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Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS)
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Danish activities
Greenland activities
International activities


The overall objective is to provide a better understanding of natural processes and ecosystems in order to create a baseline for the study of natural and human impacts on environment and climate, and for the monitoring and management of nature and environment. GEUS is in a unique position to do this because time series covering thousands of years of planet Earth's history can be provided to demonstrate relationships between natural events and changes in nature and environment. Background data necessary to keep the balance between natural elements, cultural heritage and productive areas in the landscape is a high priority issue. Integrated coastal management is also given high priority because Denmark is a low lying land with some 7000 kilometre coastline.

Major customers are ministries, governmental agencies, EU, regional authorities, public and private organisations active within the environmental sector, and archaeologists. The geo-scientific data and information are used in the management and protection of wetlands, lakes, coastal areas, natural forests, and natural and cultivated land in relation to agriculture, forestry, raw materials extraction, other land use, and tourism. The data on the development of the vegetation is used in environmental history and climate studies, and also as background information in archaeology to gain a better understanding of pre-historic life conditions.

On the basis of more than one hundred years of fieldwork and mapping in Denmark the Survey has obtained experience in:

  • Geological mapping of surface deposits
  • Coastal zone mapping and monitoring of sediments dynamics
  • Marine geology
  • Palynological investigations of bogs, lakes, fjords and sea-floor sediments
  • Quaternary vegetation history and climate history
  • Vegetation history of natural forests

With a view to Global Change issues the Survey's research on Nature and Environment focuses on the processes that led to present day climate and environmental conditions. Topics are the historical development of vegetation, the natural water quality in lakes and fjords, Quaternary history of the North Atlantic, the spatial development of geological sediments, and the composition of soils. This is carried out by multidisciplinary investigations of "Nature's own archives" of natural events through the past 100.000 years that are preserved in bogs, lakes, and sea-floor sediments, and in older deposits from sea cliffs, inland outcrops, and wells on- and offshore. GEUS' climate research takes place in co-operation with national and international partners. International projects are carried out on paleo-climate changes in relation to possible greenhouse effects, and on tropical cyclones in relation to the climate of the ocean. Recent investigations of sea-floor sediment cores from the North Atlantic provide data on the interrelationship between sea currents and climate changes in the North Atlantic realm, and the world-wide system of ocean currents. This data together with mass balance and climate data collected on Greenland glaciers and the Greenland ice sheet yield valuable information about global climate development.

The geological map of Denmark at a scale of 1: 200.000 has been completed, and most of the country is covered by maps at a scale of 1:100.000 and 1:50.000.

A long term research programme on the development of natural forest that has provided time series data from more than 50 years is still being continued in Draved Forest, and other Danish natural forests. Data on forest tree pollen production and spreading has influenced the understanding and interpretation of Danish vegetation history through more than 10.000 years.

Annually about 10 pct. of the budget is allocated to activities related to nature and environment.

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[Top]   Last modified: August 12, 2013 © Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland - GEUS
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