Discovering what lies beneath our feet

News Published 29 Oct 2010 Last modified 21 Jun 2016
1 min read
Photo: © Mikenorton,
The Earth provides the resources that sustain our lives and economies. We extract water from underground aquifers and oil from deposits in sedimentary rock. We use sand, rocks and metals as construction materials. Today, the European Environment Agency (EEA) and EuroGeoSurveys (EGS) have signed a partnership agreement to improve understanding of Europe’s geology. The deal promotes the use of geo-scientific data and knowledge sharing, helping us manage our natural resources and mitigate hazards.

As part of the agreement, EGS will provide the EEA and Europe’s GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) initiative with access to interoperable geological data on bedrock composition and superficial deposits, at the scale of 1:1 000 000.

These data are also available on-line through the OneGeology-Europe portal where they are presented in a harmonised geological map, allowing users to zoom in and compare different regions of the continent. Researchers, consultants, construction companies, planners and local, regional and central governments are welcome to utilise the data. Potential uses include supporting work on avoiding hazards such as landslides, floods and groundwater pollution; evaluating resources and their exploitation; and assessing the potential for carbon storage and geothermal energy production.


GMES is a European Earth observation programme using satellites, as well as ground stations, airborne and seaborne sensors, to collect data vital for environment and security issues. GMES aims to provide atmospheric, land and marine monitoring data that will help us improve the management of natural resources, adapt to climate change and respond to emergencies such as oil spills, floods and fires. The EEA coordinates the data flows from non-space based installations, so called in-situ data, for GMES services.



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