The„International Hydrogeological Map of Europe 1 : 1,500,000“ - Print map and digital dataset provide a continent-wide overview of groundwater conditions

Klaus Duscher1, Günther Andreas1, Struckmeier Wilhelm1, Richts Andrea1
1 Sub-Department B2.2 - Spatial Data on Groundwater and Soils, Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR)

O 13.5 in Czech-German exchange on environmental-, soil- and hydro(geo)logical issues

30.05.2014, 12:20-12:40, H18, NW II

The map series „International Hydrogeological Map of Europe 1 : 1,500,000” (IHME1500) has been completed in August 2013. The last two of altogether 25 map sheets D5, Budapest and E5, Bucuresti, were printed. Additionally, a united, seamless digital dataset was published. The IHME1500 gives a long-awaited coherent overview of the groundwater situation in Europe. The new dataset is particularly relevant for projects that require harmonized transboundary information on the hydrogeology of European countries.
Under the auspices of UNESCO, BGR coordinated numerous organizations and over 300 scientists who participated in the project, and was responsible for the cartography and the editorial work on the map series. The first map sheet C5, Bern was already published in 1970. 17 map sheets come with explanatory notes, which provide additional descriptions of the regional conditions with a relevance to hydrogeology.
The IHME1500 concept was developed in conjunction with the preparation of a general legend for international hydrogeological maps (Anonymous, 1970). Six aquifer types, which are distinguished by productivity in terms of groundwater yield and rock consolidation, are mapped in plain colors (Fig. 1). Aquifer lithology is shown as gray ornament overlaying the colored aquifer types. Stratigraphic acronyms according to the “International Geological Map of Europe 1 : 1,500,000” (IGK1500) were included for selected spatial units to enable an orientation regarding the stratigraphical setting. The distribution of point symbols and line symbols exhibits varying patterns in the map sheets according to the regional occurrence. Whereas for instance groundwater table contours are depicted only in parts of selected map sheets, geological faults are uniformly reproduced throughout the whole map series.
Selected topics of the IHME print maps were digitized. For each theme the 25 map sheets were merged into a spatial dataset in a shapefile format. A polygon theme encompasses the attributes aquifer type, lithology and saltwater intrusion. A line theme depicts geological faults and overthrusts, and a point layer includes the location and type of springs. Substantial delineation offsets and divergent attributions that appear between the printed map sheets were revised in the digital version. The IHME1500 comprises more than 1000 lithological descriptions, which were generalized geometrically and semantically in a documented procedure of seven aggregation steps. These resulted in a ternary lithological classification system. The European regions from the North Cape to the Northern Urals and in the Caucasus, which were not covered by the IHME1500 print maps, are currently worked out to complete the digital dataset, based on available IHME1500 draft map sheets and the IGK1500. Further improvements and updates of the IHME1500 digital version will be published occasionally.

Figure 1: Color scheme for the specification of aquifer types (Struckmeier & Margat, 1995)
Figure 1: Color scheme for the specification of aquifer types (Struckmeier & Margat, 1995)

Anonymus (1970): International Legend for Hydrogeological Maps. – UNESCO / IASH / IAH / Institute of Geol Sciences, 101 pp.; London

Struckmeier, W. & Margat, J. (1995): Hydrogeological Maps – A Guide and a Standard Legend. – Int. Contrib. to Hydrogeol., Vol. 17; Hannover.

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Letzte Änderung 06.03.2014