“Geologists of Europe in the 3rd millennium”

 “Geologists of Europe in the 3rd millennium”

May 29-30, 2014 – Palermo (Italy)



The Workshop venue will be the Norman Palace, seat of the Sicilian Regional Assembly, located in the historical centre of Palermo

The workshop is intended as an open forum on current state of the Geological profession for the various national organisations representing the profession within the European Federation of Geologists, EFG.
It will take place in a crucial period for the future of our profession, considering the issues presently on the table.
In the latter months, all the recognised professions have been directly involved in the discussion on the recognition of professional qualifications. In December 2013 the Directive 2013/55/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council, amending the Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications, has been published. One of the expected effects of the above Directive is the introduction of the European Professional Card (EPC), to be considered as a tool to improve the mobility of workers and young people across Europe.
In 2013, EFG approved its Strategic Aims, where the Federation’s mission, vision and values have been re-considered within a framework for developing specific actions and priorities for the coming 5 years. The workshop will cover some of the Strategic Aims such as education and outreach and professional titles.
Moreover, the global recession and financial crisis of the last years induced a growing need of developing innovative approaches. The mobility of geologists is essential, especially for the youngest colleagues; adapting to the needs of the market they search new job opportunities abroad, with the inevitable consequence to face different regulations.
Accordingly, we invite participation in the EFG Workshop on “Geologists of Europe in the 3rd millennium”, which, for the first time, is open to the geologists of the host country, thus hopefully allowing a wider and more fruitful debate.

Thursday 29 May

Meeting point: Yellow Hall of Norman Palace

08:30 – 09:30 – Registration

09:30 – 10:00 – Words of Welcome

Giovanni Ardizzone, President of the Sicilian Regional Assembly
Vittorio d’Oriano, President of CNG “Study Centre” Foundation
Fabio Tortorici, President of the Regional Chamber of Geologists of Sicily

10:00 – 10:15 – Introduction

Gian Vito Graziano (Italy, CNG President)
The profession of geologist among the regulated professions

10:15 – 12:45 – Morning session (Convener: Domenico Calcaterra)

Vitor Correia (Portugal, EFG President) – Geologists and globalisation: challenges of the 21st century

Luca Demicheli (Italy, Eurogeosurveys) – Geology-related great challenges for Europe: the Geological Surveys perspectives

Silvia Peppoloni and Giuseppe Di Capua (Italy) – Geoethics: themes, goals and ongoing initiatives

Edmund Nickless (UK) – Geology for Society

Nic Bilham (UK) – Promoting geoscience in policy development

Tamás Hámor (Hungary) – Legal duties of eurogeologists in the past, and future vision according to the ERA-MIN roadmap

Christer Åkerman (Sweden) – A mission to increase the awareness of geology’s importance to the society

Manuel Regueiro y González-Barros (Spain) – Geologist 2.0

Manuel Regueiro y González-Barros (Spain) – Geologist 2.0 Annex

12:45 – 14:00 – Lunch at restaurant Spillo (Cortile San Giovanni degli Eremiti, 2)

14:30 – 15:30 – Guided tour to Norman Palace

15:30 – 17:00 – Afternoon session (Convener: Corrado Cencetti)

Pia Hansson (Sweden) – TRUST – A true engineering geology R&D project

Eva Hartai (Hungary, EFG External Relations Officer) – From the past to the future – basic raw material research in Hungary

Nieves Sanchez (Spain, EFG Vice-president) – Fukushima disaster: the geology from a global view

Raymond W. Talkington (USA) – Identifying Groundwater and Surface Water Mixing Using Isotopic Compositions

Pavlo Zagorodnyuk and Volodymyr Bezvynnyy (Ukraine)- Ukrainian Geology: hard way from planned economy to the market economy

17:00 – 17:30 – Conclusions (Conveners: Vitor Correia & Gian Vito Graziano)

20:00 – Welcome Dinner in a typical Sicilian restaurant

Antica Focacceria San Francesco (Via Alessandro Paternostro, 58 – Palermo)
Friday 30 May

Meeting point: to be defined

09:00 – 16:00 – Visit to the Arabian Palermo

13:30 – 14:30 – Typical Sicilian meal

Restaurant Calamida, Via Cala
20:00 – Dinner and wine tasting contest

Restaurant Gagini Via Cassari, 35

Geologists and globalisation: challenges of the 21st century


Vitor Correia

President of European Federation of Geologists

A globalized economy and a growing pressure on natural resources pose many challenges to geoscientists: water, energy and raw materials are critical to meet the needs of 9.000 Million individuals by 2050. In this presentation the role of EFG and insights about the how to address these challenges will be discussed with the audience.

