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> Forsiden > Om GEUS > Fakta om GEUS > Evalueringer > 2000-­2007, Evaluering - Vandressourcer, Rapport

International forskningsevaluering af programområdet Vandressourcer

GEUS har i september 2007 gennemført en evaluering af GEUS' forskning og formidling på programområde 2 - Vandressourcer. Evalueringspanelet, der var sammensat af Det Strategiske Forskningsråd, bestod af internationalt anerkendte forskere indenfor områder, der bredt dækker programområde 2's kerneaktiviteter. Evalueringspanelets rapport har været forelagt GEUS' bestyrelse, der udtrykte tilfredshed med rapportens fokuspunkter og tog ekspert panelets rapport til efterretning.

Download rapporten i pdf-format (velegnet til udskrift):
geus_water_res_evaluation_report_final.pdf (pdf-fil, ~200kb)

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GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF DENMARK AND GREENLAND
DANISH MINISTRY OF THE ENVIRONMENT
DANMARKS OG GRØNLANDS GEOLOGISKE UNDERSØGELSE RAPPORT 2007/56
Scientific evaluation of Programme area 2
Water resources (2000-­2007)
at the Geological Survey of
Denmark and Greenland
(GEUS)
Wolfgang Kinzelbach, Graham Fogg,
Åsa Helena Frostegård
& Ole K. Borggaard

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1. The evaluation process
1.1 Introduction
The evaluation panel consisting of
Prof. Wolfgang Kinzelbach, ETH Zurich, (chairman)
Prof. Graham Fogg, UC Davis
Prof. Åsa Helena Frostegård, Norwegian University of Life Sciences
Prof. Ole K. Borggaard, University of Copenhagen
was given the following task:
The panel shall undertake an evaluation of research and presentation activities within the
Programme Area "Water Resources", constituted by the contents of the result contracts
2000-2003 and 2004-2007.
The panel is asked to evaluate the research activities of GEUS on the basis of
·
publications, reports and other relevant material produced over the period 2000-2007
·
interviews with GEUS management staff and scientists and visits to laboratories and
work facilities at GEUS.
The more detailed tasks are:
·
Identification of areas of high quality research
·
Identification of areas where the research of GEUS should be strengthened in order
to meet GEUS vision and strategies
·
Identification of areas which should be strengthened in order to expand GEUS ability
to provide assistance to third world countries within the broad area of water
resources.
·
Comments and proposals as to strategic changes, amendments and improvements to
GEUS work within the programme area, in order to improve GEUS ability to fulfil
its main mission with this programme area put into perspective of the surveys statues
and general mission
1.2 GEUS' tasks as we see them
GEUS is a research institution which has to supply scientific knowledge and advice to the
Danish Ministry of Environment and information to the Danish public. The tasks in detail
are:
·
Geological and hydrological mapping
·
Data collection and storage
·
Research projects concerning resource occurrence, management and protection
·
Advisory services to the ministry
·
Dissemination of geological and hydrological knowledge
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The water programme should give national guidelines and standards relevant for policy in
the water field including the interpretation of EU guidelines for the national context. It
should be a bridge between academic research and practice, be it in environmental
management or consulting. It should be the "consultant of the consultants" in groundwater
related matters. It should be an early warning system for the ministry and the society in
general concerning groundwater related risks.
These services should come at a high professional level. For that reason it is absolutely
necessary to do high level research in its own right in order to have first hand experience,
and stay competent, "sharp", and competitive. As one staff member staff put it: "You are
sharp if you can compete for a post in Academia". An essential element in introducing new
ideas and keeping the organization from over-aging is the presence of Ph. D. students and
Master students. Research is important, but not a purpose in itself. It has to be balanced
against the other tasks of GEUS. If GEUS would only do top research and forget about its
other tasks, there would be no reason for its existence outside of a University. It is by
doing things which are not possible in a university environment that GEUS gets its
justification. One of these items would be integrated projects where expertise from
different disciplines is required, which normally in a university institute is not available.
Other examples would be long-term activities such as monitoring and the national
groundwater model. Finally GEUS is responsible for geology and hydrology related work
for Greenland.
The GEUS water programme area has seen a deterioration in its conditions of work. More
than 50% of GEUS' funding in 2007 of the water programme area will be external, while 6
years back only 18 % were external. Therefore the programme has a greater financial
vulnerability than in earlier times. The researchers are under the pressure to not only fund
new programs but also to acquire part of their own salaries from outside.
The self-determined research is possibly less than 5% of the volume of work. Asked how
much high level research would be necessary to stay scientifically sharp, a GEUS scientist
answered "about 50% of the time". This percentage is not reached in practice.
It is against this background that we evaluate the Water Programme.
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2. Detailed evaluation of activities
2.1 Groundwater Quality Monitoring
Activities
Activities in groundwater quality monitoring were summarized by Jeanne Kjær.
Groundwater quality monitoring is a high-priority activity of GEUS because groundwater
is the sole or primary source of drinking water for Denmark. This activity, which needs to
be done at a national level rather than solely through ad hoc monitoring by local entities, is
absolutely central to GEUS's mission.
Groundwater quality monitoring efforts have been devoted primarily to three initiatives:
national scale monitoring, pesticide leaching assessment program (PLAP), and drinking
water quality in small private wells. The national groundwater monitoring program has
accumulated 17 years of data from some 1500 screens and is supplemented with data from
Danish water supply companies that monitor about 10,000 wells at 3 to 5 yr intervals. The
main analyses are major cations and anions, trace elements, pesticides and other organic
pollutants.
PLAP focuses on only 5 sites nationally, but each site is highly instrumented with both
vadose and saturated zone monitoring devices, and each site is carefully selected to be
representative of potential pesticide sources, soil type and climate. This program is
conceived to not only illuminate pesticide leaching and transport processes but also to
provide an early warning system for emerging groundwater pesticide problems.
Noteworthy examples are new insights into migration of the metabolite of metribuzin and
estrogenic hormones from manure sources. The data and analysis of metribuzin show
substantially higher concentrations than were predicted by regulatory screening models for
this compound, highlighting inadequacies of simplistic models of pesticide transport. The
data on estrogenic hormones is beginning to elucidate occurrence and scope of this
problem as well as mechanisms of transport (e.g., effects of precipitation events).
The program on drinking water quality in small private wells has obtained data from 625
out of 50,000 households. These wells are generally very vulnerable to pollution because
of their shallow depth (0-10 m) and proximity to domestic and agricultural contaminant
sources. Results indicate 67% of the private wells are contaminated, where "contaminated"
means the concentrations are above regulatory contaminant limits (e.g., NO
3
> 50 mg/L,
pesticides 0.1 µg/L or coliform> 0). Contamination pathways have been estimated for
21 of the wells.
