EGU21-16232, updated on 04 Mar 2021
EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

A European Fault Database as a stepping stone towards improved subsurface evaluation of hazards and resources

Serge Van Gessel1, Rob van Ede1, Hans Doornenbal1, Johan ten Veen1, Esther Hintersberger2, and the HIKE Team*
Serge Van Gessel et al.
  • 1TNO – Geological Survey of the Netherlands
  • 2GBA – Geological Survey of Austria
  • *A full list of authors appears at the end of the abstract

Faults are prominent features in the subsurface that define the geological development and distribution of geological formations and resources therein. Faults can define resources themselves (e.g. minerals, thermal conduits), but more often they can pose a hazard to subsurface drilling, injection and extraction activities . Well-known examples are Basel – Switzerland (geothermal stimulation), Oklahoma – US (waste water injection) and Groningen – The Netherlands (conventional hydrocarbon extraction).

Despite that faults are a typical product of geological mapping, there was, until now, no consistent insight in these structures in a pan-European context. There are some examples focusing on the publication of seismogenic faults (e.g. GEM Global Active Faults Database, SHARE  European Database of Seismogenic Faults, USGS Quaternary faults database), yet deeply buried faults are under-represented here. With the European fault database, the GeoERA-HIKE project addresses the following objectives: i) develop a consistent and uniform repository for fault data and characteristics across Europe, ii) Implement an associated tectonic vocabulary which provides a framework for future interpretation, modelling and application of fault data, and iii) assess the applicability of fault data in case studies.

The current fault database is envisioned to be a major stepping stone for a sustained and uniform development and dissemination of tectonic data and knowledge which will be applicable to a broad spectrum of subsurface research challenges. The database contains data from Geological Survey Organizations and partners in the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Iceland, Denmark, Poland, Lithuania, Italy, France, Ukraine, Portugal, Slovenia, Albania and various countries in the Pannonian Basin Area.

The GeoERA-HIKE project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under agreement No. 731166

HIKE Team:

Contact information on

How to cite: Van Gessel, S., van Ede, R., Doornenbal, H., ten Veen, J., and Hintersberger, E. and the HIKE Team: A European Fault Database as a stepping stone towards improved subsurface evaluation of hazards and resources, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-16232,, 2021.


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