Geology-related great challenges for Europe: The Geological Surveys perspectives

Luca Demicheli
Secretary General of EuroGeoSurveys, the Geological Surveys of Europe

Europe is facing a number of grand challenges, for many of which knowledge of the subsurface – its composition, structure, dynamics and availability of earth resources – is of vital importance. National Geological Surveys are the custodians of geological information and knowledge, with a long tradition (more than 100 years) in collecting data, preparing information and conducting research focused on their national subsurface. Through their umbrella organization EuroGeoSurveys, the Geological Surveys of Europe have over the past decades developed good relationships and a growing cooperation, notably within numerous transnational R&D and policy support projects aimed at harmonizing and sharing data or developing new knowledge. The Geological Surveys of Europe have the ambition to create a “Geological Service for Europe”, a one-stop-shop for high quality, unambiguous pan-European data, information and knowledge of the sub-surface. The aim of this Geological Service is to support national and EU institutions in effective policy- and decision making and strategic planning related to the subsurface, and to help Europe to increase its competitiveness. The Geological Service, will address a series of societal challenges, including environmental protection, reliable, clean and efficient geo-energy, raw materials, climate action and resource efficiency. EuroGeoSurveys has laid down its ambition and goals in a strategic vision. This vision has been formally approved by the 32 member countries of EuroGeoSurveys. Internal discussions have indicated that the application of an Art. 185 TFEU to geosciences could be a suitable way. A first step in this direction would be the establishment of an ERA-NET, to be developed in partnership with other key stakeholders, such as the EFG, which has been an active supporter towards this goals.

Geoethics: themes, goals and ongoing initiatives

Silvia Peppoloni1 and Giuseppe Di Capua

Researcher at the INGV – Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Rome (Italy) – Secretary General of the IAPG – International Association for Promoting Geoethics
Technologist at the INGV – Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Rome (Italy) – Treasurer of the IAPG – International Association for Promoting Geoethics

Geoethics deals with the ethical, social and cultural implications of the geological research and practice. After its hesitant beginning, in the last years the attention towards its themes and the interest in developing the debate is increasing everywhere. Thanks to some ongoing scientific publications and volumes, Geoethics is turning from a movement of opinion into a scientific discipline.
Despite this fast growth, it is necessary to better clarify on which bases we have to found Geoethics and what principles have to guide geologists in the future. But above all, we have to wonder: are we, as geologists and experts of geo-resources and geo-environment, aware of the responsibility that our work implies?
Geology accompanies the daily life of human beings, and it is urgent to bring to the attention of society the importance of Geoethics in building a more sound relationship with our planet.
Geoethics provides a vision on which to base the best practices toward the geosphere. A sustainable world also can be economically beneficial to society as a whole. The figure of the geologist and the value of the geological culture deserve to be revaluated. Geosciences are not just a collection of useful scientific information, but also represent a cultural resource, capable of influencing our future. Considering the current global and complex problems such as climate change, the search for new sources of energy and the need of a sustainable approach to the environment, an ethical perspective in the geosciences can be useful in gaining a new way to think and manage the planet.
The IAPG – International Association for Promoting Geoethics (http//, was born to meet all these expectations. It is an international, multidisciplinary and scientific platform for discussing on ethical problems and dilemmas in Earth Sciences with the aims to join forces of Geoscientists all over the world. The IAPG has obtained the status of affiliated organization by the IUGS – International Union of Geological Sciences and it is among the collaborative organizations of the IUGS – Task Group on Global Geoscience Professionalism (TGGGP).
Many activities for promoting the themes of Geoethics are ongoing, in particular the publication of scientific articles and volumes, and the organization of conferences. The main goal is to strengthen the research base on Geoethics, analyzing general aspects and focusing on case-studies, that can be taken as models to understand problems and develop operative strategies.

