Europe is facing a number of societal challenges that are firmly linked to subsurface resources: groundwater, geo-energy and raw materials. Our society needs economic wealth and the use of resources is fundamental to this, while at the same time a healthy and secure environment for all citizens needs to be ensured. The growing population and the demographic change add to the pressure on surface and subsurface resources and uses. Moreover, the industrial transformation envisaged by the EU will increase the need for coordinated subsurface research and innovation underpinned by reliable and easy access to subsurface data.
In order to support such transition, integrated European subsurface knowledge, development and sharing of improved processes and the use of new innovative technologies throughout the value chain will be essential. The Geological Survey Organisations of 32 countries within Europe laid the cornerstone to this achievement by establishing the GeoERA Programme. GeoERA’s main objectives to contribute to the more integrated and efficient management and more responsible exploitation and use of the subsurface are in line with several United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
This session will address integrated European geoscience services that will provide advice and data to Europe towards a sustainable subsurface management, integrating geo-resources (energy, water, raw materials) and environmental conditions (energy storage, natural hazards, anthropogenic impacts, biodiversity, climate change mitigation and adaptation), supported by a cross-thematic online information platform.
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Chat time: Friday, 8 May 2020, 08:30–10:15
The IPCC and IPBES reports, the sustainable development goals of the United Nations and the societal challenges for Europe defined by Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe all emphasize the strong need for integrated and sustainable management of subsurface resources to protect society and biodiversity. The four GeoERA groundwater projects contribute to this important goal by studying the current and future quantitative and chemical status of European groundwater bodies. The quantity and quality issues related to natural processes, human activities and climate change are investigated to improve our basis for informed decision making e.g. for climate change mitigation and adaptation. The four projects provide new and important data for further development of the European Geological Data Infrastructure (EGDI) as a leading information platform for sustainable and integrated management of subsurface resources in Europe and one of the leading platforms, globally. The four projects will deliver “FAIR” (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) data easily accessible for all relevant end users via EGDI. This will improve our understanding of the subsurface and support common efforts in public-private partnerships to meet the UN sustainable development goals and to develop efficient tools for climate change impact assessment, mitigation and adaptation. Here we briefly present some main objectives and deliverables of the four groundwater projects: 1) HOVER – “Hydrogeological processes and geological settings over Europe controlling dissolved geogenic and anthropogenic elements in groundwater of relevance to human health and the status of dependent ecosystems” – studies e.g. I) geogenic (natural) groundwater quality issues affecting human health, II) polluted groundwater focusing on nitrate, pesticides and emerging contaminants that besides human health potentially affect biodiversity and the ecological status of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and III) groundwater age and travel time distributions in European aquifers, which are useful for assessment of the history, migration and fate of contaminants in the subsurface and the vulnerability of the European groundwater resources towards pollution 2) RESOURCE – “Resources of groundwater, harmonized at cross-border and Pan-European Scale” – studies I) transboundary aquifers between Poland and Lithuania; as well as Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany; II) Karst and Chalk aquifers across Europe and III) Develops a new Pan European groundwater resources map that includes information on volumes, age and quality (salinity) 3) TACTIC – “Tools for assessment of climate change impact on groundwater and adaptation strategies” – compiles and studies climate change impact assessment and adaptation tools within more than 40 pilot areas distributed across Europe and 4) VoGERA – “Vulnerability of shallow groundwater resources to deep sub-surface energy-related activities” – studies groundwater vulnerability to energy-related activities in the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium and Hungary.
How to cite: Hinsby, K., Gourcy, L., Broers, H. P., Højberg, A. L., and Bianchi, M.: Integrated and sustainable management of subsurface resources - Introducing the contributions of the four GeoERA groundwater projects to the European Geological Data Infrastructure , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-4253, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-4253, 2020.
A significant task of the Mintell4EU project is to improve the quality and spatial coverage of the European inventory of primary and secondary mineral resources. The process of refining the minerals inventory that is currently within the Minerals4EU (M4EU) database includes (a) identification of data gaps in spatial coverage, (b) setting up the quality control application to identify gaps and errors in data, (c) identification of technical errors in the process of harvesting data and (d) establishing connections with other relevant projects.
After almost 2 years, the spatial coverage of the minerals inventory is extended with data from Western Balkan countries in cooperation with the RESEERVE project and new or modified data from existing data providers are available. Besides, a Mintell4EU Quality Control Application (QCA) was developed to visually check the latest reported data from data providers. Related to this, a harvesting system for collecting and validating mineral resources data is being established and improved access to raw materials data technical routines intervening during the harvesting phase are being implemented to ensure a rigorous control of the data quality.
The subsequent task is to enable new data providers to deliver data in a harmonized way to ensure consistency in the way data is displayed. In order to achieve this in the best way possible, a workshop will be held in Ljubljana in May 2020, drawing on experiences from REESERVE and from guidelines developed by the ORAMA project.
How to cite: Kumelj, Š., Vihtelič, A., Hribernik, K., and Bavdek, J.: Minerals Inventory as a part of Mineral Intelligence for Europe, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-17309, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-17309, 2020.
A structural framework is a well-defined concept, being used primarily to add structural understanding to a geological model. Within GeoConnect³d, a new approach is used, i.e. the structural framework concept is modified to become the leading model, in which geological maps and models can be inserted and related to. This structural framework is being developed and implemented for two areas of interest - Roer-to-Rhine in northwest Europe and Pannonian Basin in eastern Europe - and will soon be implemented in two pilot areas, Ireland and Bavaria. The organisation of information is strongly linked to different scales of visualisation, starting from the pan-European view (1:15,000,000) with the possibility to zoom in to the scale of local geological models and maps in these four areas.
The GeoConnect³d structural framework reorganises geological information in terms of geological limits and geological units. Limits are defined as broadly planar structures that separate a given geological unit from its neighbouring units, e.g. faults (limits) that define a graben (unit), or an unconformity (limit) that defines a basin (unit). Therefore, the key relationship between these two structural framework elements is that units are defined by limits i.e. all units must be bounded by limits. It is important to note that this relationship is not necessarily mutual: not all limits have to be unit-defining.
A first test of the structural framework methodology was carried out in the Netherlands and Belgium for the Roer Valley graben, as the faults in this area were already modelled in a cross-boundary project (H3O-Roer Valley Graben). Displaying different elements according to scale of visualisation coupled with vocabulary information (definition, grouping and semantic relations between elements, etc.) following the SKOS-system proved a powerful tool to display geological information in an understandable way and improve insights in large-scale geological structures crossing national borders. Additionally, links with other GeoERA projects such as HIKE and its fault database are being successfully established. We consider the outcomes of this test promising to fulfil one of the main goals of GeoConnect³d, i.e. preparing and disclosing geological information in an understandable way for stakeholders. We also consider this as the way forward towards pan-European integration and harmonisation of geological information, where the ultimate challenge is to correlate or otherwise link information from different geological domains and of different scales.
This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 731166.
How to cite: Piessens, K., Barros, R., Dirix, K., Deckers, J., ten Veen, J., Debacker, T. N., and Jähne-Klingberg, F.: Structural framework: a new way to organise and communicate geological information, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-21081, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-21081, 2020.
The shallow subsurface comprising groundwater bodies as well as solid rock formations in the uppermost tens to hundreds of meters below surface offer significant resources for renewable heating, cooling and seasonal underground heat storage. Shallow geothermal energy (SGE) comprises the technologies to exchange heat between the subsurface and surface via closed loop or open loop heat exchangers. Although SGE just covered around 2% of the renewable heat production in the EU in 2018, its huge potential for low temperature heating and cooling supply is expected to lead to a significant market growth across Europe in the upcoming decade. Especially as SGE offers the unique possibility to supply heating, cooling and storing waste heat with one technology. SGE offers advantages especially in urban areas. It does not produce waste heat if applied for cooling, which can be considered as an important measure to mitigate urban heat islands. It consumes low amount of surface space for its installation and applying SGE is free of emissions in terms of aerosols or noise. Moreover, it can be combined with other renewables such as solar and waste heat or excess energy. In these cases, SGE acts as a seasonal heat storage.
The increasing interest in SGE in urban areas, however, puts pressure on the subsurface, especially on shallow groundwater bodies. In that context, SGE systems may compete with each other as well as with water supply and subsurface installations. In many European countries, management approaches of SGE are either lacking or follow the first come first serve approach. Integrative management approaches follow an information and decision cycle, starting and ending at collecting, processing and providing geoscientific data on subsurface conditions to stakeholders, such as authorities, investors and city planners.
GeoERA MUSE addresses integrative management approaches for the use of SGE by harmonizing concepts and testing them in 14 European cities facing different climatic, hydrogeologic and socio-economic boundary conditions. MUSE deals with mapping resources and limitations of SGE resources and displays them in modern web-based interfaces. Knowing resources and limitations referring to interference with other SGE systems or other shallow subsurface installations is the starting point for integrative management approaches, which include summation effects and abandon first come first serve. MUSE pilot areas follow the whole management cycle from creating subsurface data (e.g. subsurface temperatures, thermal rock properties), deriving resource models (amount of energy available for use), limitations of use (contaminated areas, problematic chemical composition of groundwater) and displaying the information gained at the EGDI web platform of EuroGeoSurveys. Furthermore, MUSE interacts with local stakeholders to transfer geoscientific data models into managing strategies. In that sense, the pilot areas act as role model for other urban regions in Europe. Additionally, MUSE creates joint concepts and standards to strengthen the role of Geological Survey Organisations towards a key player in managing an efficient and sustainable use of urban subsurface in general and SGE in urban areas in detail. MUSE has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 731166.
How to cite: Steiner, C., Borovic, S., García-Gil, A., Ditlefsen, C., Boon, D., Herms, I., Maurel, C., Petitclerc, E., Janza, M., Erlström, M., Klonowski, M., Holeček, J., Blake, S., Vandeweijer, V., Cernak, R., and Maljuk, B.: GeoERA MUSE – Managing Urban Shallow Geothermal Energy, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-3510, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-3510, 2020.
It is widely accepted that non-energy minerals underpin modern economies since they are essential for manufacturing and renewable energy supply. Europe shows an inevitably growing and accelerated consumption of mineral commodities. The critical question is whether supply to meet these demands is adequate. However, no one can answer this with any certainty because secure supply of mineral RM is a matter of knowing the resources and the ability to exploit them sustainably.
Europe’s strive to be become the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050 means implementing the “European Green Deal” by the EU Commission. Measures accompanied with an initial roadmap of key policies range from ambitiously cutting emissions, to investing in cutting-edge research and innovation, to preserving Europe’s natural environment.
This green transition is a giant societal leap. However, of the clean and carbon-reducing technologies (e.g. wind turbines, photovoltaic panels, electric and hybrid vehicles), which allow energy production from renewable resources, use significant quantities of metals [e.g. REE, PGE, Nb, Li, Co, In, Ga, V, Te, Se] that are derived or refined from minerals, and of which Europe is strongly import dependent on. The high import dependence of strategic (SRM) and critical raw materials (CRM) has a serious impact on the sustainability of the EU manufacturing industry value chains and key enabling technologies (e.g. renewable energy industry, mobility sector and AI) and significant release of CO2 emissions due to foreign ore transport. Effectively knowing Europe’s subsurface and the potential mineral supplies that can be used in these manufacturing industries can achieve this. We need to calculate the volumes of CRM and SRM metals (e.g. Co, Nb, V, Sb, PGE and REE) and minerals currently not extracted in Europe. We further need to understand how high-tech elements are mobilised, where they occur and why some are associated with specific major industrial metals. This means a renewed and robust focus on advanced exploration for new mineral deposits on land and sea.
FRAME(*) addresses most of these concerns by focusing on at least four of the current objectives of the EU Commission: 1- CRM; 2- battery critical elements [graphite, Co, Li]; 3- The circular economy and; 4- the responsible sourcing of metals by combating conflict minerals.
With focused work packages, FRAME aims to broadly deliver, 1- a new assessment of the SRM and CRM in Europe; 2- an innovative predictability of where the sourcing of some of these SRM and CRM may come from to reduce dependance on external supply sources, which in some specific metals such as Nb and Ta, fosters the sustainable and responsible supply and; 3- look at case specific sites for the reuse of mineral RM. Data will be made available through a structured data platform. Hence, FRAME is making a significant contribution to aid in the “European Green Deal”, activities such as the Battery Alliance and support legal actions like the new EU "conflict minerals" regulation effective from 1/01/2021.
 (*) This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement Nº 731166
How to cite: de Oliveira, D. P. S., Ferreira, M. J., Sadeghi, M., Arvanitidis, N., Decrée, S., Gautneb, H., Gloaguen, E., Törmänen, T., Reginiussen, H., Sievers, H., Quental, L. Q., and Wittenberg, A.: FRAME’s (Forecasting and Assessing Europe’s Strategic Raw Materials Needs) contribution to the “European Green Deal” , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-5950, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-5950, 2020.
The oceans and seas cover more than 70% of the planet, representing a promising new frontier for mineral resources exploration, and an enormous challenge for science and technology. Communities are demanding actions to address global climate change, and the necessary high- and green-technologies required for a transition from a carbon-based to green-energy-based world. The global ocean is at the core of these issues. The seabed mineral resources host the largest reserves on Earth for some critical metals like cobalt, tellurium, manganese, and the rare earth elements, critical for Industry. But seabed geology and ecosystems are widely unexplored, and new geological and environmental studies are required to address the impacts of potential mining activities. In addition, a regulatory framework for minerals extraction and marine spatial planning are necessary for seabed mining sector development.
