The Geological Survey of the Netherlands (GDN) has developed four models for the shallow subsurface (up to 500 metres deep) based on the hundred thousand drillings and cone penetration tests in the DINO database. The GDN also develops models for the deep subsurface up to a depth of 4 to 5 thousand metres.

GeoTOP-model with boreholes

Subsurface models use all the available knowledge to produce the most faithful representation possible of the subsurface. They predict strata structure and characteristics, including the gases and fluids present.
The models for the integrated basic geological information and links to other databases enable specific questions to be answered, like the risks of subsurface intervention, the construction of infrastructure above and below the ground, production of gravel, sand, clay, limestone and groundwater, subsidence predictions or the use of geothermal heating.
Excisions can be made from the models for specific purposes, such as the sandy gully systems of the Rhine and Maas in the Holocene layer of South Holland. The model then reveals the presence of surrounding continual sand layers (sand paths) through clay and peat layers at different depths as well as information about the granular composition of the sand.
The subsurface models are freely available via internet:


In the Digital Geological Model (DGM) the Dutch subsurface is built by digitally stacking the lithostratigraphic layers in the subsurface on top of each other from a depth of 500 metres to the surface.
The DGM provides insight into the stratification through thickness and depth planes, thereby making clear the spatial relationships of the layers on a regional scale as map images and profiles.
REGIS-II (REgional Geohydrological Information System) is the hydrogeological refinement of the DGM in which each geological layer (formation) is subdivided into layers whose permeability is good (sandy) and poor (clayey). These layers have been assigned mean geohydrological parameters for use in groundwater studies.

GeoTOP and NL3D

Section deep subsurface

GeoTOP provides a detailed three-dimensional image of the subsurface up to a depth of 30 metres below the surface, that part of the subsurface most intensively used by man. It refines the upper side of the DGM and REGIS-II whereby the subsurface is divided into millions of voxels (little blocks) of 100 x 100 x 0.5 m. Each voxel contains information on the type of soil and the corresponding physical and chemical attributes. The fourth model is NL3D, a low-resolution variant of GeoTOP with voxels of 250 x 250 x 1 m. NL3D provides information on the soil structure up to a depth of 50 m for the whole of the Netherlands.


Tackling groundwater and energy resource challenges in a transnational setting: TNO starts 11 projects within GeoERA!

05 July 2018
On the 3rd of July the 15 projects that where awarded within GeoERA did kick-off in Brussels. GeoERA is a 30M EUR research programme supported by the European Commission and 48 European Geological Survey... Read more


Dr. Michiel van der Meulen


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