Discover Europe’s seabed geology

EMODnet Geology

Seabed Substrate map 1:250k

The EMODnet Geology Portal aims at providing harmonised information on marine geology in Europe.

It is one of several EMODnet portals with the purpose to strengthen blue growth in Europe.


2021.01.13 New update of harmonised seabed substrate data available

EMODnet Geology has updated seabed substrate data products i.e. maps. Within the project diverse national seabed substrate data classifications are brought together, harmonised and collated using the Folk classification system of 5, 7 and 16 classes. The maps illustrate seabed properties at different scales covering all European sea areas. A layer at a scale of 1:25 000 has been added to the multiscale data product and the seabed substrate layers at a scale of 1:50 000 and 1: 100 000 have also been updated. The data products include also seabed substrate data at the scale of 1:250 000 and 1: 1 000 000 published in previous phases of the project. The harmonised maps of the seabed substrate are freely available for visualisation and download on the EMODnet Geology portal.

2019.04.29. New data products for Sea-floor Geology

Seafloor geology
Within EMODnet Geology, the German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) (work package leader) compiles and harmonises the European marine geology map data with regard to geomorphology, pre-Quaternary and Quaternary geology. The three data layers released today on seafloor geology show the underlying geology from the Ancient Past (more than 2500 Million years ago) to modern Quaternary deposits and geomorphological features. From it we can read the story about Earths Evolution in the European, marine part of our planet Earth, i.e. from the oldest rocks and how they form, to the youngest rocks and geomorphological features representing the most recent geological and environmental changes.

A variety of target users include scientists and researchers, governments, employees from fisheries and industry, environmental agencies and tourism. In particular, the layers provide information about structures on the seafloor important for geoscience research, and investigations of future exploration of mineral and energy resources but also of biological resources. They are also a source of knowledge to show features of the seafloor geomorphology valuable for habitats of numerous species (fisheries, tourism). In addition, the layers provide information on the seafloor conditions to plan building infrastructures (such as wind parks, or a pipeline or a protection area for endangered species).

“Geology does not know political boundaries, neither at sea nor on land”, says Kristine Asch, work package leader. ”EMODnet geology will help users from science, governments, industry, fisheries and tourism to find and apply overview and detail geology data of any part of the European Seas”.

2019.04.26. Updated map for Events & Probabilities

New datasets about “Geological Events and Probabilities” are now available on the EMODnet Geology Portal. The EMODnet Geology team responsible for the work package “Geological Events and Probabilities”, led by Geological Survey of Italy – ISPRA, has realised broad ranging systematic mapping of Geological events and deposits they originated, detected in sea areas surrounding Europe. Data have been either directly acquired by Partners’ surveys or obtained by cooperation with third parties or retrieved in the literature. Each EMODnet Geology Partner has validated final data regarding marine areas surrounding his country. Read more…

2019.04.23. Harmonised multiscale maps of the seabed substrate

The harmonised and multiscale maps of the seabed substrate have been released today by EMODnet Geology. Diverse national seabed substrate data classifications are brought together, harmonised and collated using the Folk classification system of 5, 7 and 16 classes. The maps illustrate seabed properties at different scales – 1:50 000, 1:100 000, 1:250 000 (250 k) and 1:1 000 000 (1 M) – covering all European maritime areas in one product. The broad scale data (250 k and 1 M) describes the seabed substrate at a general level, suitable for the decision-making, research and large-scale spatial planning. More detailed scale data are needed, for instance, for habitat mapping purposes and planning local constructions like wind farms. The maps of the seabed substrate are now available on the EMODnet Geology portal.

2019.04.19. New data product available for download: Submerged landscapes

Sea level is known to have fluctuated by more than 100 metres over repeated glacial cycles resulting in recurring exposure, inundation and migration of coastlines not only across Europe, but worldwide. Landscape response to these changes in sea level, and the preservation of these features on continental shelves around Europe, are an invaluable resource for improving our understanding of human history and environmental change over geological time.

The EMODnet Geology Team responsible for the work package on Submerged Landscapes, led by the British Geological Survey with project partners from Russia to Iceland, Turkey to Portugal and all European maritime countries, has delivered a compilation of submerged landscape features and palaeoenvironmental indicators, including estimated age where known. The fully attributed Geographic Information System (GIS) layer will be used to underpin palaeogeographic reconstructions across various time-frames. Read more…

2019.04.16. New data product available for download: Marine minerals on behalf of participating European partners

EMODnet Geology’s marine minerals layers include all types of naturally occurring geological raw materials, metals and hydrocarbons known to accumulate in European sea regions. The 12 different types of marine minerals mapped for EMODnet Geology vary widely in types. Differing geological environments are reflected in the varied types of mineral accumulates found in the European marine environment.

Mapping the spatial extent of marine mineral occurrences within European waters allows us to communicate their extent visually, using one common data standard and at one common scale. It is hoped that these seabed mineral deposit maps will be useful to policy makers, planners, industry and society. Read more…

2019.04.08. New data product available for download: Pan-European coastline-migration map based on satellite data 2007-2016

Traditionally, coastline-migration maps, showing erosion and accretion at the fringes of marine and lacustrine water bodies, have been made using field-monitoring data, supplemented locally by analyses of aerial photography. The EMODnet-Geology coastline-migration map is a good example. It provides an overview of our current knowledge and is useful in transnational coastal-zone management. At the same time, it is far from perfect. Read more…

2018.11.09. Why may a mapped coastline differ from the ‘official’ coastline?

Some users of the EMODnet-Geology coastline-migration maps have noted that the coastline as shown in green (accretion), yellow (stable) or red (erosion) does not always match with the ‘official’ present-day coastline. Understandably, they wonder if a mistake has been made. The answer is no. Read more…

2018.09.26. EMODnet Geology on your tv

Full project meeting taking place in Shëngjin, Albania. The meeting was covered by national media: