Geology for a changing society

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1 Strategic plan for the Geological Survey of Norway

2 Geology for a changing society Director: Arne Bjørlykke Knowledge management Network development Digital platform It is not the fittest of the species which survives, nor the most intelligent, but the most responsive to change. Charles Darwin. Society is changing rapidly. This process is driven by developments within information and communications technology. "The new economy" places new demands on work processes, their quality and dissemination. Every sector will be affected by the changes, in which knowledge and access are keywords. Access to knowledge will become as important a part of the infrastructure of society as transport is today. A society with good access to knowledge will be able to manage its resources, land use and environment in a better and more effective way. A society with a good IT infrastructure will also be able to develop new business areas more quickly. The effective distribution of knowledge will become an important competitive advantage in the future. In the USA, public information and knowledge is a freely available, collective benefit that promotes value creation in society. The EU is in the process of developing an equivalent policy to ensure its competitiveness. Data and information that have been established for public funds should be considered as an essential infrastructure for industrial development and management in Norway too. Geoscientific knowledge is developed through comprehensive studies in and the mapping of variations in nature. Society's requirements in relation to this knowledge change over time and new data collection and interpretations must be implemented to meet the needs. Most countries have a geological survey to carry out these investigations and to manage the knowledge produced. Evaluations in Norway and elsewhere show that these are good socio-economic investments. Our results and products have many users, who do not, individually, have the financial resources to acquire basic geoscientific knowledge on their own. In other words, it is sensible from a socio-economic perspective for society to collect the data and manage it as a collective good in a long-term perspective. A deliberate and long-term development of knowledge is necessary. In Norway, we had no knowledge of the potential for oil on the continental shelf during the 1950 s and applications to carry out magnetic measurements to demonstrate the presence of thick sedimentary sequences were rejected. American research institutes were the first to demonstrate the presence of thick sedimentary sequences on the Norwegian shelf. Today, it is a paradox that the mapping of coral reefs, the seabed and its sediments in the Norwegian Sea is being carried out by German research institutes. NGU will face the challenges from processes of change in society by giving priority to the preparation of data and knowledge for a digital future. The fruits of 140 years of data capture and mapping will be transferred to a new platform. This will influence our priorities. To meet the needs of society for geological knowledge, NGU has four principal goals during the strategy period. These are organised as separate programme areas: Better knowledge of nature and the environment Technological development is increasing access to basic data. This places new requirements on data adaptation and quality assurance. There is still a great need for new, high-quality geodata on land. The Norwegian marine areas are also poorly mapped with regard to seabed topography, sediments and biodiversity. Increased value creation in the mineral industry The mineral industry is important in outlying regions and is experiencing strong growth. The value of the minerals we extract from the bedrock is twice the value of the timber taken from out forests. Minerals are a non-renewable resource. Extraction should therefore be replaced by new deposits. This requires the continual mapping and monitoring of mineral resources. Better planning and land management Major cost over-runs on tunnel projects show that much needs to be done before our knowledge of the bedrock is utilised adequately. A better co-ordination of the efforts of NGU and the large construction agencies can significant socio-economic benefits. The hazards of landslides and rock-falls also require further knowledge. The same applies to geothermal energy, where Norway has the potential to meet 10 to 15 % of its energy demand with heat pumps. Cost-effective development aid Good management institutions are important for economic growth in a society. Most countries have a geological survey. Institutional development will be an important area, as part of the development aid work of NORAD and the World Bank. PAGE 2 STRATEGIC PLAN

3 Better knowledge of nature and the environment Knowledge of the structure and natural variations in the chemical composition of the earth s crust must be taken as a reference level for assessment of environmental conditions A co-ordinated public effort to map Norwegian marine areas is essential for the sustainable management of the marine environment and its resources The contribution of geology to climate research is vital for knowledge-based management of the challenges in climate policy FOCUS Map databases Centre for Geodynamics Marine geology (MAREANO) Palaeoclimate Geology is nature s history. We say that society must know its history in order to make the right choices. The same applies to nature, in which the complexity is so great that models must be tested on historical data before they can be used as a guide for future choices. Bedrock, surficial deposits and groundwater form what we call geotopes. Along with climate, the geotopes form the basis for biological diversity. To be able to demonstrate changes in the environment, we must know nature s own reference level, and how this varies geographically. NGU will continue systematic geological mapping in order to increase knowledge of our geological foundation, and, based on this information, give scientifically relevant and objective support to decision-making by public bodies and the private sector. NGU has now completed bedrock mapping at a scale of 1:250,000. This will be the most detailed, nationwide map series. A plan will be prepared for the revision of the oldest maps, which are now over 30 years old. The mapping of surficial deposits at a scale of 1:250,000 will continue and will be completed during the strategy period. For both map series, seamless, digital data sets will be established. Mapping at more detailed scales (1: and above) will be prioritised where there is a demand for it in society. A national rock type database will be constructed with bedrock geochemical and petrophysical data based on the bedrock series at 1: This will give valuable knowledge of the natural distribution of chemical elements, and provide a basis for understanding processes that take place during weathering and erosion. Such knowledge forms the basis for determining nature s limits of tolerance. Climate issues will be central in the years to come. If climate models cannot simulate past climate variations, there is little reason to believe that they Photo: Eksportutvalget for fisk STRATEGIC PLAN PAGE 3

4 will be able to describe the climate of the future. NGU houses the secretariat for research into past climates in Norway, thus having an important role in developing palaeoclimatic data as a basis for testing climate models. Some forecasts show that, in the future, aquaculture will have a gross production value in excess of that of current oil and gas production. Such a development would make totally new demands on the management of the continental shelf and the coastal zone. The Norwegian continental shelf is poorly investigated in terms of marine topography, geology and biodiversity. A number of governmental bodies have presented a joint proposal to establish a seabed database for Norwegian coastal and marine areas (MAREANO). This should be implemented as soon as possible in order to ensure sustainable management of resources and the environment in the sea. It is also necessary to develop a better knowledge of conditions in the fjords and the coastal zone, which will be most strongly effected by intensified aquaculture, partly through the establishment of a reference level for monitoring of environmental impacts. Greater investment in these areas will require an increase in NGU s funding through special grants. For Norway, as a major gas producer, research into the cleaning and disposal of greenhouse gases is important. NGU can contribute, for example, through the mapping of suitable rock formations for the disposal of greenhouse gases close to major point discharges from gas-fired power stations. NGU s collaboration with the oil companies has increased in recent years. Our involvement in seafloor mapping, offshore-onshore tectonic links, neotectonics and Argon-Argon dating underlines this trend. The sea/land problem will continue to be an area of focus. NGU will further develop this expertise and closely integrate this knowledge with our knowledge of geological processes on the mainland. This will support inter-disciplinary research within areas of importance for the oil industry, the mineral industry, groundwater supply and geothermal heating. Economic growth in the mineral industry Mineral databases Gravel and aggregate Natural stone Titanium minerals Talc and olivine Quartz/quartzite Norway has a potential for continued development and growth in the mineral industry New materials open up new opportunities for new areas of use for industrial minerals from Norwegian deposits Important mineral resources should be secured through better municipal and county plans The world s gross national product is increasing as a result of population growth and increased economic activity. This is leading to an increase in the use of minerals, particularly industrial minerals and construction stone. Resource consumption is considered in a long-term perspective, where mineral raw materials are part of the end products total life cycle. The growth in global consumption of metals will decline, partly as a result of the increase in recycling and the development of new materials. PAGE 4 STRATEGIC PLAN

5 Photo: Maurice Goddard Recycling will also affect the markets for aggregate and other construction raw materials. Quality requirements for mineral products will also become more stringent. The trends are heading towards the increased processing of industrial minerals. A long coastline and a short distance to the sea give Norwegian deposits a competitive advantage. The importance of the mineral industry for outlying regions is increasing. The authorities and the industry itself should place a greater emphasis on society s acceptance of the sustainable extraction of minerals. The deposits represent considerable values, which need to be managed properly and it is in society s interest that the resources are included in municipal plans and other land-use plans. NGU s role as a supplier of geoscientific knowledge makes it necessary to strengthen collaboration with industry with the aim of developing the joint use of geological data. Through investment in NGU Digital, we will make it easier for users to gain access to NGU s data. Rock types in Norway have, in many areas, been transformed so that they have a large grain size. This gives a good starting point for the production of pure mineral concentrates. Mineral characterisation will become an important method in the mapping and investigation of deposits. This will require continued investment in increased expertise in applied mineralogy. Finely ground minerals are used in paper, plastic, paint and many other products. Production of these minerals has increased rapidly in recent years. In some niches, Norwegian companies have taken up a leading position in the world market. The potential for finding new deposits of talc suitable for micronisation is good. Mapping of deposits of quartz and feldspar will also be a central activity in the coming years. Natural gas can also be utilised in the refining of industrial minerals, e.g. the production of wollastonite based on calcite. Norway is an important producer of titanium minerals and our reserves are significant in an international perspective. NGU will prioritise the further mapping of the titanium minerals ilmenite and rutile during the strategy period. The general reduction in ore prospecting in Norway makes it sensible for NGU to steer more of its resources towards industrial minerals. We will also prioritise the documentation of the most important ore deposits and seek to maintain a certain level of expertise in ore exploration, partly through participation in projects in other countries. There is still a potential for finding diamonds in Finnmark, but the companies involved are not willing to prospect until the framework conditions have been clarified. This affects NGU s level of activity within the area. NGU is registering an increasing interest both from industry and local authorities for more systematic mapping of sand and gravel resources, partly because parts of the country will experience a scarcity in a few years time. An increasing proportion of STRATEGIC PLAN PAGE 5