Geology for Society

Edmund Nickless

Executive Secretary, The Geological Society of London

The Geological Society of London (GSL) published a major new report, entitled ‘Geology for Society’, in February 2014. The report is intended to provide policy-makers and other non-geologists with an overview of the main areas in which geology is of value to society, the economy and the environment. It highlights our dependence on the geosphere to provide a wide range of resources on which the population and industry depend, including energy, water and minerals of all kinds. It also explains the importance of understanding the geosphere and its interaction with other elements of the Earth system in order to protect the environment, mitigate the impacts of human activity and improve resilience to natural hazards. The report serves as a portal to a wide range of policy documents, articles, audio-visual resources and more relating to the topics it addresses (
This talk will outline the key areas covered by the ‘Geology for Society’ report, and will explain how and why it was developed, as an illustration of what is being done in the UK to raise awareness of geology among various audiences, including government and parliamentarians, senior officials, opinion formers and the non-technical public.

The role of geology in policy development

Nic Bilham

Director of Policy and Communications, The Geological Society of London

The ‘Geology for Society’ report published by the Geological Society of London (GSL) draws on an extensive and successful programme of ‘science for policy’ work carried out by the Society, on behalf of the wider UK geoscience community, over the last five years. The focus has been on communicating the geology relevant to economic and societal challenges in a comprehensible and engaging way, thereby demonstrating the value of geology to help meet these challenges. This has been achieved through various means, including responding to governmental consultations and parliamentary inquiries, issuing briefing notes and position statements, holding public meetings and policy discussions, and organising briefing meetings for MPs and government officials. A wide range of topics has been addressed over this period, but some have been a consistent priority, including radioactive waste management, climate change, CCS (carbon capture and storage), and latterly shale gas and fracking.
In this talk, I will consider the key factors which have contributed to the success of this communications work so far, and which will be critical to its future progress. Being both a learned society and a professional body, with a membership spanning industry, academia and government, GSL is able to draw on a wide range of expertise, experience and differing perspectives from across the geoscience community in its communications with policy-makers and opinion formers. Building lasting relationships with individuals and institutions has also been crucial, in order to understand their needs and motivations, develop their awareness of the importance of geology in tackling the challenges facing society, and win their trust in GSL as an impartial and authoritative source of advice and information.
I will close by considering how a stronger voice for geology in policy matters at a European level might be developed, and whether there are relevant lessons to be learned from the UK case.

Legal duties of Eurogeologists in the past,
and future vision according to the ERA-MIN roadmap

Tamás Hámor

Head of Division of Legal and Management Affairs, Hungarian Office for Mining and Geology

The role of geologists, not always explicitly, presents in the legally defined duties of many sectors of the European Union from the very beginning. The name of the legal predecessors, such as European Coal and Steel Community, EURATOM indicate that the earliest responsibilities were related to the extractive industry. In the last decades of the 20th century environmental issues, water management, waste streams entered the Community legislative domain, and many of the related pieces of regulations and directive addressed duties for geologists.
A series of mining incidents at the turn of the century changed this scene by extending the scope of numerous environmental directives by the explicit involvement of the extractive industry (e.g. Seveso II, IED (former IPPC), E-PRTR, INSPIRE, REACH)1. In parallel, the early initiatives of the raw material policy of the Community were formulated in 20002 (COM2000(0265)) with numerous relevant challenges for geologists. The Strategic Implementation Plan of European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials3 is the most recent significant attempt to provide directions on how future legislative measures may support the policy field in question, and a potential legislation is envisaged on non-energy minerals management. The ERA-MIN project, as part of the ERA-NET programme of FP7, is a remarkable effort to mobilize member states’ R&D funds in favour of implementing the Raw Materials Initiative, and its research Roadmap is a useful foresight for prospective geologists.
In recent years other chapters of the acquis also brought new tasks for geologists in diverse topics, such as CCS, Flooding Directive, Groundwater Directive, the amended Professional Qualifications Directive, Renewable Energy, to mention a few. The transformation of 2D land use planning into a 3D spatial planning may bring the next generation progressive change in the Community legislation and define new missions for Eurogeologist.
The presentation provides an in-depth insight into the above legislation in both a historical and thematic order.