The pan-European seas cover about 15 millions square kilometres in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans and the Mediterranean, Baltic, and Black seas, from shallow waters up to 6000 m water depth. Spanning a large diversity of environments and resource settings, including high and low temperature hydrothermal deposits, phosphorites, cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts, and manganese nodules, deep-sea deposits are particularly attractive for their polymetallic nature with high contents of rare and critical metals. Moreover, shallow-water resources, like marine placer deposits, represent another source for many critical metals and gems. The GeoERA-MINDeSEA project is compiling data and genetic models for all these deposit types based on extensive studies, carried out previously, which include geophysical surveys, dredging stations, underwater photography and ROV surveys, and mineralogical, geochemical, and isotopic studies.
The preliminary MINDeSEA results show the potential of the pan-European seas for critical metals, and the enormous gaps of information covering vast marine sectors. More than 600 mineral occurrences are reported in the MINDeSEA database. Seamounts and banks in the Macaronesia sector (Portugal and Spain) and the Arctic ridges (Norway, Denmark, Iceland) show a high potential for Fe-Mn crusts, rich in energy-critical elements like Co but also Te, REEs, and Mn. Fe-Mn crusts are accompanied by phosphorites on the seafloor of continental shelves and slopes along the western continental margins. Seafloor polymetallic sulphides and metalliferous sediments precipitating from hot hydrothermal solutions and plumes are forming today in the Azores Islands (Portugal), the Arctic (Norway, Denmark) and, the Mediterranean volcanic arcs (Italy and Greece). They are among the most important marine resources for Cu, Zn, Ag, and Au. In addition, hydrothermal deposits may contain economic grades of Co, Sn, Ba, In, Bi, Te, Ga, and Ge. Placer deposits of chemically resistant and durable minerals have been discovered on shallow-water settings (<50 m water depth on estuaries, deltas, beaches) linked to the weathering of onshore rocks and ore deposits from the Variscan Belt (UK, France, Portugal, Spain). Finally, shallow-water concretions and nodules from the Arctic, Baltic, and Black Sea represent potential targets for metals exploration and environmental studies.
 This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 731166
How to cite: Gonzalez, J., Medialdea, T., Schiellerup, H., Zananiri, I., Ferreira, P., Somoza, L., Monteys, X., Kuhn, T., Nyberg, J., Melnyk, I., Magalhaes, V., Lunar, R., Marino, E., Hein, J. R., Cherkashov, G., and team, M.: Critical minerals in the European seas: The project GeoERA-MINDeSEA , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-13271, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-13271, 2020.
Climate change (CC) already have widespread and significant impacts in Europe, which is expected to increase in the future. Groundwater plays a vital role for the land phase of the freshwater cycle and have the capability of buffering or enhancing the impact from extreme climate events causing droughts or floods, depending on the subsurface properties and the status of the system (dry/wet) prior to the climate event. Understanding and taking the hydrogeology into account is therefore essential in the assessment of climate change impacts.
The Geological Survey Organisations (GSOs) in Europe compile the necessary data and knowledge of the groundwater systems across Europe. The overall vision of the project “Tools for Assessment of ClimaTe change ImpacT on Groundwater and Adaptation Strategies – TACTIC” is to enhance the utilisation of these data and knowledge of the subsurface system in CC impact assessments, and the identification and analyses of potential adaptation strategies. To reach this vision, the objective of TACTIC is to contribute to the development of coherent and transparent assessments of CC impacts on groundwater and surface water, supporting improved EU policy making, and providing decision support for stakeholders and decision makers. To accomplish this, an infra-structure among European Geological Survey Organisations are developed in TACTIC to foster advancement and harmonisation of CC assessments, made up by: 1) The TACTIC Toolbox, consisting of relevant tools and methods for CC impact assessments, 2) TACTIC guidelines that will guide GSOs and other relevant stakeholders on the selection of appropriate tools and their use for producing comparable results, 3) The European Geological Data Infrastructure (EGDI) where data, reports and open-access papers will be stored and made freely available
The project is centred around 40 pilot studies covering a variety of CC challenges as well as different hydrogeological settings and different management systems found in Europe. The pilot activities are coordinated centrally in the project, to ensure that assessments, to the extent possible, are harmonised and can be compared across pilots. Synthesizing the experiences and results from the pilots will enable the development of a guideline and future roadmap, with the aim of 1) encouraging more GSOs to contribute in CC impact assessments 2) providing guidance to make the learning curve less steep and 3)ensuring that new assessments are comparable with assessments conducted in TACTIC.
TACTIC is part of the Horizon 2020 ERA-NET on Applied Geoscience (GeoERA) and together with the three other GeoERA groundwater projects, TACTIC will provide new and important data for further development of the European Geological Data Infrastructure (EGDI) with publicly available data enabling the development of EU-wide decision support systems for sustainable management of subsurface resources in a changing climate.
This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 731166.
How to cite: Hojberg, A. L., Karlsson, I. B., Hinsby, K., Kidmose, J., Bessiere, H., Mansour, M., and Pulido-Velázquez, D.: Utilising data and knowledge from European geological survey organisations in climate change impact assessments and adaptations, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-6656, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-6656, 2020.
The better knowledge of the subsurface is one of the challenges faced by the Geological Survey Organizations all around the world. The assessment, and sustainable use, also concurrent, of subsurface resources, requires a holistic approach that takes into account also natural hazards and environmental impacts. Such approach is particularly significant in Italy where a large part of the territory is affected by several hazards (earthquakes, landslides, floods, volcanic eruptions, ground subsidence), and the exploitation of subsurface resources has been recently a theme for a scientific and political debate to address, investigate, and manage the potential contribution of human activities to increase natural hazards.
Exploration and knowledge, sustainable use and management, impacts, and publicly available information are key topics addressed in the GeoERA Programme by the Geological Survey of Italy (SGI) a department of ISPRA, , through the participation to eight GeoERA projects.
In the Geo-Energy Theme, the SGI contribution focuses on subsurface knowledge and database production: geological 3D model of the Po Basin subsurface as base input data for geothermal assessment of Mesozoic multilayer carbonate reservoir (HotLime); the implementation of the European Fault Database – EFD with information about faults characteristics, including 3D geometry and activity (HIKE).