6 the production of construction raw materials will take place at large crushing plants, which will also serve markets on the continent. These markets are affected by both recycling and stricter quality requirements. The industry is also keen to identify the properties of the raw materials in relation to environmental and health problems. Here, NGU s capacity within mineral characterisation will be an important contribution. NGU s finds of anorthosite deposits in Rogaland, which have now been put into production for natural stone, show that Norway still has the potential to develop within construction stone. There is reason to expect a continued increase in the consumption of natural stone on a worldwide basis. The systematic mapping of exploitable natural stone deposits will be prioritised over the new few years. Better planning and land-use management Engineering geology Urban geochemistry Groundwater Earth heating Landslide mapping There is an under-utilisation of geological knowledge and expertise in public sector planning, land-use and environmental management The municipal authorities need tailor-made databases which give them a better overview of important natural resources, polluted soil and geological hazards Geological knowledge can reduce the risk of cost overruns in both small and large development projects Norway is seen as a country with enough space. However, there is strong pressure on land-use, particularly in towns and urban areas where three out of every four Norwegians live. Residential developments in towns and cities often take place through an increase in the density of existing urban areas and through the conversion of central industrial plots into residential areas. Expensive delays are often incurred in such development projects due to unforeseen ground pollution. A database with this type of information would be an important tool in decision-making processes for urban planners, developers and environmental authorities. New roads and railways, urban developments, land-use, aquaculture and forestry all take up large areas of land. Conservation plans tie up land-use in large areas in the countryside. The mineral industry does not require a lot of land. Only 1-2 % of the country s land area is used for mineral production. The gross production value for the lifetime of some deposits can amount to several hundred million Norwegian crowns, some can be measured in billions. It is therefore important that such deposits are included in municipal plans and coastal zone plans. NGU will place emphasis on identifying the most important resource localities, so that their potential can be managed in a long-term perspective. Pressure on areas for development is one of the reasons why NGU is now prioritising geological mapping in the Oslo region. The results of this initiative will contribute to increased utilisation of geological resources, groundwater and earth heat. In Norway, approximately 50 km of tunnel are constructed each year, but the geological basis for planning these has, in many cases, been inadequate. A lack of knowledge is often the reason for large cost over-runs on tunnel projects in Norway, but fracturing and bedrock quality can only be mapped to a limited extent in advance. The Romeriksporten tunnel has also directed attention towards the water balance in nature. NGU s 30-year time series in the nationwide groundwater network gives us a good basis for assessing natural variations in groundwater levels. Municipal authorities want to benefit from our improved knowledge of landslide processes and PAGE 6 STRATEGIC PLAN

7 landslide risks. In collaboration with the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI), we will develop a national landslide database, which places emphasis on making knowledge and data available for landuse planning and detailed follow-up investigations. Here, it will be natural to develop the collaboration to cover more public sector departments, with the aim of achieving synergy effects in management processes and amongst users. The mapping of movements in the earth s crust will be an important area in the years to come. A tectonic database being developed will contain observations of fracture and fault zones and be an important tool e.g. in the identification of processes that can activate large bedrock slides. Data from such a database can also be utilised within groundwater exploration and energy supply. We are on the threshold of an exciting period of development within hydrogeology. Groundwater is both an energy carrier and a raw material for mineral water production for an international market. We drink more and more bottled water, some of it imported. The quality and location of Norwegian water deposits can be utilised in a creative and competitive industrial development in a market that is growing. Within areas such as land-use management, climate policy, pollution, environmentally orientated healthcare and waste and recycling, NGU can contribute knowledge as a basis for decision-making that promotes sustainable development. Municipal land-use planning often requires geological area data at detailed scales. At NGU, we will continue digital processing of our analogue material, and adapt this material for use in municipal planning. STRATEGIC PLAN PAGE 7