A mission to increase the awareness of geology’s importance to the society

Christer Åkerman

Natural Science/Geological section

As a part of Sweden´s Minerals Strategy, SGU has been given the task of leading a project stretching over three years to increase the knowledge about the role of geology in society and its significance for growth in all parts of the country.

Geologist 2.0

Manuel Regueiro y González-Barros

1st Vice-president, Official Spanish Professional Association of Geologists (ICOG)

Geologists are able to explain the past, as well as the future, it’s part of our training. Geologists are able to instantly imagine a geological model of a certain place, area, region, country…
It is really amazing how we can explain natural events in a very short period of observation time, at least for those that stare at our skills in astonishment. And even more amazing to see how this model and the knowledge involved can be used to solve infinite problems and needs facing mankind in its troubled relation with the planet it inhabits.
But, are we able to predict our own evolution as professionals?
Field geologist are now using the best of technology in data capture, the best of technology in positioning, the best of technology in data analysis and the best technology in geographical information systems. But the true fact is that we know very little about Earth and its systems.
This presentation deals with how I think geological work with evolve in the coming future, in the light of the technical facilities we are now using or soon we will use, and the knowledge and capacities derived from using those tools.

TRUST – a true engineering geology R&D project

Pia Hansson

PhD Geology, Natural Science/Geological section/Tyréns AB

TRUST – TRansparent Underground STructures – is the umbrella for nine different sub projects, as a collaboration between geologists, geotechnical engineers, geophysicists, BIM experts and hydrogeologists, both from academia and the industry, aiming to develop tools for more cost efficient design and construction of urban underground structures. TRUST is mainly run as case studies in ongoing Swedish infrastructure projects, for example the new 10 km Varberg railway rock tunnel, where the client is the Swedish Transport Administration. In this project TRUST is developing the Resistivity and IP geophysical methods for lithological purposes and for detecting PCE contaminants in the groundwater. High resolution three component seismics is also carried out, in order to delineate the bedrock surface, fracture zones and rock quality. All data are organized in a Geo BIM and visualized in a 3D tool that can handle all geo related data available. This will enable the best optimized interpreted geo model, ready to use for any design, construction and maintenance purposes.
Other case studies are carried out in the 21 km project Bypass Stockholm and at the Äspö Hard Rock laboratory. In addition to above, here will also the construction phase of a rock tunnel be studied, involving development of more efficient grouting control technique and studies of the efficiency of the Eurocode Observational method.

From the past to the future – basic raw material research in Hungary

Eva Hartai

Institute of Mineralogy and Geology, University of Miskolc, Hungary

The existence of suitable quantity and quality of raw materials is essential for the European economy. The EC Raw Materials Group published a report that defined 14 types of critical raw materials ranked according to the expected industrial demand and the possible source of supply, from which Europe significantly relies on import. In the following decades the sharpest market demand will be expected from these raw materials in Europe, therefore, research on these elements has to be renewed.
Hungary, like most countries in Europe is a net importer of raw materials. Despite of this fact the country is significantly behind with the research of mineral resources and the development of exploitation and technologies of production. From 2011 political resolutions have been published according to which the national mineral resources have important roles in the planning of national economy’s strategic directions. Reacting to these facts, University of Miskolc, Faculty of Earth Science & Engineering established the research project CriticEl (Basic research on exploitation of national economic development potential of critical raw materials). The project is co-financed by the EU and the Hungarian Government.
The research on the national production potential of critical elements is carried out related to both primary and secondary raw material sources. Primary sources were well investigated in Hungary at the late 70’s, when base metals, uranium and coal were the main targets. Critical elements were not explored. However archive core samples and analysis data are still in repositories. These archive sources, using modern analytics and corresponding data mining was the first step to identify indications for any of the 14 raw material category. In case of indication, industrial partners are involved for further detailed exploration; meanwhile detailed mineralogical analysis is done to investigate any possibility of the indication as resource. According to mineralogy, corresponding mineral processing technique, including metallurgy are selected or developed for further refining.
Within the project, research is also carried out on having the critical raw materials from secondary sources. Processing technologies are explored to recycle most noted WEEE, as PCB’s, display panels, notebooks and computers, batteries and also mining waste using mechanical processes as much as possible because cost effectiveness. Recovery of critical elements is not possible without applying chemical, biological or thermal processes; however process rate using mechanical methods can be elevated.