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Observations
As pointed out by GEUS, the national monitoring program tracks long-term changes in
groundwater quality and helps assess impacts of various regulatory measures to protect
groundwater. By identifying newly polluted aquifer systems or new and emerging
contaminants, monitoring provides a basis for initiation of new research projects.
Moreover, monitoring provides needed data for calibration and validation of flow and
transport models. Apparently as a result of the national monitoring program, and perhaps
particularly due to PLAP, the number of pesticides used in Danish agriculture has been
reduced significantly between 1992 and 2005. PLAP has also identified higher-than-
expected concentrations of certain compounds, thereby indicating inadequacies of
screening models that were used to assess risk of leaching of particular compounds (e.g.,
metabolites of metribuzin).
Budgets for the monitoring programs have been cut substantially in recent years, and it
appears that the monitoring leadership has struggled to provide convincing arguments for
reversing this trend. Below the review panel will provide recommendations for justifying
and reinvigorating the monitoring program. Further, perhaps the monitoring program can
be used to better define overarching goals and long-term vision for GEUS water resources
The finding that 67% of the nation's private shallow wells are contaminated is startling.
Importantly, this finding together with the deeper monitoring data provide the basis for
defining both the future mission of GEUS monitoring and effectively communicating or
defending that mission in public and scientific forums. In this context, it is worth noting
that "contaminated" in this program is defined as the concentration exceeding the
regulatory contaminant limit (e.g., 50 mg/L for NO
3
). Therefore, the percentage of wells
that are impacted by pollution (containing concentration levels higher than background) is
actually much higher than 67%. This is perhaps not surprising, but it is no less alarming for
a country that depends virtually entirely on groundwater. It means that recharge waters
over vast regions of the country are contaminated. This raises the important question:
"Given that most of the deeper groundwater is too old to have been impacted significantly
by the poor quality shallow groundwater, what is the sustainability of the deeper
groundwater quality?" That question can be used to both justify maintaining a vigorous
monitoring program and for defining more clearly a longer-term vision for the water
resources program area. Stated another way: Most of the shallow groundwater quality is
poor while the deeper groundwater is still mostly too old to be contaminated; and
estimating the downward transport and fate of the shallow groundwater and long-term
evolution of deeper groundwater quality is one of the grand water resource questions of
today ­ not only in Denmark but worldwide. This question can be used to lay a unifying
research path not only for the monitoring area but alsOFor the characterization, modelling
and IWRM areas.
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Scientific Quality
Publication output of the monitoring group in international journals has been lean although
it has increased recently, apparently because of the need to keep a shrinking staff focused
on data collection and because of recent emphases on publishing in ISI-citable
international journals, which typically do not publish data papers. Nevertheless, the panel
would like to point out that an important part of the GEUS mission is in fact data
collection, which is appropriate for a national geological survey. Therefore it would be
prudent to not discount the contributions of monitoring scientists who might primarily
publish their work in other forms, such as internal GEUS reports. By the same token, since
monitoring data are also essential for modelling and analysis in a variety of water
resources investigations, one should expect that monitoring staff be co-authors on a variety
of publications coming out of the water resources program area. This will happen if GEUS
uses the monitoring to ask the poignant questions that form the basis for higher-level
analysis of processes. For example: What is the cause or meaning of a particular trend in
groundwater quality? At what rate will the poor quality shallow groundwater degrade
deeper groundwater and will dispersion and dilution with clean recharge be enough to
mitigate the impacts? The recent increase in publications by monitoring scientists seems to
indicate that such an approach is being adopted.
Recommendations
Monitoring with both a nationwide and, in certain cases, local scope is a core activity of
any geological survey, the resulting data are essential for resource management and
protection, and GEUS should work to both maintain and strengthen this activity.
Furthermore, monitoring program results have helped create strong political and public
awareness of both groundwater contamination problems and the important role of GEUS in
resource management and protection.
GEUS will continually face the lay-person's typical argument ­ "groundwater quality
typically changes extremely slowly or perhaps not at all, so why bother to spend much
effort monitoring it?" GEUS should respond with the following argument that in fact only
GEUS has the experience, data and knowledge to back up: "Regional-scale groundwater
quality changes on time scales of decades to centuries or even millennia. Moreover, most
of our shallow groundwater is substantially contaminated and may eventually degrade
quality of the deeper groundwater. We have one of the longest-term groundwater
monitoring networks in the world, with 17 years of water quality data, yet future impacts
on deep groundwater quality and effects of changes in contaminant source loading (due to
changes in land management, including regulatory restrictions on chemical use) can only
be observed with multi-decadal data. By analogy, imagine trying to prove that the globe is
warming with only 17 years of data."
GEUS monitoring scientists have begun to publish more by investigating local-scale
processes that could explain local-scale trends or patterns in monitoring data. GEUS
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should also use the monitoring program results to justify and execute regional-scale
investigations on the fate of contaminated shallow groundwater concerning the resource as
a whole and what measures might be taken to mitigate this problem.
Despite the potential for GEUS monitoring scientists to expand international journal
publication of process-oriented research, GEUS should also recognize the unique benefits
of monitoring as a core geological survey and an admirable service to the people of
Denmark. In this regard, GEUS should consider giving more-or-less equal recognition to
internal publications on monitoring that are obviously highly valuable but not publishable
in journals. We heard that the data available on the web site, where the public can look up
the water quality of their home town or village, show 1.8 Million hits per year. This is
indeed an indicator that an information need of the public is successfully addressed.
The monitoring publications produced by GEUS have been in fairly high impact journals
for the environmental area (e.g., ES and T), are of high quality, and provide results that are
very relevant to groundwater resources. The success stories on metribuzin, estrogenic
hormones, and glyphosate are compelling. It should be emphasized that the work on
private well quality should be highly publishable in North American journals, even if only
presenting broad statistics and trends. This is because North American systems have been
exposed to contaminants for a shorter time interval as compared to Denmark and the rest of
Europe, and the notion that shallow groundwater quality could become so degraded in the
future would be especially provocative news (and food for discussion) in North America.
In fact, there is ongoing debate whether North Americans even know enough about
shallow groundwater quality to make intelligent assessments and predictions regarding
sustainability.
2.2 Geomicrobiology
Research activities
The activities in this field were presented by Carsten Suhr Jacobsen. Research in
geomicrobiology at GEUS started 11 years ago and has focused on microbial degradation
of selected pesticides in soil and aquifers. Investigations of microorganisms in complex
environments are challenging since only a low percentage (often
can be cultured. Rapid development of molecular techniques in recent years has
revolutionized the field of microbial ecology and provided a range of tools to study also
the unculturable organisms. Researchers at GEUS have made important contributions to
this development and can, together with a few research groups in other countries, be
considered as pioneers in developing successful techniques to extract and analyse mRNA
from soils. This is a major breakthrough since it allows studies of specific microbial
activities in situ, providing quantitative measures of the transcription of selected functional
genes.
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The degradation studies have during recent years mainly focused on the herbicide
dichlobenil (2,6-dichlorobenzonitrile) and its metabolite 2,6-dichlorobenzamide (BAM),
and on polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), but also others e.g. 2,4-D, glyphosate, 4-
chloro- 2-methyl-phenoxyacetic acid (MCPA) and isoproturon.
Factors that have been studied, which affect degradation, include sorption/desorption to
soil particles; aerobic vs. anaerobic conditions; clay vs. sand content; soil pH; depth in the
soil profile; amendment of nutrients; addition of bioremediated soil containing large
populations of degrading organisms.
Molecular techniques have been used to analyse microbial community composition by
PCR-DGGE and to identify possible degraders by sequencing. Real-time PCR has been
used in several studies to quantify specific degradation genes. The efforts that have been
devoted to developing techniques to analyse mRNA in soil, open up the possibility of
further studies of the actual activity of these genes in situ.
In addition to studies which take into account the entire soil microbial community, bacteria
capable of mineralising BAM have been isolated. Other studies have investigated the fate
of degrading bacteria when introduced into soil contaminated with the relevant pesticide.
Studies have generally been performed as laboratory experiments in microcosms, where
degradation of
14
C labelled substrates has been measured as
14
CO
2
production. Work
recently accepted for publication also contains studies of the field scale variation of
microbial activity, degradation and pesticide sorption to soil particles.
Observations
The group as a whole has a strong foothold within microbial pesticide degradation. They
use, and continuously develop, relevant and highly up-to date molecular tools to analyse
microorganisms in soils with respect to identification of important degraders as well as
presence and activity of specific degrading genes. Close collaboration with chemists at
GEUS appears to be very fruitful. There is however strikingly little collaboration between
senior researchers working on microbial degradation.
Based on recent results, the group plans to devote research efforts to studies of spatial
variation patterns of pesticide degraders in soil, and on the bioavailability of the pesticides.
The patchy distribution of microorganisms, especially in subsurface soil layers, plays a
large role for the degradation potential. This, as well as studies of the bioavailability of
toxic compounds, offer new and exciting research topics that take advantage of the group´s
knowledge in biodegradation, microbiology and organic chemistry but where collaboration
with mathematical modellers within or outside GEUS would clearly be advantageous.
Meeting new demands
Concentrating all research on pesticide degradation might be a threat to the group in the
future. Although national funding agencies apparently support this theme, it is not
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prioritized internationally at present; for example the FRP7 does not include this as major
subject. To meet this possible threat, the group is directing some research into studies of
spread and establishment of pathogenic bacteria in soil. This appears to be a wise strategy
since it is a research field that is rapidly expanding internationally due to an increased
focus on health related questions, in combination with the increasing possibilities offered
by new molecular techniques to track pathogenic bacteria. Such research tasks fit well with
the group´s expertise on in situ detection of indigenous or added degrading bacteria and
their genes.
The mission of GEUS includes Greenland, which is one reason for GEUS existing as an
autonomous research institute. From this perspective, the ongoing research on pesticide
degradation in permafrost appears important. Organic pollutants are transported over large
distances and may threaten Greenland as well as other arctic areas due to slow degradation
and thus long turnover times. This is a research field where GEUS should contribute, and it
fits well in response to the attention paid to the arctic regions during the Polar Year.
Research quality
The research in geomicrobiology at GEUS is considered to be of high quality. The group is
successful in obtaining funding from external sources, and attracts many Ph.D. students.
Researchers in the group are well known internationally for studies on pesticide
degradation as well as development and optimizations of molecular techniques applied to
soil. They produce a relatively large number of articles every year, which are published in
highly rated international scientific journals, as well as book chapters and a large number
of presentations at international conferences. The relatively high numbers of citations, as
well as h-indices of some of the researchers, demonstrate a strong and sustainable
international impact of the research.
Although the major part of the dissemination of research results from this group is through
scientific international publications, the group also publishes reports and articles in Danish
journals, and arranges visits for school children etc., thereby fulfilling the demands for
dissemination to the public.
Recommendations
·
Keep the expertise on microbial degradation of pesticides
·
Further develop studies on spatial variability of degrading microorganisms in
subsoil; sorption/desorption; bioavailability; diffusion and develop collaboration
with mathematicians/mathematical modellers in this work. Experiments will feed
data into models, and models will in turn generate new questions to be addressed by
experimentalists.
·
Continue to be in the forefront with respect to development and adaptations of
molecular techniques
·
Expand the new research on spread and establishment of pathogens
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2.3 Geochemistry: Analytical chemistry and soil pollution
Research activities
Activities within this area were summarized by René K. Juhler and Anders R. Johnsen
followed by a visit to the laboratories guided by Carsten S. Jacobsen and René K. Juhler.
Current projects include a broad range of applied studies of various organic and inorganic
compounds in different matrices: (i) Natural formation of chloroform and other
halogenated organic compounds, (ii) Percolation of grey wastewater in rural areas, (iii) P-
index in agricultural soils and sediments, (iv) Nitrate reduction in unsaturated zone, (v)
Natural toxins (solanine, ptaquiloside), (vi) Application of geostatistics for the
characterization of soil/sediment variability and heterogeneity, (vii) Remote sensing of
geochemical parameters, (viii) Various comprehensive fate studies of different pesticides,
(ix) Pyrite oxidation and (x) CFC groundwater dating.
Observations
The core expertise is considered to include: (i) Analytical chemistry regarding determi-
nation of various organic xenobiotics, inorganic compounds and gases, (ii) Execution of
experiments at different scales ranging from laboratory tOField/landscape scales,
(iii) Performance of multivariate data analysis and (iv) Close contact with the `surrounding
world'. These issues were shown and explained by various examples, which also
demonstrated the very broad range in geochemical subjects going from batch/column
investigations in the laboratory tOField and landscape studies on various contaminants, in
particular organic pollutants. Focus on organic pollution in more recent projects is very
much in accordance with public concern about water pollution with pesticides and other
organic compounds.
The analytical chemistry, which appears to be an integral part of geochemistry and
geomicrobiology, is well organized and carried out with great skill. Optimization of the
methods and techniques (e.g. sample cleaning and extraction) for the purpose in question
seems to be an integral part of the analytical work and awareness of good laboratory
practice was demonstrated. The laboratory was demonstrated to be well-equipped with
various relevant sample pretreatment equipment facilities and modern techniques used for
determination of organic compounds, e.g. LC-MS and GS-MS. The laboratory lacks state-
of-the-art-techniques for analysis of inorganic compounds, e.g. techniques that can be used
in heavy metal speciation, but access to modern equipment is available in other
laboratories at GEUS.
A rather long list of future research activities was presented including tuning and
improvement of current activities in order to give better advice and services to society.
Future tasks will also include new pollutants such as drugs, antibiotics, hormones and
natural toxins. These activities seem logical and relevant considering the obligations of the
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institution. On the other hand, the behaviour of these compounds is not very new but an
integrated study on these compounds along the lines of the pesticide study might be
innovative.
GEUS is performing applied and not basic geochemical research. It therefore seems logical
that development of new analytical methods/techniques is not included in the plans of the
future. However, it will be necessary to adapt and optimize current methodology and to
take up and apply new techniques in order to support other research activities.
Consequently, expertise in analytical chemistry is very important but GEUS seems well-
aware of the importance of in-house analytical chemistry expertise and access to state-of-
the-art techniques. However, one aspect that might attract more focus in the future is
bioavailability of pollutants because it has become more and more clear that it is the
bioavailable fraction of a pollutant that creates problems, not the total concentration;
determination of bioavailability is important for both organic and inorganic pollutants.
Research quality
The research performed within this area appears of general high quality. Many results are
published in international peer-reviewed journals, but probably more project results might
be of interest for an international audience. According to publication record the average
publication rate of senior scientists in the group is about 0.9 international (ISI-cited)
publications per year over the last 7 years, which is considered acceptable. The
commitment of GEUS to serve the society/ministry through reports, overviews and notes
can make it difficult tOFind time for writing international peer-reviewed publications.
The strength of the research in most projects is the integration of two or more different
disciplines such as geology, hydrology, analytical chemistry, statistics and microbiology.
The investigation of natural formation of chloroform and other organic chlorinated
compounds and the studies on glyphosate distribution in different soils are good, but
definitely not the only examples of integrated projects.
While research quality is good and achievements are many in projects on organic
pollutants, investigations on inorganic contaminants are less impressive.
The introduction of CFC-analysis into the chemistry group has given the group a new tool,
opening a new area of research. It is a good example of the bridge function from basic
research to application. CFC data can nowadays already be used to constrain the
notoriously non-unique groundwater models. First projects on multi-tracer comparison
showed that results are easily publishable, which means they are of considerable interest to
the scientific community. The coupling of CFC with other pollutants for age dating has
also great potential. Finally the work on degradation of CFC in anaerobic environments
will lead to good publications. It clearly shows the value of having a long-term field site
available (in this case Rabis Creek) on which the general conditions are well known
through previous work and the behaviour of a new tracer can be easily interpreted.
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Recommendations
Continuation of the integrated approach is very much encouraged in future Danish projects
but it might also be very useful in relation to a stronger focus on investigations in
Greenland, as is recommended, in particular with intensification of mining activities.
Performed microbial degradation studies have clearly shown the importance of
bioavailability of organic pollutants such as PAHs. Determination of the bioavailable
fraction is also an important issue in chemical analysis of organic as well as inorganic
contaminants. Up-to-date analytical chemistry support of geochemistry, geomicrobiology
and related areas requires modern analytical techniques, which are often very expensive.
Apart from mainly arsenic and nitrate, inorganic pollutants seem to be a less prioritized
area, although affiliation of a new scientist may change this view. Strengthening of the
inorganic chemistry might also include `new' trace elements such as rare earth elements
(REEs) and other elements normally not addressed in environmental investigations in
Denmark but which seem to attract consideration outside Denmark. Many soils, especially
urban soils, are so polluted with organic and inorganic compounds that human health and
ecosystem functioning are threatened. Remediation of such soils is an important and great
challenge, especially when it comes to methodologies that are environmentally safe. Apart
from being very much needed in Denmark, such methodologies might also be requested in
other countries suffering from soil pollution. However, steam ventilation and use of
similar very technical methods used on soils/aquifers that are strongly polluted with
volatile organic compounds or washing of heavy metal polluted soils deposited in landfills
are considered tOFall outside GEUS' commitments. Accordingly it can be recommended to
address the following issues:
·
Continuation of the integrated approach in future projects in Denmark, Greenland
and elsewhere.
·
Constant focus on international publication in peer-reviewed journals and allocation
of the time necessary for writing the papers.
·
More focus of importance of bioavailability rather than total content of pollutants.
·
Constant awareness of keeping analytical techniques updated by regular purchase of
state-of-the-art instruments as well as keeping up the analytical chemical expertise.
·
More consideration of inorganic pollutants, also including heavy metals and "new"
elements. Heavy metal consideration will require purchase of expensive
instrumentation, especially to address the bioavailability problem. This issue will
become even more important with more focus on activities in Greenland.
·
Development of environmentally-friendly methodologies for in-situ remediation of
soils contaminated with organic and inorganic pollutants.
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2.4 Subsurface Characterization and Conceptualization
Activities
Activities in subsurface characterization and conceptualization were summarized by Klaus
Hinsby following an overview of the history of activities 2.4 to 2.6 by Heidi Christiansen
Barlebo.
The subsurface characterization and conceptualization group has focused mainly on
regional-scale integration of geologic information into hydrologic models, a new
classification framework for groundwater and surface water interaction including an
ecological context, pesticide and nutrient transport including groundwater vulnerability
analysis, application of environmental tracers, fractures and preferential flow tills and
carbonates, and salinity and arsenic problems in Denmark and Vietnam. This group does
not fall into a classical category such as modelling or geochemistry, but seems tOFunction
as a connector between disparate disciplines. For example, the MIOMOD project on
regional characterization and modelling of deep Miocene aquifers is a success story in
which complex, 3D hydrostratigraphy was characterized through the needed but (globally)
seldom seen collaboration between hydrologists, petroleum scientists, geophysicists, and
environmental tracer specialists. In other projects the group has advanced a comprehensive
framework for conceptualizing different systems of interacting groundwater, surface water
and riparian ecosystems; and they have overlain on that framework data on environmental
tracers (CFCs and
3
H/
3
He), redox state and N and P concentrations to examine nutrient
cycling in riparian hydroecosystems. The use of environmental tracers for estimating mean
apparent groundwater age is a recurring theme of the group. In at least one case they are
also cooperating with the modelling group for simulating both apparent mean groundwater
age and environmental tracer concentrations with a transport model, thereby using
knowledge of both the flow system and the environmental tracers to arrive at a stronger
understanding of how the system functions. In addition to applying state-of-the-art
environmental tracers, they are also researching some of the methods themselves.
Examples are their work on CFC degradation and investigation of bomb-pulse
36
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transport and its utility for estimation of mean groundwater age. Another noteworthy
example of the characterization and conceptualization work is research on fractures and
preferential flow in tills and carbonates.
Observations
The characterization and conceptualization group brings to the table two important
ingredients. Firstly, they bring powerful tools such as environmental tracers and borehole
logging. Secondly, they exemplify within GEUS an ability or willingness to collaborate
across disciplines. This collaboration extends well outside the Hydrology and
Geochemistry Departments and into reservoir characterization and geophysics. The panel
views this type of collaboration as particularly important, in light of the dire need to
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produce more realistic or reliable transport analyses by incorporating geologic
heterogeneity into the models. It is also important as a means of countering the tendency
for scientists to sequester themselves within the administrative departments or divisions of
any organization.
Although the integration of hydrology, geology and geophysics to produce better transport
models is not new, doing it successfully or effectively is a still evolving area of research
and development. GEUS certainly has to a degree the personnel and tools for this type of
work to grow into an internationally recognized strength. That will require greater
integration with the modelling group, particularly for modelling the environmental tracers.
The classical approach of using environmental tracers is to interpret the tracer data in the
context of a very simple flow or transport model (e.g., piston solute transport or a simple
mixing model) and then arrive at a so-called groundwater age. In reality, such "ages" can
be highly biased (usually low) and merely represent a mean of a complex and broad (100's
to 1000's of years) distribution of ages. Although the estimates of apparent mean ages can
be important indicators of things like groundwater vulnerability, they have the potential to
be even more powerful if, rather than fitting the data to simple models, one uses more
complex, regional- or sub-regional-scale models to simulate migration of the tracers
themselves. This requires not only closer integration with the modelling group, but also
regional flow and transport models that have sufficient heterogeneity and spatial resolution
to represent transport and fate of the tracers. Development of this research area would be
consistent with this group's stated need of new researchers in inorganic geochemistry and
the modelling group's stated need of new researchers in modelling of geologic
heterogeneity at multiple scales. The combined use of environmental tracers and transport
models is recognized by the group as a future research goal.
Additional items in the characterization and conceptualization group's future research
vision are physical and chemical responses to climate change, groundwater and surface
water interaction (physical and chemical) in an ecological context, reactive transport
through double porosity media, and borehole logging. With the exception of the borehole
logging, wherein we assume the group wants to acquire capabilities with additional
logging tools, it is not entirely clear to the panel how the group sees itself fitting into these
future research areas. It would be helpful, for example, for the group to identify more
specific characterization/conceptualization research goals that would be needed to
accomplish better models of hydrologic change related to climate change and groundwater/
surface water interaction. In general, one can foresee that if the group develops greater
capabilities in both borehole logging and interpretation of environmental tracer data
(through whole basin hydrologic models), they will substantially improve GEUS' ability to
research groundwater and surface water interaction, climate change effects on hydrology
and the like.
The group does appear to have a good network of national and international cooperation.
The panel agrees that the characterization and conceptualization group could be
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strengthened through the addition of research staff in inorganic geochemistry, especially if
the staff includes additional expertise and research interest in environmental tracers (e.g.,
CFC, SF6,
3
H/
3
He and emerging tracers). Currently there appears to be only one scientist
with substantial emphasis on environmental tracers (Hinsby), and addition of at least one
more would help provide needed critical mass.
This group needs and wants to collaborate more with the modelling group, but this is
unlikely to happen to a substantial degree until the modelling group builds greater
expertise in reactive transport modelling. The characterization group has occasionally
bridged this problem through collaboration with groups at the university (e.g.,
Engesgaard). Such activities should continue, but because of the great importance of
GEUS developing greater capabilities in analysis of long-term water quality change, the
panel feels strongly that GEUS needs to add research staff in reactive transport modelling
at multiple scales.
Another way for the characterization group to strengthen its research while producing
better characterizations is through collaboration with inverse modellers. A very active area
of research and development in the hydrologic community is the joint inversion of multiple
data types, including the usual hydraulic data as well as environmental tracer and
geophysical data, to produce better constrained flow and transport models.
Part of modern hydrogeologic characterization is surface geophysics (including cross-hole
methods), but it appears this group's only geophysical capability is in borehole methods.
Scientific quality
Researchers within the characterization and conceptualization area are producing good to
excellent research and publishing in some of the stronger hydrologic sciences journals such
as Journal of Hydrology, Applied Geochemistry, Journal of Hydrogeology, and Vadose
Zone Journal. Most of their publications are rich in field hydrologic data and many are
strong in terms of integration of disciplines. Quality of the work could be improved by
including more quantitative analysis (modelling) of the field data through greater
collaboration with the modelling group and, ideally, future additions to the modelling
group staff in the area of transport modelling.
Output of the group in terms of numbers of publications in international journals amounts
to 20 during 2000-2007. Within this group there are 9 researchers who regard
characterization and conceptualization as their sole, primary research area. Given this
number of researchers, there would appear to be substantial potential for a greater rate of
publication. It is possible that the substantial development time for field hydrologic studies
to mature into the publication phase is partly responsible for the low publication to
researcher ratio. Again, one way to strengthen the publication record in this area is to have
greater collaboration with modellers. Often field data by themselves do not create enough
critical mass for publication in international journals; however, by rounding out the
research with quantitative analysis (modelling), often the work becomes more significant
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and publishable. By the same token, modelling papers that are lacking in field data are not
publishable, so the potential synergy is mutually beneficial.
Recommendations
The characterization and conceptualization group provides some of the essential tools for
conducting modern hydrogeologic investigations (i.e., environmental tracers, borehole
geophysical logging). In particular because of the significant potential of environmental
tracers for elucidating groundwater vulnerability and for calibrating regional flow and
transport models, GEUS should consider adding a research scientist in inorganic
geochemistry with strong expertise in environmental tracers to complement Hinsby's
expertise.
Subsurface characterization is by its nature an integrative endeavour. The group certainly
understands this and has had success in integration. GEUS should nevertheless encourage
or facilitate more advanced and more frequent quantitative analysis of the high quality
field data produced by the characterization group. This can be accomplished by developing
greater synergies between this group and the hydrologic modelling group. In particular,
strengthening the modelling group through the addition of expertise on reactive transport
would in turn strengthen the characterization group by providing a means for more fully
using the environmental tracer data. Furthermore, modern integration of characterization
data will increasingly be done in the context of inverse hydrologic modelling, wherein
multiple data sets are used to jointly and quantitatively constrain the model. GEUS should
consider adding this expertise to their characterization projects through research staff
additions or through collaborations with outside scientists.
GEUS should try tOFacilitate greater incorporation of surface geophysics into its
hydrologic characterizations either by addition of research staff or through greater
crossover between the hydrology and geophysics departments.
2.5 Geological and hydrological modelling
Research activities:
The field was introduced by Jens Christian Refsgaard. The group's work spans the scales
from plot to catchment and the country as a whole. The ambition of the group is to set
standards for the modelling industry in Denmark and to be the "consultant of the
consultants". Typically a project does not involve routine work but more generalizable
aspects of modelling in Denmark. The subjects of modelling are dictated by the needs of
the country, which involve the pollution of groundwater resources by agrochemicals,
sustainability of a certain water quality, and the water balance under a changing climate.
The group has also a unique national task, which is the construction and continuous
updating of a national groundwater model. This model gives a national overview over
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groundwater hydrology, groundwater vulnerability and indicators for the ministry. The
task is well placed at GEUS as it involves a type of work which cannot be done at a
university. It requires long-term involvement, continuous updating, and the synthesis of
GEUS's geological knowledge and data bases with hydrology.