As regards the Raw Materials Theme, inthe last decade, various projects aimed at implementing data and metadata on available raw materials have been fostered by the EU Commission. The projects involving SGI range from cataloguing mineral resources (MINTELL4EU) into a Database INSPIRE compliant, to the inventory of ornamental stones containing information about the physical and mechanical characteristics of the rocks (EUROLITHOS), as well as to deepen the knowledge aimed at a possible recycling/reuse of minerals from extractive wastes (FRAME) in a circular economy perspective.
In the Groundwater Theme, the main efforts of the SGI are involved on the implementation of an Italian inventory of available information on thermal-mineral water, an investigation on their geological background and the preparation of maps and web-map service (HOVER); the calculation of groundwater recharge at selected observation boreholes applying a statistical lumped model and as well using satellite data to produce spatially distributed recharge maps (TACTIC).
Finally, SGI contributes to the implementation and development of the GeoERA Information Platform that is established to support the other GeoERA projects in managing and disseminating geospatial data, reports and unstructured data, and the results of their research.
In a long term perspective, through the participation to eight GeoERA projects, the SGI has contributed to the development of a geological service for Europe built on the joint cooperation among national and regional geological surveys, that will be the long term objective of the whole GeoERA Programme.
This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 731166.
How to cite: Guerrieri, L., Cipolloni, C., D'Ambrogi, C., Dessi, B., Di Manna, P., Lucarini, M., Martarelli, L., and Serra, M.: The contribution of the Geological Survey of Italy to the GeoERA Programme challenges towards a geological service for Europe, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-21381, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-21381, 2020.
Society is increasingly looking to the subsurface for our energy needs, be that for extracting geothermal energy, shale gas, or buffering heat, gas, or storing by-products of energy production. An increasingly crowded subsurface presents risks to groundwater relied on for water supply, since subsurface activities can introduce or release contaminants and alter subsurface properties. The VoGERA project is investigating the vulnerability of shallow groundwater from a range of subsurface energy technologies across different hydrogeological and geological settings within Europe. A suite of conceptual models compares the intrinsic vulnerability for different geological (crystalline, poorly consolidated and well consolidated sedimentary basins) and hydrogeological (basin centre and margins) conditions. They also consider the impacts of different subsurface activity types broadly categorised as those processes including injection, abstraction and a neutral fluid balance. Potential contamination pathways are being investigated at four case study sites; the Rauw Fault in Belgium, Panonian Basin in Hungary, The Peel Boundary Fault in the Netherlands and the Vale of Pickering in the UK. Geophysical, hydrological and hydrochemical data from these sites will be assessed in order to improve contamination pathway process understanding in a European setting. Findings from the case study sites will be used to evaluate the conceptual models and to develop a tool for decision makers and the public to assess the vulnerability to shallow groundwater from subsurface energy activities depending on the activity, and geological and hydrogeological conditions at a specific location. The VoGERA project is funded as part of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 GeoERA network of projects under the Groundwater theme (Grant agreement number 731166).
How to cite: Ward, R., Beerten, K., Zaadnoordijk, W., Slenter, C., Bianchi, M., Rotár-Szalkai, Á., and Mallin Martin, D.: Assessing the vulnerability of shallow groundwater resources to deep subsurface energy activities (VoGERA), EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-10241, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-10241, 2020.
45 Geological Survey Organisations (GSOs) from 32 European countries developed an ERA-NET Co-Fund Action: Establishing the European Geological Surveys Research Area to deliver a Geological Service for Europe (GeoERA). The GeoEra project HOVER (Hydrogeological processes and Geological settings over Europe controlling dissolved geogenic and anthropogenic elements in groundwater of relevance to human health and the status of dependent ecosystems) aims to gain understanding of the controls on groundwater quality across Europe using the combined expertise and data held by member states. Objectives of the HOVER work package 7 (WP7) are i) review of existing index methods for assessing the vulnerability of the upper aquifer to pollution and selection of the methods to be applied at the pilot and pan-EU scale, ii) compilation and harmonization of input data sets required for assessing vulnerability, and iii) assessment of aquifer vulnerability to pollution (both in maps and 2-d schematic cross sections).
The selected methodology adopted in this project is DRASTIC, which will be applied in ten pilot areas and at the pan-European scale. In karst regions, however, the COP method will be applied in the pilots. This is accompanied with comparisons with the outcomes of existing national vulnerability assessments. It is anticipated to validate the resulting vulnerability maps at the pilot level using available groundwater nitrate contamination information.
How to cite: Günther, A., Broda, S., Duscher, K., Reichling, J., Schomburgk, S., Elster, D., Bimalyuk, B., Cerar, S., Hansen, B., Hickey, C., Ikonen, J., Herms, I., Kontodimos, K., Velázquez, D. P., Persa, D., Janetz, S., Witthoeft, M., Arustiene, J., Gal, N., and Nidental, M. and the GEOERA HOVER WP7 TEAM: GeoEra HOVER WP7 – Harmonized vulnerability to pollution mapping of the upper aquifer, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-14037, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-14037, 2020.
A pan-European GIS focused on hydrate has been developed within the frame of the GARAH project (GeoERA - GeoE.171.002) in order to assess gas hydrate information gaps in the European margins. A data-collection exercise from public sources (MIGRATE and PERGAMON COST actions ES1405 and ES0902, SeaDataNet, NOAA, etc) and European Geological Surveys (BGS, BRGM, IGME, GEUS, etc) has supplied a total of 835 information layers. All this information has been structured in four groups ((i) Geological & Geochemical evidences/indicators, (ii) Geophysical indicators, (iii) Fluid flow seabed indicators and (iv) Oceanographic variables & Geological constrains) where tables and geospatial features have been designed and harmonized following the standards of INSPIRE directives.
This GIS-database has been conceived as a first step or base-line for future gas hydrate related research. The next step as part of 'Work Package 3' of the GARAH project will be the identification of critical knowledge gaps and the definition of specific areas of interest which would benefit from further research. Theses potential future projects could be related to improving the European model of the gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ), assess potential geohazards and risks, assess the abundance of sediment-hosted gas hydrates, and evaluate the role of CO2-rich hydrates for the geological storage of CO2.
GARAH project. GeoERA - GeoE.171.002
How to cite: Leon, R., Rochelle, C., Burnol, A., Gimenez-Moreno, C. J., Nielsen, T., Hopper, J., Reguera, I., Mata, P., Stewart, M., and Cervel, S.: A pan-European GIS focused on gas hydrates: a research base-line in geohazards and geological storage of CO2, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-4861, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-4861, 2020.
In 2017 the geological surveys contributed to the European wide project ‘EU Unconventional Oil and Gas Assessment’ (EUOGA). The goal of EUOGA was to assess all potentially prospective shale formations from the main onshore basins in Europe and included contributions of twenty-one European geological surveys and the assessment covered 82 geological formations from 38 basins (Zijp et al. 2017).