Fukushima disaster: the geology from a global view

Nieves Sánchez

Vice-president of European Federation of Geologists

The 2011 Off the Pacific Coast of Tohoku Earthquake occurred at 05:46 UTC (14:46 JST) on 11 March 2011. The magnitude (Mw) of the earthquake was 9.0. Extreme vibratory ground motion and tsunami were generated from this large earthquake. Due to the widespread disaster caused along the east coast of Japan, the earthquake is commonly known as the Great East Japan Earthquake (GEJE).
The Fukushima accident was, however, preventable. But why did not the authorities do anything to apply the current existing knowledge?
With large quantities of radioactivity released into the environment, Fukushima disaster shows us the global effects of an inadequate management.
Can nuclear power be made significantly safer? The answer depends in no small part on whether nuclear power plants are inherently susceptible to uncommon but extreme external events or whether it is possible to predict such hazards and defend against them.
The geological institutions should play a more active role to defend this knowledge and the necessity to be used for a sustainable world.

Identifying groundwater and surface water mixing using isotopic compositions

Raymond Talkington

Principal Hydrogeologist/President, Geosphere Environmental Management, Inc.,
Exeter, New Hampshire, USA

Understanding groundwater and surface water interactions has become increasingly important over the past several years. There have been many different methods employed to quantify these interactions some more successful than others. For example, watershed analysis including water budget approaches, numerical computer modeling, simple induced infiltration measurements, and major and minor element analyses to name a few. For all of these methods there is still the element of doubt and uncertainty.
Over the past few years there have been many discussions on the origin and interaction of groundwater and surface as it pertains to withdrawal from public water supply wells in New England. Why? The vast majority of public water systems are owned by a town. The permitting of these wells is done at the state level. The groundwater is commonly held in “trust” and controlled by the state. The method to allocate groundwater is by a reasonable use doctrine that dates back to Roman Times. Even though the state controls the permitting of a groundwater withdrawal, each town or city has control within their boundaries.
Because of these local regulations, it is necessary to determine where groundwater is coming from that is withdrawn from a well. For a sand and gravel well this process is well defined for unconfined aquifer systems, but not so simple for a confined aquifer. Groundwater flow in a fractured crystalline bedrock system is even more complex.
Incorporating multi-isotopic analyses of strontium (Sr), lead (Pb), and uranium (U) have aided in determining groundwater flow, water source areas, and changes in water sources over time. This “tool” in addition to aquifer pumping test data, remote sensing (i.e. fracture trace analysis), geologic rock types, and broader chemical analyses will help better identify current and future groundwater and surface water interactions.

Ukrainian Geology: hard way from planned economy to the market economy

P. Zagorodnyuk, V. Bezvynnyy and O. Orlova

1 President of Ukrainian Association of the geologists (UAG); 2 Chairman of the Board of UAG; 3 Rrepresentative of UAG in EFG

Ukraine inherited the structure of geological service from the USSR; this service was based on powerful Ministry of geology, the budget of which was formed with the charge for exploration works of mining companies. There was the plan which included the whole complex of works beginning from the geological survey till the detailed exploration of the deposits. Production (first of all, the military-industrial complex) needed to have the new volume and kind of minerals and geologists tried to correspond to the demands of time. The prestige of this profession was very high. After the disintegration of the USSR and replacement of the planned economy with the market one the process of the reforming of geological service started and it was very painful. The destruction of the existing geological schools is the most threatening tendency which can lead to the total reduce of the quality of the geological survey. Today the government body – the State Service of Geology and Mineral Resources of Ukraine not only carries out the policy on the use and conservation of resources, issues the licenses for mining and controls the production, but also controls the subordinate enterprises. Preservation of state financing of these enterprises in the conditions of sharp budget cuts, as well as the imperfection of the principle of allocation of funds inherited from the planned economy led to the collapse of geological branch.
In the time of transition from the planned economy to the market the part of the geological service should be the state property and be provided with proper budgetary financing on the principle of reasonable sufficiency. The enterprises which carry out the geological survey for mining companies should be independent and private. After the rebuilding of the system of production and its control in accordance with the new market conditions and after the technical upgrading, we can expect not only the resumption of work of enterprises, but also their further development and integration into the world economy.