The scientific aspects of the modelling group's work are various. The most important is the
investigation into model uncertainty. While traditional models are deterministic, coming
up with one result, a more enlightened approach admits that information on the subsurface
is always incomplete and uncertain and wants to quantify the influence of this uncertainty
on model results. Uncertainty relates to both model parameters and geological structure.
Engineering practice is not yet really incorporating these ideas, which have been present in
research for the last 20 years. The group therefore plays an important role in bridging the
gap between academia and practice and finding ways of introducing methods for
quantification of uncertainty into Danish engineering practice.
Another scientific task is upscaling, a process which allows to get from the typical point
information to regionally continuous spatial data sets and large-scale effective parameter
values. This would also include the characterization of the heterogeneity of aquifers.
A further important research activity is the installation ­ together with university research
groups - of a hydrological observatory for testing modules of hydrological/
hydrogeological models. A motivation for this work is that the national water balance is
inconsistent with a closure error of about 20%.
Three examples of the work were presented in more detail:
The first one was the national groundwater model. It uses the DHI software MIKE
SHE/MIKE 11. It models groundwater flow on a 500 m grid with geological inputs
available at a much finer resolution (100 m horizontal, 20-40 layers vertical). It uses the
unique opportunity of geological knowledge and modelling knowledge being united under
one roof in GEUS. The model will be used in the assessment of climate change impact.
This is indeed one of the few applications for which a national model is appropriate. The
model is correctly seen as a reference and not as a model for all purposes. It is a framework
from which smaller regional or local models can draw realistic boundary conditions.
The second example was on the group's work in drawing up guidelines on good modelling
practices. The work was triggered by an experiment in which 5 consultants were asked to
map the vulnerability of an aquifer to nitrate pollution and came up with vastly varying
results. The group worked out standards within a European project (HarmoniQuA),
drawing up a modelling protocol. The principles stress especially two items, the
stakeholder involvement and the accommodation of uncertainty. Also, an external peer
review of models is postulated.
The third example weighed the geological uncertainty of models against the parameter
uncertainty. It was shown that for an example the geological structural uncertainty was
much larger than the parameter uncertainty.
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The group is disseminating its results actively by courses, handbooks, consulting to the
regional authorities and utilities, a planned new textbook on hydrogeology etc. The group
was also involved in a big European effort under the name Harmoni-CA
Observations
The group is of importance and has impact in Denmark. It is probably the strongest
groundwater flow modelling group in the country. It sets standards for groundwater
modelling which have the potential to improve general practice. The group is well
integrated into European research efforts.
The group fulfils its obligation of looking into the consequences of new EU directives and
regulations and their impact on needs in modelling and monitoring.
The general tendency of the group is towards integration of models (vadose zone, saturated
zone, flow and transport, even socioeconomics). No software development is undertaken.
Several codes are available, mainly the codes from DHI and the USGS. This is probably a
good strategy. Yet, only a group which still has the ability to write code will know what
can go wrong in a calculation. Also, there may be a risk in basing the national modelling
on just one single proprietary software.
While the quantification of uncertainty is stressed in the guidelines for others, the national
groundwater model is a deterministic, one-solution, model. Geological as well as
hydrologic uncertainty is not characterized yet. This is felt as an inconsistency in the work
of the group and should be remedied in the future.
Very little modelling is done on transport including chemistry/ microbiology. The possible
synergies with the chemistry group are consequently not fully used. All chemical findings
can acquire more value added by interpretation within the given flow system. Not to do so
is wasting a chance of getting more mileage out of the efforts of GEUS. The interesting
field experiments of the chemistry group are interpreted and modelled by researchers from
the university rather than the own modelling group. It seems that the modelling activities
of the group are not quite in tune with the requirements of the chemistry department.
The group feels its weakness with respect to characterization of geological uncertainty.
Here the synergy with the geology/quarternary geology departments could be stronger.
The work of the group is quite continuous. However, it is not seen how innovation by
import of methods from the purely academic research will be ensured. Where are the new
tools from airborne geophysics, in which Denmark is so strong? Where are the new tools
from remote sensing, where Denmark has its excellent space center? And where are the
new tools from geostatistics, which are necessary for the work on uncertainty?
Virtually every researcher in hydrology for the last 20 years has stressed the need for
upscaling. Here this demand is reiterated. However, no concrete way is shown how this
could be achieved in the future and especially up to the national scale model.
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The plans for future activities are reasonable but basically "more of the same" except for
one, the climate change impact on groundwater, which is a very promising new direction.
One would have wished to see a bit more how innovation is ensured and how possible
future needs of the ministry might be anticipated and served.
Quality of research
The group is steadily publishing 3 to 6 ISI peer reviewed papers per year since 2000. This
is less than the geomicrobiology group but more than the chemistry group. The group has
been smaller but has now 13 researchers on a level of post doc and upward, including a
department head. So the number of publications could in the future be larger. Papers are
published in good journals and they are cited. The papers are often more of review type or
of policy type than original and novel research. This seems okay, given the normative task
of GEUS. They can be used directly by practitioners. Compared to publications of the
academic institutes I would rate the publications of the modelling group a bit lower.
Recommendations
·
Strengthen efforts to get heterogeneity mapping into the national groundwater model.
In cooperation with other departments of GEUS, strong in characterization, the
typology of heterogeneity in different aquifer environments could be mapped.
Characteristic values of variability could be taken out of former projects. A map
giving such characteristics would be innovative and useful. It would also create
synergy within GEUS.
·
Service to chemistry-microbiology groups. It is suggested to strengthen the
cooperation of the modelling group with the chemistry group. While it is fine if data
generated within GEUS are interpreted with models by outside groups, it might be
helpful for internal coherence and development of GEUS to have also in-house
interpretation capability, looking at chemical-microbiological data plus interpretation
with models as an integrated product. The cohesion and ideas for a more effective
utilization of internal synergies could be developed by retreats of the groups
involved. In such an environment ideas for future strategy and developments could
be born.
·
Time and manpower should be devoted to innovation. While the group is fine for the
time being, without an effort of importing new techniques the importance may
decrease.
2.6 Water Resources Management
Research activities
The activities in this field were presented by Hans Jørgen Henriksen. The group is rather
small and new and cannot really be compared with the others.
The activities include mainly the application of Bayesian belief networks to the
management of environment and resources. The methods are not developed, but rather
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applied using available software tools. Applications are in the participatory approach to
assessment and management. The activities also include the definition of sustainable yield
for Danish aquifer situations. The major project where all techniques are applied is the
NeWater project within the 7
th
FP of the EU. In this project management ideas are
formulated for a river basin in central Spain where agriculture and conservation of nature
are in conflict. Three of the 4 current research projects were explained in more detail.