To extend the assessment to offshore basins the geological surveys of Denmark (GEUS), Germany (BGR), the Northlands (TNO) and United Kingdom (BGS) are working together on the Geological Analysis and Resource Assessment of selected Hydrocarbon systems (GARAH) project that aims at assessing the conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon resource in the North Sea Basin. Within the basin more than 10 shale layers have been recognised as holding potential resources. These shales include the offshore equivalent of the Cambrian Alum Shale, The Carboniferous Bowland shale and the Jurassic Wealden and Kimmeridge shales that onshore have been a target for hydrocarbon exploration within the European Union member states. Each shale layer will be characterized using thirty systematic parameters such as areal distribution, structural setting, average net to gross ratio of the shale reservoir, average Total Organic Carbon content (TOC) and average mineralogical composition.
This is a part of an ongoing EU Horizon 2020 GeoERA project (The GARAH, H2020 grant #731166 lead by GEUS).
Zijp, M., Nelskamp, S., Schovsbo, N.H., Tougaard, L. & Bocin-Dumitriu, A. 2017: Resource estimation of eighty-two European shale formations. Proceedings of the 5th Unconventional Resources Technology Conference, Austin, Texas, USA, 24–26 July, 2017. https://doi.org/10.15530/urtec-2017-2686270
How to cite: Schovsbo, N., Ladage, S., Mathiesen, A., Nelskamp, S., Stewart, M. A., and Britze, P.: Unconventional hydrocarbon resource plays in the North Sea Basin, Northwestern Europe, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-1558, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-1558, 2020.
A cross-border assessment study looking at selected hydrocarbon systems is conducted as part of the EU Horizon 2020 GeoERA project (GARAH H2020 grant #731166 lead by GEUS). Within this project the geological surveys of the Netherlands (TNO), Germany (BGR), the United Kingdom (BGS) and Denmark (GEUS) are working together to create an overview of hydrocarbon resources and potential plays in the North Sea Basin. The project will harmonize the available resource assessments, and take a closer look at the play systems and potential new concepts. The focus of the work is on resolving border issues and identifying play concepts that are successful in one country but are underexplored in others. Potential risk factors related to subsurface exploration and production as well as options for multiple use of the subsurface will also be included in the overview. The results of the project will be published in report and GIS format and made available to legislators as well as the public.
Other parts of the project include the assessment of unconventional hydrocarbon plays (see Schovsbo et al. this conference), detailed basin and petroleum system modelling of a case study area in the Danish-German-Dutch offshore area (Lutz et al. this conference) and a pan-European database for gas hydrates (Léon et al. this conference).
How to cite: Nelskamp, S., Steward, M., Schovsbo, N., Ladage, S., Peeters, S., and Britze, P.: Overview of conventional hydrocarbon resources in the North Sea Basin – harmonization of assessments, cross-border play mapping and new concepts, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-20918, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-20918, 2020.
A Geological Analysis and Resource Assessment of selected Hydrocarbon Systems (GARAH) is carried out as part of the overarching GeoERA project. Here, we report first results of a 3D basin and petroleum system model developed in a cross-border area of the Dutch, Danish and German North Sea Central Graben area. This pilot study reconstructs the thermal history, maturity and petroleum generation of potential Lower, Middle and Upper Jurassic source rocks. The 3D pilot study incorporates new aggregated and combined layers from the three countries. Results of the study feed back into the 3DGEO-EU project of GeoERA.
Eight key horizons covering the whole German Central Graben and parts of the Dutch and Danish North Sea Central Graben were selected for building the stratigraphic and geological framework of the 3D basin and petroleum system model. The model includes depth and thickness maps of important stratigraphic units as well as the main salt structures. Petrophysical parameters, generalized facies information and organic geochemical data from well reports are assigned to the different key geological layers. The model is further calibrated with temperature and maturity data from wells of the three countries and from publications. The time span from the Late Permian to the Present is represented by the model including the most important erosional phases related to large-scale tectonic events during the Late Jurassic to Late Cretaceous. Additionally, salt movement through time expressed as diapirs and pillows is considered within the 3D basin and petroleum system model.
This is a part of an ongoing EU Horizon 2020 GeoERA project (The GARAH, H2020 grant #731166 lead by GEUS).
How to cite: Lutz, R., Arfai, J., Nelskamp, S., Mathiesen, A., Schovsbo, N. H., Ladage, S., Britze, P., and Stewart, M.: 3D basin and petroleum system modelling in the North Sea Central Graben - a Dutch, German, Danish cross-border study, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-6873, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-6873, 2020.
GeoConnect³d introduced the concept of geomanifestations to define any distinct local expression of ongoing or past geological processes. These manifestations, or anomalies, often point to specific geologic conditions and, therefore, can be important sources of information to improve geological understanding of an area. Examples include seismicity, gas seeps, local compositional differences in groundwater and springs, thermal anomalies, mineral occurrences, jumps in hydraulic head, overpressured zones and geomorphological features. Geomanifestations are an addition to the structural framework model also being developed in GeoConnect³d, aiming to show where and how processes and structures may be linked.
Data on geomanifestations are being collected in three areas: the Roer-to-Rhine area of interest in northwest Europe, and the Mura-Zala Basin and Battonya High within the Pannonian Basin area of interest in Eastern Europe. A first assessment of available data showed that groundwater-related geomanifestations in the form of anomalies in chemical composition (enrichment in elements such as Fe, or hydrocarbon gases and CO2,) or temperature (thermal water springs, geothermal anomaly in wells) are mappable in all areas. These geomanifestations point to special geological features in each area, such as proximity to magmatic reservoirs, presence of deep-rooted faults and considerable differences in the subsurface relief (trough–high system of the basement) among others. These anomalies at times define spatial patterns, which might or not be represented in the structural framework model, thus demonstrating whether they can be explained by the current geological understanding embedded in the structural framework. With this first test, we conclude that data on groundwater-related geomanifestations add to the robustness of the structural framework model. Further investigations with other types of geomanifestations are foreseen.
How to cite: Barros, R., Piessens, K., Ferket, H., Rman, N., and Kun, É.: Investigating geological processes and their links with geological structures through geomanifestations, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-15823, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-15823, 2020.
