling;
  9. Explore possibilities to fund the work of the GMMEG.

About Geological mapping and modelling

Economic, environmental and planning issues today demand access to precise information on the subsurface. Geological knowledge allows 1) to improve the access to more and better quality underground water resources, 2) a better use of the geoenergy potential (e.g. geothermal energy but also energy storage), 3) access to mineral resources for the energy transition and other needs, 4) to help prevent and reduce the impact of natural hazards (earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides) and climate change, and 5) a better land use planning (for agriculture or urban development, and reduce environmental degradation). As such, geological knowledge has the potential to improve the quality of life and to allow a better and more sustainable future for all. In addition, geological data, information and knowledge is also demanded for fundamental research, education and geotourism.

The collection and continuous update of continental and marine geological data as well as their interpretation, by establishing geological models (maps, sections and 3D- up to 5D-models) and through expertise, is a vital task of most national (and regional) geological surveys. In doing so, they address the needs of the public authorities and citizens. The production of this data and knowledge is time-consuming, resource intensive and expensive. Nonetheless many detailed studies have shown a benefit-cost ratio of 4:1 to > 100:1 for geological mapping and modelling.

During the past century, significant funds have been allocated to detailed geological mapping and the production of paper maps at different scales. During the last two decades, most geological surveys have invested in the digitization and harmonization of the existing geoscientific data and knowledge, and the available maps are now distributed as vector maps with attached databases. This has been done at the expense of the budgets allocated to geological data collection and geological mapping. As a result, the detailed reconnaissance of the subsurface remains incomplete for many regions in Europe. During the same time, new tools and methodologies for data acquisition, processing and dissemination have emerged. These have the potential to revolutionize the way geological data and knowledge is collected and managed. EuroGeoSurveys can provide and share regional and national expertise to better serve regional, national and European needs.


Online-lecture on EMODnet Geology WP3 and WP 4

The online webinar titled “Online-lecture on EMODnet Geology WP3 and WP 4” organized by EuroGeoSurveys Geological Mapping and Modelling Expert Group was held on 31.03.2022 online.

The first lecture “EMODnet Geology WP 3– Aspects of Compiling Seabed Substrate Map Data” was given by Dr Anu Kaskela from the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK, Finland). The EMODnet Seabed Substrate data products comprise of multiple datasets at different scales and sedimentation rates compiled in subsequent EMODnet Geology projects running since 2009. In the projects, diverse, national datasets are harmonised into a shared schema, which includes not only information on seabed substrate, but also background and confidence level of the data.

The second lecture “EMODnet Geology WP 4 – Aspects of Compiling Seafloor Geology and Geomorphology Map Data” was given by Dr Kristine Asch from the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources in Germany (BGR, Germany). BGR participates in the EMODnet Geology project and is coordinating the “seafloor geology” work package (WP4) since 2009. In cooperation with the project partners thematic GIS data layers on geomorphology, pre-Quaternary and Quaternary geology are compiled, harmonized and provided via the EMODnet Geology portal (click here to visit the portal and the BGR Geoviewer). The presentation describes the process of data compilation, the creation of conditions for data harmonisation, its challenges and results.


Lithotectonic units of Europe: Importance of their distinguishing and optimized methodology how to do it simply and effective

The online webinar titled “ Lithotectonic units of Europe: Importance of their distinguishing and optimized methodology how to do it simply and effective” organized by EuroGeoSurveys (EGS) Geological Mapping and Modelling Expert Group was held on 16.12.2021 online.

The keynote presentation was given by the senior researcher, Zoltán Németh from the State Geological Institute of Dionýz Štúr (SGIDS, Slovakia). The presentation was about the lithotectonic units of Western Carpathians and also of all Europe and the ongoing work dealing with lithologic maps and also the aim to include in these maps dynamics and evolution aspects.


RGF – the French Geological Reference Platform
Status, perspectives, and a focus on the new event-geological maps of the Pyrénées

The online webinar titled “Status, perspectives, and a focus on the new event-geological maps of the Pyrénées” organized by EuroGeoSurveys Geological Mapping and Modelling Expert Group was held on 23.11.2021 online with the participation of expert representatives of the Geological Survey of France, the Geological Survey of Austria and the Geological Survey of Finland.                                                             

The French Geological Reference Platform (RGF), designed by BRGM, is a national programme for acquisition and management of geological data. Launched in the early 2010’s, the RGF involves the geosciences community including universities, CNRS, institutes and companies. The new 3-D knowledge on subsoils developed by the RGF intends to support innovative responses to a wide range of scientific first order questions as well as issues facing our society, e.g. surface and subsurface planning, water and mineral resources management, energy prospection and storage, and risk mitigation. One of the major recent outcomes of the RGF regards the event geological maps; a new approach setup during the Pyrénées investigation.

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Geological data go digital

The online webinar titled National geodata delivery solutions organized by EuroGeoSurveys Geological Mapping and Modelling Expert Group was held on 24.6.2021 with the participation of expert representatives of the Geological Survey of Finland and the Geological Survey of Austria.

Ms Katja Lalli from the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK) presented information on GTK’s web services, examples of few spatial data products and geodata related customer services.

Ms Lalli is geologist and has worked in geodata management and information solutions for over twenty years. Her current position is Team Manager for Geodata and Digital Products at GTK.

Mr Martin Schiegl from the Geological Survey of Austria (GBA) presented a short overview of national geodata delivery in- and outside of GBA. Focus will be given to web services and data products maintained by GBA, including INSPIRE services, Research data repository, Vocabulary data and others.

Mr. Schiegl is geographer and Head of Department of Geoinformation. He has more than 20 year experience in data management, GIS and cartography and specialized in Linked Data, knowledge modelling and web applications.