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GIS Central Europe

BRGM R&D 'GEMS' Project

Toward a Metallogenic and Environmental GIS of Central and South-Eastern Europe


KEY WORDS: Central & South-Eastern Europe, GIS, Metallogeny, Ore deposits, Metal potential and fertility maps, Geodynamics, Environment, Risk maps.

GIS Central Europe was designed and initiated by BRGM in 2000 to be a homogeneous geographic information system for Central and South-Eastern Europe based on original syntheses and compilations. It covers an area of 1.7 million km² and extends for some 1750 km from the West Carpathian Mountains in the west to the Gulf of Antalya (southwestern Turkey) in the east (Cassard, 1999a - Fig. 1). Some 15 countries are concerned by this synthesis which covers the the Carpathian – Balkan Arc, the Dinarides – Hellenides Belt, the Rhodopean Massif and Western Anatolia.

GIS Central Europe has been conceived as a tool aimed primarily at the mining and academic sectors. For the former it will be an invaluable aid to mineral exploration and mine development, especially as it takes into consideration the environmental problems induced by the extractive industry and its downstream activities. For the latter it will aid in developing new metallogenic models, and should contribute to resolving certain R&D problems such as the relationship(s) between the mineralized belts and collision zones, subduction zones, thermal anomalies, etc., or the structural controls of the mineralization, or yet again the spatial and temporal distribution of the paleohydrothermal systems.

GIS boundaries

Area covered by GIS Central Europe between lat. 32° to 52° N and long. 12° to 31° E.

GIS Central Europe will contain the following thematic layers:




A DCW® geographic base (see Cassard, 1999c)


Two digital elevation models: one oceanic (2 minute arc), and one continental (30 second arc) elevation dataset with a structural analysis of the detailed topography


SPOT 4 VEGETATION® satellite images at 1x1 km


Present state of geological coverage: location of and information on the existing maps


Synthetic geological map of Central and South-Eastern Europe at 1:1,500,000 scale (see Cassard, 1999b and Nicol, 2000)


Simplified geological map of Central and South-Eastern Europe at 1:1,500,000 scale with characterization of morpho-structural domains and main tectonic elements (see Tomek et al., 1996)


Data on Holocene volcanism


Based on inventories at present being compiled for the EU


Composition and age of magmatic and volcanic rocks – isotope data


Linked to a database under Access®, using a new metallogenic lexicon (see and including mineralogical (ore, gangue and hydrothermal alteration), fluid-inclusion and isotopic data of the main ore deposits (see http//


Synthesis of existing data, methods used, critical analysis, reliability, references, etc. (collaboration with Utrecht University)


Delimitation, magmatic and structural controls, potential and information on mining companies (see Jankovic, 1997)


(see Cermak, 1993)


Bouguer anomaly calculation; isostatic correction and corresponding residual anomalies; vertical gradient calculation and structural analysis


Distribution of earthquakes in order to better understand and constrain the crustal structures


Depth contour map (e.g. Nemcok et al., 1998);


3D model of the lithospheric structure (collaboration with Utrecht University – see de Boorder et al., 1998);

  • A qualitative and quantitative pollution hazard database of mine-waste/tailings
  • Maps of potential pollutant transfer pathways, including surface and ground water and sufficient climatic data to assess atmospheric transfer
  • Socio-economic data maps for assessing potential pollution risks



Cassard, D., 1999a. Projet 00RESD02 – Synthèses Métallogéniques. Note BRGM, REM/VADO, 16 p (Unpublished).

Cassard, D., 1999b. GIS Andes on the WEB:

Cassard, D., 1999c. GIS Andes: A metallogenic GIS of the Andes Cordillera. 4th Int. Symposium on Andean Geodynamics, 4.-6. October 1999, Göttingen, Extended Abst., Institut de Recherche pour le Développement Publ., PARIS 1999, p. 147-150.

Cermak, V., 1993. Lithospheric thermal regimes in Europe. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interoirs, 79, p. 179-193.

de Boorder, H., Spakman, W., White, S.H. and Wortel, M.J.R., 1998. Late Cenozoic mineralization, orogenic collapse and slab detachment in the European Alpine Belt. Earth and Planet. Sci. Lett., 164, p. 569-575.

Jankovic, S., 1997. The Carpatho-Balkanides and adjacent area: a sector of the Thethyan Eurasian metallogenic belt. Mineral. Deposita, 32, p. 426-433.

Nemcok, M., Pospisil, L., Lexa, J. and Donelick, R.A., 1998. Tertiary subduction and slab break-off model of the Carpathian-Pannonian region. Tectonophysics, 295, p.307-340.

Nicol, N., 2000. GIS Gondwana on the WEB:

Tomek, C. and PANCARDI Colleagues, 1996. PANCARDI, Dynamics of Ongoing Orogeny. In: Europrobe 1996, Lithosphere Dynamics – Origin and Evolution of Continents , European Science Foundation Publ., p. 15-26.

GEMS Project Team Full List of References