Geological Survey of the Netherlands across borders

The Geological Survey of the Netherlands (GDN) is part of TNO. It plays an active role in European and international networks, working closely with sister organisations worldwide to jointly tackle cross-border issues like modelling water bearing subsurface layers across national borders, or sand reserves in the North Sea.

Together we provide the European Commission with geological information to support policy and strategy. Outside Europe, GDN helps governments with developing national subsurface data repositories. Almost every country in the world has a geological survey that manages and acquires information on the national subsurface and its resources. GDN is one of the very few organizations that has developed its own national subsurface database software, the DINO Software Suite, independent of commercial software developers. This is a specific advantage, especially in the politically sensitive oil and gas domain. GDN now makes this solution available to support governments with setting up and further developing their own National Data repositories. And in their objective to effectually manage the use of the subsurface and subsurface resources. In this way, they do not have to rely on particular software suppliers and are less dependent on major oil companies.

Towards a 'European Geological Service'

Apart from national governments, the European Commission also has an increasing need for geological information. But there is no European Geological Survey that is able to supply such data on a pan-European scale. The association of European geological surveys EuroGeoSurveys fills this gap. In the past the joint surveys performed a large number of EU projects on groundwater, marine management, geohazards, energy, capture and storage of CO2 (CCS), mineral resources and information management. Within EuroGeoSurveys we are currently developing a joint strategic research agenda that will form the basis for a virtual 'European Geological Service'. TNO-GDN has built up an especially strong knowledge position within European consortia on data management and geo-ICT. We are extending this knowledge to gain a top position within the geological surveys of Europe.

Cooperating on cross-border problems

By definition, geology is cross-border. For many areas of application, it is essential to know the composition of the subsurface, and the processes at work there, on the other side of the border. Cross-border water-bearing layers (aquifers) are a key example. Within the H3O project, GDN and different parties in Belgium and the southeastern Netherlands have developed a geological and hydrogeological 3D model that enables innovative groundwater management on both sides of the border. Together with the geological surveys of Great Britain, Ireland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark and Germany, GDN forms the North Atlantic Geosciences (NAG) group. A signature NAG deliverable is the Tectonic Atlas of the Northeast Atlantic Ocean. Within EMODnet (European Marine Observation and Data network), GDN contributes to pan-European maps of seabed sediments, subsurface geology, coastline behavior, geological events, mineral resources and submerged landscapes. Other key international partnerships are the Geoscience Information Consortium (GIC), the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS).

Geological Survey of the Netherlands

Dr. Paul Bogaard

  • Geological Survey of the Netherlands; Europe; EuroGeoSurveys; International collaboration; EU


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