This website has been developed and is being maintained on behalf of ESFRI by the StR-ESFRI project which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement n° 654213
A long-term plan for the integration of national and transnational research infrastructures for solid Earth science
The European Plate Observing System (EPOS) aims to create a pan-European infrastructure to monitor and unravel the dynamic and complex solid Earth system by integrating the diverse and advanced Research Infrastructures for solid Earth science relying on new e-science opportunities. EPOS will enable innovative multidisciplinary research for a better understanding of the Earth’s physical and chemical processes that control earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, ground instability and tsunamis as well as the processes driving tectonics and Earth’s surface dynamics. Through integration of data, models and facilities, EPOS will allow the Earth science community to make a step change in developing new concepts and tools for key answers to scientific and socio-economic questions concerning geo-hazards and geo-resources for a safe and sustainable society.
EPOS is currently in the Implementation Phase. The establishment of the European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) is foreseen in 2018.
Solid Earth science is concerned with the internal structure and dynamics of planet Earth, from the inner core to the surface; it deals with physical and chemical processes covering wide temporal and spatial scales, from microseconds to billions of years and from nanometres to thousands of kilometres. Geology, natural hazards, natural resources and, in general, environmental processes do not respect national boundaries, therefore seamless, transnational integration of measurements and data is often vital for optimal research and related activities. Integration of data and services from different disciplines in Earth science is an essential step to unravel and monitor these processes with the final goal of forecasting their impact on the environment. Indeed, the solid Earth science community has chosen to establish an all-encompassing framework including all the different solid Earth disciplines: seismology, near-fault observatories, geodetic data and products, volcanic observations, satellite data and products, geomagnetic observations, anthropogenic hazards, geological information and modelling, multi-scale laboratories and geo-energy test-beds for low-carbon energy.
EPOS is developing such a holistic, sustainable, multidisciplinary research platform to provide coordinated access to harmonized and quality controlled data from diverse Earth science disciplines, together with tools for their use in analysis and modelling. EPOS brings together 25 European nations and combines national Earth science facilities, the associated data and models, together with the scientific expertise into one integrated delivery system for the solid Earth. This infrastructure will allow the Earth sciences to achieve a step change in our understanding of the planet; it will enable us to prepare for geo-hazards and to responsibly manage the subsurface for infrastructure development, waste storage and the use of Earth’s resources.
The data and services made available by EPOS are of interest to academy, industry and society. Understanding how the Earth works as a system is critically important to modern society. Society requires resources to support home life, industry and business and it needs security in the face of natural hazards. Volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, floods, landslides and tsunamis are all Earth phenomena impacting on society. Solid Earth science by bringing together many diverse disciplines such as geology, seismology, geodesy, volcanology, geomagnetism as well as chemistry and physics, is the place where to find answers on how to maintain the Earth a safe, prosperous, and habitable planet. Combining a sound physical understanding of natural hazards with the means to monitor and forecast their occurrence will mitigate their effects increasing public awareness of natural risks.
Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica
e Vulcanologia - INGV