Observations
This activity is presently rather marginal. Yet, it is an activity with future potential. It is
new and innovative. It covers a demand which has become more and more visible in recent
years. It is also a way of turning a modelling effort into an interactive development process
for a group of stakeholders. The formulation of indicators for sustainability is an important
task which is still far from a final state.
Scientific quality
The activity is so new that only 2 ISI publications are available in 2007. The quality seems
fine.
Recommendations
This activity should not be seen as a separate from modelling. It should be at the core of
the modelling group. The modelling group cannot restrict itself to make guidelines on
modelling. Modelling is only a tool and the modelling group should not separate itself
from the water resources management which gives the whole modelling a sense. To
decouple the tool from its sense-giving goal is counterproductive and makes modelling
stale.
The activity should be welcome for the group. It may open a whole new way of model
application as a tool for dialogue between different stakeholder groups.
While the psychological side is somewhat covered by the competence of the group leader,
the socio-economics are far from covered. It should be considered to increase the
competence of the group by a resource economist.
The modelling group is looking into uncertainty. This is fine. But what is finally needed is
decision making under uncertainty. This is another reason to look for a goal for the
modelling on a higher level than the mere technical level of characterization of uncertainty.
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3. Overall Evaluation
3.1 Observations
The vivid presentation of the review meeting showed us that GEUS is a productive place
where interesting scientific work is done. It extends services to the nation, which are of
high value such as monitoring, the national groundwater model, early warning of emerging
contaminant threats, and risk assessment.
GEUS proves by its publications record that is scientifically sharp and competitive. The
present situation is characterized by a very positive development over the last 7 years. Yet,
in the long run, there is room for improvement and some reason for concern.
The strength of the group lies in its interdisciplinary character. It combines disciplines
such as geology, hydrology, analytical chemistry, microbiology, geophysics. It has
Denmark as a huge groundwater laboratory in which all these disciplines can be used in
combination in the context of a society that is entirely dependent on groundwater. But this
strength does not always unfold.
While all departments and research groups are productive taken one by one, the synergies
could be better. One reason is a culture in which people are used to doing their own work
without looking at what is going on in the other departments. The matrix structure of
projects bringing together the groups seems not to work well, although there are some rare
examples where all groups were integrated into common work (e.g. KUPA project). This
problem of accomplishing integration is practically universal among academic and
research institutions. In general, organizations can address this problem by taking
organizational or social measures to increase the likelihood of collaboration between
disciplines. Perhaps more importantly, organizations can formulate research visions based
on sufficiently important problems (both societally and scientifically) that scientists are
self-motivated to unify toward common goals. Some ideas for `vision' topics are included
herein.
Work for Greenland is a small component of the work at present. It could be increased.
With the growing interest in mining some anticipation of pollution problems could be of
interest. The special situation in the arctic provides new opportunities for fresh science.
The water movement under the glaciers, the melting process, microbiological degradation
processes of organics etc. provide tasks for the hydrology department. The worldwide
focus on future climate change scenarios frequently leads to speculation on the future fate
of the Greenland ice sheet, which is largely a geologic and hydrologic question.
Ideas for future work and a long-term vision are not very clear. This is of course a
consequence of the institute being ordered by its ministry what to do. Still, the institute
should be proactive in defining important new tasks which eventually will shape the
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agenda given by the ministry. Much of the future work announced in the presentation is
business as usual. What the water group needs is a big overarching goal which can develop
a pull and unifying effect. What is needed are flagship programs or goals behind which all
researchers can unite. The research on climate change and its implications for Denmark's
groundwater and streams ­ both with respect to water quantity and quality - could be such
a theme. Another potential theme concerns the unknown future status of deep groundwater
quality as the poor quality shallow water migrates downward during the coming decades.
The introduction of the geomicrobiology group some years ago was a good move. It has
brought new vigour into the water programme and increased the scientific standards. It
shows that GEUS is a modern geological survey. Other surveys in Europe have gone
through the same development of decreasing some traditional tasks and taking on new
ones. This process cannot stop with geomicrobiology. Some strategic additions might
bump the modelling and characterization capabilities into world-class status. Further, it
might be prudent to add strength in the area of socioeconomics.
A busy research organization which has to produce income may be in the danger of
forgetting to prepare for the future. It should take care to reserve some time of its work for
upgrading its methods and introducing innovation.
3.2 Scientific quality
The programme can be proud to have areas of high quality research. As such we identify
the following:
·
Geomicrobiology. With two excellent senior researchers and a great publication
record this relatively new field is very visible to the outside.
·
Pesticide research. GEUS has extensive and almost unique expertise in pesticides,
concerning their measurement, their behaviour in the subsoil, transport, biological
degradability, etc. In this area it has also shown the strength of combining the
different disciplinary forces.
·
Soil pollution research. The original work in the field on natural formation of
chloroform and the relevance of availability of PAH for its toxic activity is excellent
and had an impact on legislation.
·
Modelling: The national groundwater model and its application for assessing long-
term change on the basis of a well understood past, is of high scientific quality and
relevance.
·
Chemistry: With the ability to analyze new environmental tracers (CFC) in the
group's own laboratory, the environmental tracing and age dating work has been
enhanced considerably and the success shows in an increased number of high quality
publications in this field.
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3.3 Recommendations
Areas to be strengthened
The ideas and activities to upgrade groundwater modelling by assessing its uncertainty are
very relevant. Engineering practice is not yet ready to accept this task. The data basis and
the tools are not yet in place either.
Inorganic pollutants (e.g. As) and inorganic chemistry are of importance both in their own
right and as the background on which the organic pollutants move. Both with respect to
equipment and manpower this field should be strengthened, including the environmental
tracer capabilities.
The need to more fully integrate subsurface characterization efforts, including use of
environmental tracers, as well as the need to ultimately predict sustainability of deep
groundwater quality demands reactive transport modelling expertise at the field and
regional scales.
The characterization and modelling areas need advanced geologic modelling capabilities
for representing physical and biochemical heterogeneity. Capabilities in the areas of
quantitative geostatistical, stratigraphic and/or process modelling of heterogeneity are
needed to help keep GEUS water resources programs current and prepared to pursue
problems related to transport in groundwater and surface water.
The water management component with modelling as a participatory process, creating a
decision-making framework for input by multiple stakeholders, is of considerable future
potential and relevance. Building new strength in the socioeconomic aspects of water
seems justified.
More research and characterization initiatives in Greenland would be appropriate and,
because of the uniqueness and developing nature of Greenland, would likely provide fresh
opportunities. One example might be integrating subsurface and surface hydrology into
models concerning future changes to the Greenland icesheet. Others would include
anthropogenic water quality problems as well as effects of current and future mining.
