The Geological Survey of The Netherlands was founded in 1918. Cornelis Lely, Minister of Transport and Water Management, granted the commission to produce a new geological map of the country. Under the supervision of Pieter Tesch, the first director of the Geological Survey, 184 map sheets covering nearly the whole country were prepared and printed at a scale of 1: 50,000.

In the years that followed, several mapping programmes were executed. First, in the early 1950s, new insights into the economic value of geological knowledge enhanced the new near surface geological mapping. From 1985 to 2004, deep subsurface mapping resulted in 15 map sheets covering the entire onshore area at a scale of 1: 250,000. By 1997, TNO-Geological Survey of the Netherlands had begun producing 3D subsurface models. These works include models of the onshore area to a depth of about 5,000 m and models of the Dutch Continental Shelf.

The archive of borehole records, geological maps, geological memoirs and 3D models the Geological Survey has assembled is of great scientific and practical value. It enables the Geological Survey of the Netherlands to answer the important questions of today, and those of tomorrow.


On 5 October 2018, we unveiled the latest geological map of the Kingdom of the Netherlands at a symposium devoted to the present, past and future of geological mapping. The map is currently being prepared for production, after which it will be made available on paper or as a PDF and GIS file. If you would like to be informed of when the map will be available, please leave your details in the online registration form.

Feel free to contact us for more information about the celebration of 100 years geology mapping.

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Tirza van Daalen MSc