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Tertiary and quaternary geology of the Belgian Continental Shelf

Publication Date
  • Belgium
  • Continental Shelves
  • Geographic
  • Geology
  • Quaternary
  • Sedimentation
  • Sediments
  • Tertiary
  • Ane
  • Belgium
  • Ane
  • Belgium
  • Belgian Continental Shelf (Bcs)
  • Ane
  • North Sea
  • Archaeology
  • Earth Science
  • Ecology
  • Geography
  • Mathematics
  • Political Science


A synthesis of the geology of the Belgian continental shelf is here presented. The main part of this document is dedicated to the review of the lithostratigraphy, geotechnical properties, geometry and distribution of the Tertiary and Quaternary deposits. The data compilation, review and assessment have been conducted from the numerous existing studies and large data sets, available offshore, but also onland when offshore data were scarce or lacking. Three main projects have enabled to collect the offshore data: (1) the project “Seismic stratigraphy, Southern Bight, North Sea” (RCMG, City of London Polytechnic/NERC, University of Caen/CNRS); (2) the project “Seismisch onderzoek op het Belgisch Continentaal Plat. Eerste faze. Ontginningszone 2” (MEZ/Administratie van het Mijnwezen, RCMG); (3) the project “Studie oppervlaktelaag van het Belgisch Continentaal Plat. Seismisch prospectie sector B” MEZ/Belgian Geological Survey-BGD, RCMG). Data consist mainly of seismic profiles (16,000 km), cores (79) and cone penetration tests (CPTs, 177). All the data have been digitised and integrated in appropriate georeferenced softwares. Synthetic integrated maps and tables have been produced, aimed to provide the end-users with clear and directly usable information. This synthesis has been conducted in the framework of the project “Optimal Offshore Wind Energy Developments in Belgium”, financed by the Belgian federal government (Federal Office for Scientific, Technical and Cultural Affairs). This project is in keeping with the part I project network “Production patterns and sustainable consumption” of the PADD II program. Objectives of this project consisted in providing recommendations for the selection of sites that are convenient with respect to the stability of offshore wind structures and the minimisation of geo-environmental impacts.

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