On 7 November 2018, the European Plate Observing System (Epos), which aims to share and decompartmentalise all types of data and services concerning the study of the planet Earth, was officialy launched. A majority of Résif-Epos’ Specific Actions are involved in this initiative, which should help to better understand the dynamics of the earth, the mechanisms that cause earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Built according to open science standards, the Epos infrastructure has just acquired a legal entity under European law by becoming an Eric (European Research Infrastructure Consortium). The founding members of Epos, based in Rome, are Belgium, Denmark, France (represented by the Ministry Superior Education, Research and Innovation). Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia and the United Kingdom, joined by three observer members, Greece, Iceland and Switzerland. The consortium is expected to expand in the future to about 30 members. The first services should be operational by the end of 2019.

By their very nature, geological and geophysical phenomena transcend national boundaries. In addition, the data they generate are diverse and heterogeneous across our planet. Epos’ ambition is to provide, in an open way, a single portal for access to all types of data, which offers calculation tools for cross-referencing and products and services derived from these analyses. In this way, researchers from various scientific communities will be able to easily capture data that they are not used to manipulating. Epos, dedicated primarily to all scientists interested in the dynamics of the Earth, will be a source of services for our societies. By intergrating data and observations produced by national research infrastructures in various disciplines, it will male it possible to decompartmentalize knowledge and better understand all the physical and chemical mechanisms at work in the planet Earth, from its nucleus to its surface, which control in particular all associated telluric hazards (earthquakes, eruptions, etc.).

The data and services offered by Epos will cover seismology, observation of faults and volcanoes, ground deformation, measured via satellite positioning of ground stations and satellite imagery, spatial and temporal variations in the Earth’s magnetic field, telluric risks induced by human activities, geological information (e. g. from drilling), laboratory data and test platforms for geothermics and CO2 storage. The implementation project, Epos-IP, has 47 partners from 25 European countries. It is funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 program. More than 20 research organisations and higher education institutions in France will contribute to Epos by providing data or services.

France is involved in almost all Epos Working Packages :

  •  WP04 – Legal Governance ;
  • WP08 – Seismology ;
  • WP09 – Near-Fault Observatories ;
  • WP10 – GNSS Data & Products ;
  • WP11 – Volcano Observations ;
  • WP12 – Satellite Data ;
  • WP13 – Geomagnectic Observations ;
  • WP14 – Anthropogenic Hazards ;
  • WP15 – Geological information and modelling ;
  • WP16 – Multi-scale laboratories.

Résif-Epos plays the role of coordinator between a large part of the French contributions to Epos. The services provided by Résif as part of Epos contribute in particular to the visibility of Résif-Epos at the international level. Résif in particular plays a fundamental role in WP08 Seismology (operational management of the Résif data centre) ; participation in thn-ink tanks on future data standards ; characterisation of accelerometer stations : construction of SFM data exchange standards ; standards and guidelines for building data integration via .xml station as well as in WP10 GNSS Data & Products (pan-European data interface hosted at the OCA ; one of the two European operational analysis centres developed at the OSUG). BRGM, a member of the Résif Consortium, coordinates WP15 Geological information and modelling, and other institutional members of the Résif Consortium are involved in the other WPs. Form@Ter coordinates the French contribution in WP12 Satellite Data.