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Maritime Forum

EMODnet geology - maintenance report

The EMODnet-Geology Project has been successful in bringing together information held by the project partners, and in updating existing datasets with geological data owned by the geological survey organisations in Europe. In this respect, Workpackages 3 (Sea-bed sediments), 4 (Sea-bed geology), and 5 (Coastal behaviour) have been largely successful in delivering the information layers required by the Commission. Although the compilation of information held by third parties, as in WP6 (Geological events) and WP7 (Minerals), has been problematic, appropriate map layers have been compiled during the project. For WP7 in particular there have been some issues regarding the use and maintenance of data owned by government agencies (e.g. aggregates), or by the oil and gas industry. To provide the Commission and other users of EMODnet outputs with the most up to date information available for mineral resources in European waters, it would be appropriate to develop a dialogue with the owners of the information to establish Web Mapping Services that can provide information directly from source rather than rely on compilations from third parties, which would soon be out of date.

In general, the approach of accessing geological information directly from source, including the national mapping programmes of European countries, would ensure the long-term maintenance of the EMODnet-Geology portals. For example integrating the outputs of the UK Marine Environmental Mapping Programme (MAREMAP), the Irish INFOMAR programme and the Norwegian MAREANO programme (to name only a few) at a European level would be a major advance in making geological information accessible at an international scale.

While the EMODnet-Geology partners have been satisfied that delivering harmonised interpretations of geological information at 1:1 million compilation scale is appropriate given the resources available during the preparatory phase of EMODnet, the partners recognise that pan-European interpretations could be compiled at a much higher resolution. In many countries, the mapping scale being used is at least 1:250,000 and often as detailed as 1:50,000 scale. The use of multibeam echosounder data in marine geological mapping has greatly improved the interpretation of sea-bed and sub-seabed geology. In addition to updating the information in each map layer included in the OneGeology-Europe portal, during the final year maintenance phase of the EMODnet-Geology Project, the group have therefore developed the case studies presented in Section in order to demonstrate the additional value of high-resolution mapping.