Recommendations for work in developing countries:
Before one can plan the international work its goals must be better defined. The strategy
would look very different depending on whether one goes to Subsaharan Africa or to
China. In any case, one can only export products that reflect strengths. We think a
concentration on GEUS' counterparts in the developing world, meaning the geological
surveys, would be advisable. On the one hand they could be a basis from which to do
common project work, and on the other hand a strengthening of other survey's services by
capacity building will enhance their contribution to the countries' development. A
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successful geological survey such as GEUS certainly has the specific knowledge needed to
upgrade those surveys in the developing world.
Two new researchers were hired to get CV's suitable for applying for money from
DANIDA or similar to do work in developing countries.
When GEUS scientists were asked what the rational for this move was the answers were:
·
to get further funding
·
tOFulfil a demand by the governing board
·
to learn something which might be of interest for Denmark too
All these motivations seem inappropriate although we feel sympathy for the group which
has to bring in money for their own survival. Yet, for an activity in developing country to
make sense some more focusing and structure is required. Exports are feasible in areas
where GEUS has expertise and needs in a developing country are congruent with that
expertise (e.g. Pesticides, As, CFC age dating). A lot of work is done by Danish
consultants in developing countries and they may come up with problems they cannot
answer themselves and where they could request GEUS assistance.
It is an illusion to think that work in developing countries will lead to cutting edge results
as the needs in water are often so basic that they can be solved without any further science.
Other European geological surveys help in building up their counterpart surveys in
developing countries. There is a large demand in hydrogeological exploration, application
of new methods such as CFC age dating, remote sensing, geophysics etc. Working via a
sister organization in a developing country might be a more satisfying way than to go into
an arbitrary water supply or water pollution project. So while we think that an engagement
of GEUS in the developing world is laudable for humanistic reasons, it should be focused
and structured for synergy with present activities and not taken as a mere source for
improving the economic situation of GEUS. Another reason for doing work in developing
countries could be that such projects are very attractive for young scientists, they create
enthusiasm and there is great potential for those projects to provide the needed glue for the
water programme internally.
Other General Recommendations
·
Strengthen capabilities for modelling of geologic heterogeneity with geostatistical,
geologic process and/or other techniques.
·
Strengthen capabilities in inorganic geochemistry, including environmental tracers.
·
Greater integration across disciplines, with particular attention to integration of
hydrology, geochemistry and geomicrobiology through the use of reactive transport
modelling at multiple scales.
·
Although there are many positive signs of integration, there is still much potential for
improvement in this area. GEUS should create a strategy for increasing collaboration
and integration among the disciplines. This could include organizational changes,
initiation of more joint proposals, encouragement of joint proposals through use of
internal matching funding, joint seminars, periodic retreats for brainstorming about
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future research directions, among others. Integration is a universal problem in the
sciences. Accordingly, this is a never-ending but worthwhile battle.
·
As in most research institutes, there is evidence that GEUS is top-heavy with upper-
level researchers but lean in mid-level researchers, i.e., those who do tasks typically
too time-consuming or mundane for upper-level staff, but too involved and
demanding of significant training to be handled by graduate students. The panel is
aware of the disadvantages of having too many, mid-level, permanent staff.
Nevertheless, GEUS's work obviously requires some optimal level of mid-level
support staff, and it should deal with this issue.
·
Keep the monitoring program strong and maintain as a top priority the collection of
high-quality data on nationwide water quality.
·
Keep the expertise on microbial degradation of pesticides.
·
Expand the new research on spread and establishment of pathogens
·
More focus of importance of bioavailability rather than total content of pollutants.
·
Constant awareness of keeping analytical techniques updated by regular purchase of
state-of-the-art instruments as well as keeping up the analytical chemical expertise.
·
More consideration of inorganic pollutants, also including heavy metals.
Comments on publications
The group provided a transparent documentation on the ISI publications, citations, and h-
coefficients. The panel was asked for a standard on publication requirements for a senior
scientist. We think that GEUS has made big step towards publishing in internationally
renowned, peer reviewed journals. This is laudable. We see a publication density of about
1 publication of this type per year and senor scientist. This is sufficient in our view. The
emphasis should not be on numbers alone. The emphasis should be on quality.
Optimization of the publication record in the ISI should not be exaggerated. It would have
the effect that single disciplinary work would be done exclusively, as it is easier to get to
publications in single disciplinary work than in interdisciplinary project work. Such a
move would not be in the interest of the water programme. Time for writing of
publications should be allocated in research proposals.
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Annex 1 ­ Terms of Reference
EVALUATION OF GEUS' RESEARCH ACTIVITIES
WITHIN THE PROGRAMME AREA
WATER RESOURCES
1. Terms of Reference - The Evaluation Panel
According to the Danish Statutory Order 281 of 22/03 2006 on Evaluation of Sector Research
Institutions the GEUS Board has decided that the next research evaluation shall cover the
water resource programme area.
Objectives
The panel shall undertake an evaluation of research and presentation activities within the Pro-
gramme Area `Water Resources', constituted by:
Results Contract 2000-2003:
o
Groundwater monitoring and mapping
o
Hydrology, groundwater pollution and protection
o
Use of groundwater and hydropower
o
Contaminated soil
R esults Contract 2004-2007:
o
Groundwater resources and hydrology
o
Groundwater pollution and protection
based on a thorough examination of selected publications and reports produced by the survey
in addition to two visits to GEUS in Copenhagen.
Tasks
The tasks of the panel being an evaluation of the research activities of GEUS on the basis of
Publications, reports and other relevant material produced over the period 2000-2007
(start of evaluation).
Interviews with GEUS' management staff and scientists, and visits to laboratories and
work facilities at GEUS.
In order to
Identify areas of high quality research,
Identify areas where the research of GEUS should be strengthened in order to meet
GEUS vision and strategies,
Identify areas which should be strengthened in order for GEUS to expand GEUS' abil-
ity to provide assistance to third world countries with the broad area of water resources,
Provide comments and proposals as to strategic changes, amendments, and improve-
ments to GEUS' work within the programme area, in order to improve GEUS' ability to
fulfil its main mission with this programme area put into perspective of the surveys stat-
utes and general mission.
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Time table
The panel pays a visit to GEUS for evaluation (3-4 days): September 13-16, 2007
Preparation of report:
September/October 2007
Visit to GEUS for presentation of findings (1 day):
Early November 2007
Reporting: November
2007
Presentation of the findings for the GEUS board:
December 2007
Reporting
The evaluation panel is supposed to report their observations and conclusions in writing.
2. Confidentiality
The experts shall not disclose to any third party information in their capacity of being a mem-
ber of the evaluation panel.
3. Expenses and compensation
GEUS shall reimburse all reasonable expenses related to the visits of the experts to the insti-
tution. Additionally GEUS shall compensate each expert for his time paying a lump sum of
DKK 15,000.
Copenhagen, 19 March, 2007
Johnny Fredericia
Deputy Managing Director
32
2000-­2007, Evaluering - Vandressourcer, Rapport