Structure, further advancements and fields of application of pan-European GIS layers derived from the „International Hydrogeological Map of Europe 1 : 1,500,000“

Klaus Duscher1, Andreas Günther1, Patrick Clos1, Uta Philipp1, Stefan Broda1, Jörg Reichling1
1 Fachbereich 2.2 - Informationsgrundlagen Grundwasser und Boden, Bundesanstalt fuer Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (BGR)

O 2.7 in Aquifer systems in Europe and beyond

14.04.2016, 16:15-16:30, Audimax B, Geb. 30.95

A first version of GIS layers displaying selected themes of the “International Hydrogeological Map of Europe in a scale of 1:1,500,000 (IHME1500)” has been made available for download as shapefile in April 2015. The main feature is the seamless delineation of pan-European groundwater resources characterized by the assignment to six classes of aquifer types, the lithological rock composition and areas of seawater intrusion. Although the aquifer type classification referring to groundwater productivity and major rock types is generalized, the IHME1500 GIS layers provide a consistent overview of the uppermost aquifer systems covering nearly all of Europe. Other approaches of pan-European aquifer mapping, such as the production of a groundwater body layer related to the Water Framework Directive (Duscher 2013), a digital dataset of European groundwater resources (Hollis et al. 2002) as well as a European aquifer typology (Wendland et al. 2008), were prepared only for specific parts of Europe or exhibit substantial X-border inconsistencies.   The harmonization of the lithological information included the implementation of a methodology comprising geometric aggregation, translation into a newly developed taxonomic scheme and subsequent rock class grouping. Following this approach, 1065 highly heterogeneous original lithological descriptions across the IHME 1500 map series were aggregated in several hierarchical generalization levels, resulting in 672, 204, 85 and 29 classes. The highest IHME lithology generalization comprises a grouping of the aggregated lithological information into ten rock classes and a ternary classification attributed to consolidated, partly consolidated and unconsolidated geologic materials.   The major application of the IHME GIS layers aims at transboundary and continent-wide assessments. However, since IHME lithology provides the only harmonized digital coverage representing spatial distribution and properties of both consolidated and unconsolidated shallow geologic materials currently available, the data is also applied for the spatial evaluation of surficial processes related to the delineation of soil parent materials and landslide susceptibility across Europe at synoptic scales.   Besides, a point layer depicting spring locations of the printed IHME1500 was completed. Other elements, such as stratigraphic indications can be additionally digitized. The GIS layers can also serve as a spatial base for a web information system.   First requests for use of the GIS layers indicate a wide range of applications, as for instance the implementation into hydrological and hydrogeological models estimating groundwater demands and spatial data processing with respect to water protection. In summary, the IHME1500 GIS layers constitute a valuable tool for transboundary shallow groundwater and environmental assessment at the (sub-)continental scale. All contributing nations are invited to continuously update the respective hydrogeological database.

Duscher K. (2013): Groundwater GIS reference layer - Submission/compilation status and evaluation. EEA/NSV/10/002. – Technical Report, ETC/ICM (European Topic Center on Inland, Coastal, Marine Waters), Cited 5 May 2015

Hollis J. M., Holman I. P., Burton R. G. O., Willers C. M., Pavelley D. (2002): A digital data set of European water resources at 1:500 000. - Report on behalf of the European Commission and the European Crop Protection Association, Cited 4 May 2015

Wendland F., Blum A., Coetsiers M., Gorova R., Griffioen J., Grima J., Hinsby K., Kunkel R., Marandi A., Melo T., Panagopoulos A., Pauwels H., Ruisi M., Traversa P., Vermooten J. S. A., Walraevens K. (2008): European aquifer typology – a practical framework for an overview of major groundwater composition at European scale. - Environ Geol (55): 77–85, doi: 10.1007/s00254-007-0966-5

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