Shallow geothermal systems are the most efficient and clean technology for the air-conditioning of buildings and constitutes an emergent renewable energy resource in the worldwide market. Undisturbed systems are capable of efficiently exchanging heat with the subsurface and transferring it to human infrastructures, providing the basis for the successful decarbonisation of heating and cooling demands of cities. Unmanaged intensive use of groundwater for thermal purposes as a shallow geothermal energy (SGE) resource in urban environments threatens the resources´ renewability and the systems´ performance, due to the thermal interferences created by a biased energy demand throughout the year. To ensure sustainability, scientifically-based criteria are required to prevent potential thermal interferences between geothermal systems. In this work, a management indicator (balanced sustainability index, BSI) applicable to groundwater heat pump systems is defined to assign a quantitative value of sustainability to each system, based on their intrinsic potential to produce thermal interference. The BSI indicator relies on the net heat balance transferred to the terrain throughout the year and the maximum seasonal thermal load associated. To define this indicator, 75 heating-cooling scenarios based in 23 real systems were established to cover all possible different operational conditions. The scenarios were simulated in a standard numerical model, adopted as a reference framework, and thermal impacts were evaluated. Two polynomial regression models were used for the interpolation of thermal impacts, thus allowing the direct calculation of the sustainability indicator developed as a function of heating-cooling ratios and maximum seasonal thermal loads. The BSI indicator could provide authorities and technicians with scientifically-based criteria to establish geothermal monitoring programs, which are critical to maintain the implementation rates and renewability of these systems in the cities.
How to cite: García-Gil, A., Marazuela, M. Á., Mejías Moreno, M., Vázquez-Suñè, E., Garrido Schneider, E., and Sánchez-Navarro, J. Á.: The BSI indicator: preventing thermal interferences between groundwater heat pump systems, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-9579, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-9579, 2020.
Changes in our world mean that Europe is facing many pressing demographic and geographic challenges. A growing, aging population coupled with changes in population density are causing environmental stresses to our ecosystem that when coupled with climate change create challenges in sustainable food production and the use of natural raw materials. At the same time, the Fridays For Future Movement is calling out loudly for Future and Climate Justice, CO2-neutrality, resource efficiency and (almost) closed material loops. These issues are already expressed by the 17 UN sustainable development goals (SDGs) and widely shared through the Paris Agreement. The European Union and the National Governments have launched many frameworks and action plans such as the European Green Deal to achieve a carbon-neutral economy and clean mobility for example. Certainly, any of those transformations and any infrastructure developments will require sustainably produced mineral raw materials to deliver key enabling technologies and to meet the needs of the Industry 4.0 society. Moreover, improvements in buildings such as energy efficiency through insulation technologies, other infrastructure developments and the Europe’s cultural heritage preservation add to the increasing demand in mineral resources.
The demand for ever increasing volumes of mineral resources cannot be met exclusively by recycling and thermodynamics does not allow for fully closed material loops. Hence, a sustainable supply of raw materials will always require accessibility to mineral deposits and productive mines while the effects of competing land-use issues and NIMBY activism are increasing too.
The realisation of a low-carbon society and a self-concept of reliable sourcing increasingly require short feed strokes and local sourcing. A good understanding of mineral systems, mining sites, and remaining resources of historical sites will stay of utmost importance. The four GeoERA Raw Materials projects* EuroLITHOS, FRAME, MINDeSEA and Mintell4EU share expertise, information and focus on European on-shore and off-shore resources.
EuroLITHOS gives specific attention to ornamental stone resources for which Europe has a long tradition in mining, processing and usage.
FRAME designed to research the Strategic and Critical Raw Materials (SCRM) in Europe to gain new insights into reserves and resources taking into account new technologies and developments.
MINDeSEA focuses on exploration and investigation of SCRM from seafloor mineral deposits in European waters. Identifying areas for responsible resourcing and information on management and Marine Spatial Planning in European Seas are in its core of action.
Mintell4EU focuses on harmonizing data, utilizes the UNFC, providing spatial data and thematic maps. Updated electronic Minerals Yearbook and Europe’s Minerals Inventory are among the products.
Foresight and forecasting of the raw material supply potential of Europe will become more reliable through increased data quality and harmonization. Workshops and training courses will add to ensure an improvement of the European Raw Materials Knowledge Base. GeoERA Raw Materials projects create valuable, accessible and public data, and information for policy-makers and end-users of geological data and minerals information in Europe.
[*] This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 731166
How to cite: Wittenberg, A., de Oliveira, D. P. S., González Sanz, J., Flindt Jørgensen, L., Whitehead, D., and Heldal, T.: Mineral resources - crucial components of a vital and wealthy society, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-7947, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-7947, 2020.
The H2020 GeoERAFRAME project (www.frame.lneg.pt) consists of a partnership of 11 European geological surveys. Geographical and geological information was collected including the genetic type of the different commodities. In the EU, data show that there are 1195 registered occurrences, prospects or deposits of Li, Co and graphite, of these only 17 are active. The data classify the occurrences according to their genetic type, occurrence type and production status. The data have been supplied from geological surveys national databases and in this compilation, we regard all Co deposits with a mean Co >100ppm as potential occurrences for Co. For the other commodities, Li bearing minerals or graphite must be identified or explored for to be included.
Even if our compilation has shown that the different national resource databases contain data of variable quality, with a lot of shortcomings, inconsistences and errors, the overall quality is good enough to assess the EU potential.
The Lithium deposits can be group into the following types: i) High grade Li deposits including Li-rich LCT pegmatites, rare metal granites and atypical stratiform deposits such as Jadar. The distribution of lithium in Europe shows a strong clustering highlighting the Li potential of the Variscan belt of south and central Europe. Representative examples are Sepeda pegmatites (103 000t Li2O – grade 1.0%) or Beauvoir rare-metal granite (325 260t Li2O – grade 0.78%). Medium-grade Li deposits are represented by hydrothermal deposits such as greisens and Li-bearing quartz veins associated to some peraluminous rare metal granites (Cinovec 2 715 010 Li2O – grade 0.42%).
Cobalt is a common minor constituent in a number of different ore types. In Europe, most of the known Co-bearing deposits and showings are clustering in the Nordic countries (Finland, Sweden and Norway). In the Nordic countries, the deposits mostly represent magmatic Ni-Cu and Fe-Ti-V deposits and VMS deposits, whereas elsewhere in Europe genetic types are more varied from sediment-hosted, to lateritic and 5-element vein types, among others. The only active mines producing cobalt are located in Finland. Kevitsa mine in northern Finland is a large low-grade Ni-Cu-PGE deposit, which produced 591 t of Co in 2018. Kylylahti mine is a small-sized Outokumpu-type Cu-Zn-Ni-Co deposit, which produced 278 t of Co in 2018. Terrafame is a large, low-grade black-shale hosted Zn-Ni-Cu-Co mine that produces Co as by product to Ni and Zn.
Graphite is a common mineral in rocks throughout Europe. However, find economically interesting deposits are rare. The bulk of the graphite occurrences occur in Archean or Proterozoic rocks of Fennoscandia and Ukraine. In addition, a number of amorphous graphite occurrences are found in Phanerozoic rocks in Austria. There are also a large number of showings where the genetic type is unknown. Active mines are situated in Ukraine, Austria and Norway. The graphite bearing rocks are typically organic rich para-gneiss often associated with carbonates and iron formations. The graphite content varies from 2-3% up to over 40%. The Trælen deposit in Norway is the world’s richest graphite deposit in current production with an average ore grade of 31%.