8 Cost-effective development aid Institutional development, provision of drinking water, environmental mapping and mineral resources in: Ethiopia Eritrea South Africa Russia/Eastern Europe Geoscientific expertise is essential for securing water supplies that contribute to improved public health in the Third World. Good public institutions are important for progress in developing countries seen in Bangladesh. The water balance must be monitored, and the chemical and bacteriological content of the water must be checked. Here, NGU will contribute both advice and practical assistance. During the past decade, NGU has helped several nations to establish and develop geoscientific institutions. Valuable experience has been gained through large projects in Lithuania, Ethiopia and Eritrea. External assessments give us good references for an activity that should be continued. An important requirement for growth and progress in the developing countries is a strengthening of the countries own institutions for resource management and geoscientific knowledge. The development of the mineral industry requires good institutions, which can give the authorities advice on the handling of licences and environmental initiatives. NGU s activity in the Third World must have broad financing through e.g. NORAD, the Nordic Development Fund and the World Bank. Strategic alliances must also be developed with Norwegian consultancy companies that are operating on the international market. This work has already started. NGU collaborates with sister institutions internationally, partly to utilise the available capacity in aid projects in a more efficient manner. As host for the Permanent Secretariat of the International Union of Geological Sciences, NGU has a good basis for development of networks and collaboration with geoscientific institutions and operations throughout the world. Pure water is one of the most important requirements for improving public health in the Third World. Groundwater is the most important source of pure water in most developing areas of the world. Geological expertise contributes to a more secure water supply, and prevents the drilling of wells in areas in which natural heavy metals pollute the drinking water with catastrophic consequences, as PAGE 8 STRATEGIC PLAN

9 Collaboration and networking Renewal in the public sector requires that public authorities collaborate with the aim of delivering better products and services to society NGU s role in society shall be strengthened through committed collaboration with companies, organisations and public authorities at all levels of society Network development is an important source of new and supplementary expertise Nature is not subdivided into departmental sectors. Society s way of organising the management of the environment has, over many decades, led to a sector approach with poor inter-sector communication. NGU has, to a large extent, been solely associated with the mining industry, despite the fact that geological knowledge can benefit environmental mapping and management, urban environmental management and health, water supply, transport, construction, etc. NGU s scientists know that geological knowledge is currently not being fully utilised. We must take responsibility for contributing to ensuring that society actively utilises this knowledge. During the next strategy period, NGU will therefore contribute to the renewal of the public sector by striving for a stronger collaboration with other management bodies and institutions. The aim is to utilise scientific and administrative synergy effects, thereby improving the utilisation of society s resources in the production of public benefits and services. IT and the Internet will contribute to better co-ordination. The establishment of a national geographic infrastructure and AREALIS, an integrated land-use information system for local authorities will simplify access to information on land-use and the environment. This access to information should be based on the principle of free access to public information, to provide the foundation for industrial development and effective public services and management. Examples of synergy-creating collaboration include the creation of a database for Norwegian marine areas (MAREANO), where NGU has taken the initiative in collaboration with the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research, Norwegian Hydrographic Service, the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority and the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate. MAREANO has the potential to become a foundation for the sustainable and innovative development of fisheries, aquaculture and environmental and resource management at sea. During the strategy period, NGU will strengthen the relationships with the governmental bodies for environmental management and contribute knowledge and methods in the documentation of environmental conditions in rural and urban areas. NGU has already established collaboration agreements with Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate, Norwegian Institute of Land Inventory (NIJOS), the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, Directorate of Mining and the Norwegian Mapping Authority. We will strengthen the development of alliances and deepen this collaboration, including that within the Polar Environmental Centre in Tromsø. For many years, NGU has encouraged recruitment, collaboration and scientific exchange with the universities through the awarding of so-called network funds for specific projects. This arrangement is cost-effective and of benefit to both parties and will therefore be continued over the coming years. Trondheim is a national centre for research into and the management of mineral resources. Mineral city Trondheim is an initiative to encourage national and international companies, particularly within industrial and ore minerals, construction stone and aggregate, to establish R&D departments in Trondheim. This will strengthen the scientific community and encourage innovation and industrial development. NGU will actively participate in European collaboration with other geological institutes in Europe. Through EuroGeoSurveys (EGS), NGU is participating in a series of international projects within areas such as climate research, sequestriation of CO 2, geological resources, environmental mapping and database development. EGS is an important channel for influencing the framework of the geo-disciplines within Europe and the EU s utilisation of geological knowledge in its decision-making processes. Synergies through collaboration National infrastructure for geo-information European collaboration and influence Mineral city Trondheim Photo: Audun Solli STRATEGIC PLAN PAGE 9

