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Geology and knowledge of the subsurface

Producing geological information for multiple purposes in France and worldwide

Introduction d'entête
BRGM acquires, distributes and updates baseline geological information as it evolves with scientific and technical advances in subsurface investigations. As the French Geological Survey, it conducts this mission for the purpose of optimising the use of subsurface areas and their resources.

The West Face of the Tête de la Cavale (2,697 m). In the foreground can be seen Jurassicsedimentary folding, with discordantly overlying Upper Cretaceous limestone. © BRGM – S. Andrieu


Developing new knowledge of the subsurface and improving our understanding of the Earth System are crucial to managing spatial areas and their resources more sustainably. The challenge is to produce, at multiple scales and at least cost, more diverse and more detailed knowledge that will produce information on more relevant parameters with more precise estimations of uncertainties.

The BRGM develops modern geological databases that cover different types of surface and subsurface uses in France and abroad. This field of activity involves highly technological aspects, especially in geophysics, the aim being to develop tools and methods for investigating subterranean areas from the surface by deducing the structure or properties of geological objects.

The French Geological Reference Platform (RGF) was launched in 2013 to federate the entire geology community in France, under BRGM leadership, around a coherent and exhaustive representation of geoscientific knowledge covering the whole country. The first RGF work programme, completed in 2019 and involving scores of geoscience researchers and engineers, covered the entire Pyrenean range.

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theses confinanced by BRGM
during the RGF, Alps and Paris Basin projects.