European Plate Observing System: Preparatory Phase

EPOS-N - European Plate Observing System – Norway
Responsible for the Norwegian representation in the EPOS Consortium: 
Department of Earth Science, University of Bergen

EPOS National Contact: Prof. Kuvvet Atakan


•    2010-2014: Preparatory phase
•    2015-2019: Implementation phase
•    2020-2024: Operational phase

European Plate Observing System (EPOS) – (https://www.epos-ip.org/) is a planned research infrastructure for European solid Earth science, integrating existing research infrastructures to enable innovative multidisciplinary research. EPOS has been included in the Roadmap of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) since December 2008, and since 2015 it has been prioritized for its implementation.The goal of EPOS is to offer tools and data to promote and facilitate innovative approaches for a better understanding of the physical processes controlling earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, unrest episodes, and tsunamis, as well as those driving tectonics and Earth surface dynamics. Norwegian partners:

European Earth scientists have played a major role in the study of plate tectonics during the past 50 years making great advances, opening new horizons and creating a framework to explain the first order plate dynamics and to model deformation processes. European research and monitoring infrastructures have also gathered, largely on national scales, a vast amount of geological and geophysical data. These have been used by research networks to improve our models describing the active deformation processes that generate earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides and tsunamis. Since the 1970s and the 80s there have been European scale initiatives to integrate the existing national research infrastructures in solid earth science to facilitate the exchange of data, information, modelling and monitoring tools, such as the establishment of data centres like Observatories and Research for European Seismology (ORFEUS) and European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC). EPOS is timely in integrating these mature initiatives into a single infrastructure enabling earth scientists across Europe to combine, model and interpret multidisciplinary datasets at different scales. The concepts embodied in EPOS are vital to maintain European scientific competitiveness on the international stage.

Integrating multidisciplinary infrastructures is a key challenge for solid Earth Science. In this sense, integration of existing research infrastructures within the fields of seismology, geodesy, geophysics, geology, rock physics, volcanology at a pan-European level is one of the primary objectives of EPOS. Identifying existing gaps and developing pilot projects to promote a modern implementation of research infrastructures (RIs) is essential. The development of the monitoring infrastructures coordinated within the EPOS's pan-European integrated vision will provide the basis of an e-infrastructure that will benefit the Earth Science community with significant impacts to the society in the understanding of natural disasters. In addition, long-term sustainability of research infrastructures at national level needs to be established, guaranteeing maintenance and the minimum required implementation level.