How to cite: Gautneb, H., Gloaguen, E., and Törmänen, T.: Lithium, Cobalt and Graphite occurrences in Europe, Results from GeoEra FRAME project wp 5, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-7025, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-7025, 2020.
The prime aim of work package (WP) 3 in the FRAME project is to produce a map of Strategic and Critical Raw Materials (SCRM) for Europe, including the so-called energy and conflict minerals. In cooperation with other FRAME WPs, there was a consensus on the methodology used for the identification and selection process of the Strategic and Critical Raw Materials (SCRM) to be included in the metallogenetic map, linked mainly to information collected from existing databases (DB), such as Minerals4EU (M4EU) and European Geological Data Infrastructure (EGDI).
One main objective of WP3 is the predictive targeting based on GIS exploration tools and prospectivity assessments at continental scale. Two types of prospectivity mapping have been produced in this WP3 based on different knowledge and data-driven methods. The first method applies the latest developments in “data driven” mineral prospectivity that allows mapping at continental scale, such as the “Cell Based Association" (CBA) one method developed by BRGM. CBA is an alternative to GIS-supported prospectivity methods. It has been developed to better manage uncertainties related to cartographic data which are highly significant at continental scale. The second method is using the hybrid fuzzy weights-of-evidence (WofE) model for mineral potential mapping.
SCRM may be recovered either as primary commodities or as by-products. Carbonatite-related deposits are the primary sources of many CRM such as REEs, niobium (Nb) and tantalum (Ta). Granitic pegmatite deposits are currently the principal source of Ta. Compilation of Nb and Ta occurrences/deposits in Europe is currently going on within FRAME WP6 (see separate presentation by Reginiussen et al., this conference). The data has been used for the spatial analysis and prospectivity mapping related to geology and geotectonic and metallogenic setting at European scale.
The results of our prospectivity mapping highlight several Nb and Ta mineral potential areas related to evolved granite to leucogranite bodies mostly in Scandinavia, Spain, France and Portugal, e.g Morille-Martinamor district, Fontão and Penouta where previous exploration activities on those elements were carried out in past. The late Neoproterozoic to early Cambrian Schist-Greywacke Complex (SGC) of the Variscan belt, in Central Iberian Zone, is also indicated as favourable area for Nb and Ta. Pegmatites in the Campo Mineiro De Lagares in the CIZ are another area of interest. Pegmatites in central Iberian zone is another area of interest, as is the case for Campo Mineiro De Lagares. The late Neoproterozoic to early Cambrian Schist-Greywacke Complex (SGC) of the Variscan belt, in Central Iberian Zone, is also indicated as favourable area for Nb and Ta. . In Sweden, the pegmatites of the Varuträskt area, close to Skellefteå, dated to c. 1.8-1.77 Ga, are clearly highlighted in the prospectivity maps. The areas related to Fennoscandian carbonatites appear also to be strongly favourable as Nb and Ta mineral potential targets. In the northern, central and southern parts of Sweden, high to moderately favourable areas are related to the numerous individual and granitic pegmatite dykes of Proterozoic age.
How to cite: Sadeghi, M., Bertrand, G., Reginiussen, H., Arvanitidis, N., Jonsson, E., and de Oliveira, D. P. S.: Prospectivity mapping of niobium and tantalum in Europe; a part of the GEOERA- FRAME project , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-7931, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-7931, 2020.
The GeoERA FRAME project focuses on several of the main raw material-related objectives of the EU Commission. FRAME work package 6 (WP6), targets so-called conflict minerals, chiefly those mined to extract niobium (Nb) and tantalum (Ta). These chemically related critical metals are essential components in a range of applications and products including electronics, steel alloys and superalloys widely required by the European industry. Today, significant amounts of Ta and associated Nb are sourced as conflict minerals from the central African region, not least the DRC (Congo-Kinshasa).
A main objective of FRAME WP6 is to do a survey of the European distribution of these metals and their deposits, thus enhancing their exploration interest and potential to help enable ethical and indigenous production for the EU.
While WP6 compiles data on Nb-Ta mineralisations from the whole of Europe, the main focus is put on the Swedish part of the Fennoscandian Shield and the Iberian Variscan Massif.
The Nb-Ta mineralisations of the Iberian Peninsula belong to the southwestern extension of the European Variscan Belt. From both an economic and a metallogenetic point of view, the most interesting Nb-Ta deposits in Spain are those in which mineralisation occurs as disseminations throughout small leucogranite bodies, as is the case for the deposits Golpejas, El Trasquilón, Fontao, Penouta and in some occurrences of the Morille-Martinamor district. These have been exploited previously for Sn, Ta-Nb, and/or W. Penouta, which is the biggest known Ta-deposit in Spain, was mined intermittently between 1906-1985. The mine has recently started re-processing old tailings. Most Nb-Ta mineralisations in the Fennoscandian Shield are hosted by LCT-type (lithium-cesium-tantalum-enriched) granitic pegmatites that occur mainly in regions featuring abundant Palaeoproterozoic low to low- medium-grade metasedimentary rocks and associated S-type granites. Some of these have been studied during different earlier exploration campaigns. NYF-type (niobium-yttrium-fluorine-enriched) granitic pegmatites occur as individual dykes and fields throughout the Proterozoic bedrock of Sweden. Research in WP6 will focus on a few selected Swedish deposits and occurrences including Järkvissle and Bergby in central Sweden, as well as Stripåsen, Utö and other rare-element pegmatites in the Bergslagen province. Emphasis during the start of the project was to identify key areas and mineralisations within these two regions that can be studied in detail.
Based on available information in the databases and archives of the partner surveys, a list of Nb-Ta occurrences and deposits has been produced. Ultimately, at the end of the project, a report on the distribution and systematics of Nb-Ta mineralisations in Europe will also be produced. Prospective regions and their character of mineralisation will be summarized together with the overall European potential, in order to develop recommendations for future exploration. Furthermore, a discussion of conditions of Nb-Ta production in central Africa with the aim to suggest improvement to these issues will be made. The potential of intra-European production of Nb-Ta to decrease the present near-total dependence on imports will also be assessed. As another outcome, an Inspire-compatible pan-European dataset of Nb-Ta mineralisations will be provided to the GeoERA information platform.
How to cite: Reginiussen, H., Jonsson, E., Timón Sánchez, S. M., Díez Montes, A., Teran, K., Salgueiro, R., Filipe, A., Inverno, C., and de Oliveira, D. P. S.: FRAME: towards conflict-free Nb-Ta for the European Union , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-10228, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-10228, 2020.
