Activities Results & Database

Results & Database



The “Geochemical Atlas of Europe” was the first to be completed by 26 member institutions of the Association of Geological Surveys of Europe (EuroGeoSurveys, EGS – Stream water and sediment, floodplain sediment, and three types of soil (organic topsoil, minerogenic top- and sub-soil) have been collected from almost 900 stations spread randomly in large and small catchment basins over the sampled countries at an average sample density of 1 site/4700 km2. All soil and sediment samples were collected according to a common protocol and prepared at the same laboratory. Samples of the same type were analysed by the same method at the same laboratory. This approach guarantees that the results are directly comparable at the European scale. Sixty-six individual chemical elements and other parameters (such as pH and grain size) were determined. The results and interpretation are included in two printed volumes:

  • Part 1 includes background scientific information, including the methodology used, as well as the geochemical distribution maps portraying the analytical results, and
  • Part 2 is the interpretative part, with articles describing the distribution of the elements in soil, humus, stream and floodplain sediments and surface water.

This monumental reference work includes about 360 geochemical maps showing the distribution of chemical elements across Europe. It provides European decision-makers with data about the chemical composition of the near-surface environment at the end of the twentieth century. The results show that the distribution patterns of water and solid samples do by and large still reflect natural processes at the European scale (e.g., geology, weathering and climate). Effects of anthropogenic activities (e.g., input via fertilisers) can be detected for some elements only.

The internet version of the Geochemical Atlas of Europe, including the analytical results, and photograph archive are freely available for downloading from URL:





Content of database

The Global Geochemical Baselines (GGB) project database is under development and will contain descriptions of continental-scale geochemical surveys that fulfill the standards set by the Commission. Therefore, please provide the necessary information of continental-scale projects to be included in this database.

The description includes general project information, geographical distribution (according to the Geochemical Reference Network grid cells), collected sample media and a detailed description of all procedures starting from sampling, sample preparation, analytical methods, elements determined, and ending with the quality control information. An important condition is that all the aforementioned information must be freely available, including the analytical data.


How to use it

The GGB project database provides access to project descriptions.

List of projects page shows the titles of geochemical projects. List of projects can be filtered by selecting (a) studied natural media, (b) analysed element and/or (c) country. Detailed description can be obtained by clicking on the project title.

List of media page lists the 17 samples types described in the “Blue Book”. List of media can be filtered by selecting (a) group of natural sample media, (b) analysed chemical element, (c) country and/or (d) project. Detailed description can be obtained by clicking on the name of specific sample medium.

List of elements page shows chemical elements and additional constituents determined by each project. List of elements can be filtered by selecting (a) media, (b) country and/or (c) project. Detailed description can be obtained by clicking on the name of a specific element.

GRN cells page shows a map of GRN cells identified with the name of the country. Sampled cells are shown with a plus (+) sign. GRN cells can be filtered by selecting (a) media, (b) country, and (c) project.


Database design

The structure and web design of the GGB project database was developed during the Northern Europe Geochemistry (NEG) project by SC Mineral, St. Petersburg, Russia, and modified for use by the IUGS CGGB by permission of the NEG project and SC Mineral Company [].