10 NGU Digital Geodata as a collective good Systematic development of databases Mediation via the internet The national broadband network of the future opens up the possibility of the complete digitalised distribution of data and information before the end of the strategy period There will be an increasing demand for digital, user-friendly products from industry and all levels of the public sector A digital platform will provide the foundation for collaboration between sectors and management levels NGU s ability to meet the needs of society for geoscientific knowledge will depend on effective methods for the collection, processing, management and distribution of geodata. Information which appears to be of little use at a particular point in time may be of fundamental importance for valuecreation and environmental and landuse management at a later date. The management of data therefore takes place on the basis of both a short-term and a longterm perspective. NGU now manages over 140 years of data and knowledge on the structure, condition and properties of the earth s crust. In the future, users will expect this information to be available in a digital, userfriendly form. The Internet is now established as the arena of the future for the exchange and distribution of information. Broadband technology will strengthen this function further. On the basis of national and international standards, NGU will therefore establish an entrance portal for information and knowledge on geological relationships. NGU has long distributed geoscientific information and knowledge via the Internet. The national databases for gravel and aggregate have become important tools for manufacturers, contractors and land-use planners. Collaboration has also been established with the well-drilling industry so that these groups can enter data directly into NGU s borehole archive via the Internet. NGU will now give first priority to developing a forward-looking, network-based platform for distributing geoscientific information and knowledge to a broad spectrum of user groups. The initiative, which we call NGU Digital, has two angles of approach: The further development of internal routines for the collection, processing, quality assurance, maintenance and storage of geoscientific data in a digital form. The development of an internet-based interface for the user-orientated provision and distribution of geoscientific information based on national and international standards. User access to NGU s data will take place within an interface that is based on the users needs. This will require NGU to place an emphasis on drawing relevant user groups into the design of the interface. NGU is collaborating with the well-drilling industry, Statskog (the State Forest Company) and others concerning the development, operation and maintenance of geoscientific databases. This can strengthen NGU s data and deepen collaboration. Experience in this area can provide the basis for corresponding collaborative solutions with respect to other private and public sector bodies. NGU Digital is organised as a separate, comprehensive programme area. During the strategy period, focus will be placed on establishing complete, seamless digital map series for bedrock and surficial deposits at a scale of 1: and a number of central databases for mineral resources, landslides, geochemistry, geothermal energy, etc. The conversion of analogue data, reports, etc. and the further development of the various digital archives for the storage of scientific data will also be prioritised. PAGE 10 STRATEGIC PLAN

11 Scientific skills and quality control NGU shall have a high level of geoscientific expertise and offer products which are adapted to the needs of society and our clients NGU shall be a learning and adaptable organisation with a continual focus on the improvement of work processes NGU shall concentrate its activity on its geoscientific core activities, whilst developing itself within new areas of activity where society has an increasing need for geoscientific expertise. NGU shall continue work to develop an effective organisation in which the needs of society and clients for geoscientific expertise are met in the best possible way. NGU must therefore have scientific expertise that helps to ensure that the strategic objectives are achieved. New demands require considerable development of expertise and flexibility in all links in the organisation. As a learning organisation, NGU shall focus on continual process improvement in all areas of its activity. Together with an increased use of IT-based support functions, the NGU Digital initiative will require considerable efforts to increase the level of IT expertise within the organisation. NGU shall contribute to the exchange of expertise between geoscientific research, industry and public management bodies. NGU shall actively collaborate with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and the other universities in Norway as regards recruitment, partly through doctorate and fellowship schemes and partly through recruiting students as fieldworkers to increase interest in vocational geoscientific training. Despite these efforts, we anticipate a continued need for recruiting professionals abroad. NGU shall ensure that all its employees can develop their professional skills and have challenging tasks. NGU shall establish a system for planned long-term development of expertise and will have a personnel policy that ensures highly qualified employees. Over the past decade, NGU has had a marked increase in the proportion of female research scientists. There has been no corresponding increase at a managerial level yet. We will therefore actively strive to ensure that women apply for and take on managerial positions. NGU shall work to increase user benefits, improve quality and increase productivity. Quality assurance has been completed for most laboratory services and for some parts of the accounting and finance functions. NGU will actively work to implement total quality management as a working tool throughout the organisation. During the plan period, we will place a particular focus on: Quality assurance of fieldwork, data collection, processing and storage of geological/geophysical material and data Quality assurance of activity linked to NGU Digital Quality assurance of routines for the accounting and finance functions, personnel and management of NGU buildings Quality assurance of NGU s information activity and marketing, IT services and GIS activity Further development of an organisational culture that promotes good collaboration, learning and innovation. Enhanced IT expertise Inter-disciplinary collaboration Quality throughout the value chain STRATEGIC PLAN PAGE 11

12 NGU N-7491 Trondheim Norway Visit address: Leiv Eirikssons vei 39 Telephone: Telefax:

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