There is a need for comprehensive, up-to-date, reliable and harmonised cross-border information on raw materials to improve resource efficiency across Europe. The Mintell4EU project builds on the achievements of previous projects such as Minerals4EU, ProSUM and Minventory to deliver data on the spatial distribution, production, trade, resource potential and levels of exploration activity to support decision making in government and industry.
The project has four principle components. The first component involves updating production, trade and exploration statistical data within the electronic European minerals yearbook. The second component includes extending the spatial coverage and improvement of spatial data quality within the Minerals4EU database. The third component will demonstrate how the application of the United Nations Framework Classification (UNFC) will provide a tool that can be used to more accurately assess European mineral inventories. The final component involves consolidating the electronic European minerals yearbook into the Minerals4EU database used for external systems such as the European Geological Data Infrastructure (EGDI) and the Joint Research Center’s Raw Materials Information System (RMIS). Another important goal of the project is to create a sustainable platform for raw materials.
The project works in collaboration with other GeoERA projects within the theme of raw materials such as FRAME and the GeoERA Information Platform Project (GIP-P). This collaboration is critical in ensuring data harmonisation across projects, regions and focus areas. Improvements in the quality and availability of data that are available through the web portal on the project home page https://geoera.eu/projects/mintell4eu7/ have already been achieved. Work will continue on improving the availability and relevance of raw material data throughout the remainder of the project. This will lead to improved foresight of the raw material supply situation and potential of Europe within the framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 731166
How to cite: Whitehead, D., Flindt Jørgensen, L., Pedersen, M., Brown, T., Kumelj, Š., Aslaksen Aasly, K., and Clain, U.: Mintell4EU – Mineral Intelligence for Europe – a GeoERA project to improve and sustain the European raw materials knowledge base., EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-16935, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-16935, 2020.
Ornamental stone is today a raw material produced with great skills all over Europe, SME's and larger enterprises exploiting the vast diversity of European ornamental stone resources. Today's European stone industry is not only large and important but also highly dispersed throughout Europe, making a backbone industry for particularly rural areas. In Italy alone, there are more than 1000 stone quarrying enterprises and the sector in total employed more than 50 000 in 2011. Ornamental stone has contributed significantly in shaping our rural and urban landscapes, through its use in our built heritage from different historical periods. Yet, the actual use of local and regional stone resources in Europe is under threat due to sterilization of resources by urbanisation, infrastructure development and other land uses. Consequently, important resources are “unknowingly” lost for future production, and so are vital geological knowledge and skills for producing them. Loss of such resources will not only make it more difficult to maintain and restore our architectural heritage, but also prevent the use of traditional materials in the future.
The motivation behind the EuroLithos project, as a part of the GeoERA partnership, was to reverse this gradual process of loss, by providing a European scale knowledge base for ornamental stone resources; their spatial occurrence and distribution, their technical properties and quality, as well as providing guidelines for how to assess economic and non-economic values.
A major challenge in the project is to collect data from many national repositories and display them in a harmonised way. The spatial extent of ornamental stone resources can basically be measured by the spatial distribution of the geological units containing the valuable quarries and future resources of same quality. Another challenge is how to link geological units with ornamental stone commodities of the INSPIRE standard, and a third is how to collect and display technical information about ornamental stone and how to link that to the spatial data. So far, EuroLithos has provided agreement among 15 partners in 14 countries on how to meet these challenges, and guidelines on how to deliver data according to this agreement. Ongoing, 12 case studies across Europe covering different aspects of resource valorisation are currently running. Eurolithos will be running until July 2021, and more results can be viewed at www.eurolithos.org.
How to cite: Heldal, T., Carvalho, J., Dedić, Ž., and Laskarides, K.: Atlas of European ornamental stone resources, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-20781, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-20781, 2020.
The world increasing demand of electric vehicles (EVs) that use lithium-ion batteries (LIB), in which cobalt is one of the essential elements, focused the attention on its demand that is calculated will increase of 7-13% annually until 2030. The actual production of cobalt, usually extract as by-product of nickel and copper mine, is reduced to almost 20 countries between which the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the bigger producer with 55% of the world production. In Europe cobalt is produced only in Finland that actually provides 2.300 tonnes, the 2% of the world production. In this way several projects have been promoted by European Union, with the Raw Material Initiative, in order to find and evaluate the sustainable production of important materials in Europe.
MINDeSEA project is part of the GeoERA and represent the collaboration of 12 national geological institution partners, to characterize marine deposits and their contents in Critical Raw Materials (CRM) and to generate a comprehensive cartography and metallogenic models of them. The first preliminary map produced in 2019 represents the localization and evaluation of cobalt rich deposits in the oceans within the EEZ and ECS of the European countries. Cobalt deposits are represented essentially by hydrogenetic Fe-Mn crusts located essentially in the Macaronesian area of the north east Atlantic Ocean (in the Portugal and Spain), submarine plateaus, as the Galicia Bank (in the north west Spanish) and in the Arctic Ocean ridges (Norway and Iceland). The report differentiates between occurrences (<0.05 wt. %) and deposits (>0.05 wt. %), with the possibility of more than 200 Mt resources per potential deposit.
Detailed mineralogical, geochemical and metallogenic studies are being developed in crusts from the Macaronesia. Fe-Mn crusts absorb dissolved elements in seawaters on the surface of the fresh precipitated oxy-hydroxides during their slow growth through millions of years. Several elements are concentrated in Fe-Mn crusts and between them cobalt is one of the most enriched trace metals (average 0.6 wt. %) accompanied by other strategic and critical metals such as nickel, copper, tellurium, molybdenum and rare earth elements plus yttrium (REY) (respectively 3000, 500, 150, 500 and 3500 µg/g). Micro Raman and micro X-Ray diffraction can be used to differentiate the mineralogy in laminae of less than 20 microns. On the other hand, electron probe micro-analyzer (EPMA) and Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS), are useful in order to quantify contents of CRM in the different mineral phases. These are innovative techniques in order to identify critical-elements bearing minerals and thus choose the metallurgic method for a more efficient and sustainable extraction of the interesting elements.
The evaluation of a seamount as a future mine site has to take into account all these mineralogical and chemical features as well as a proper knowledge of the seamount (morpho-structure, geology, oceanography, ecosystems) and the Fe-Mn crust thickness and extension
 This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 731166
How to cite: Marino, E., González, J., Medialdea, T., Somoza, L., Lunar, R., Ferreira, P., Kuhn, T., Hein, J. R., Magalhaes, V., and Blasco, I.: Hydrogenetic Fe-Mn crusts from European seas: source of potentially economic cobalt mining., EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-22091, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-22091, 2020.