The Geological Survey of Finland is responsible for the geological survey of marine areas

The Geological Survey of Finland (GTK), is an expert organisation under the Ministry for Employment and the Economy. Its mission is to create and maintain internationally advanced scientific knowledge and expertise in the field of geology and to produce innovations for the needs of society and the business world.

The various activities of GTK are focused on the following areas: sustainable mineral economics, geoinformatics, geomaterials and applied mineralogy, mining and industrial environments, hydrogeology, geo-energy and urban geology.

Current activities focus on, among other things, climate change, the oxygen conditions of the Baltic Sea seafloor, clean groundwater resources, and sustainable mining activities.

Marine geological research provides information for planning in marine areas

GTK is responsible for the geological mapping and research of the Finnish marine areas. Scientists evaluate both natural and man-made changes in the sea.

Long-term development and change are essential in marine geological research. Such research activities provide broad support for maritime planning, the sustainable use of seabed resources, seabed construction, and other uses.

The Geological Survey of Finland is a member of FINMARI

The Geological Survey of Finland is a member of the Finnish Marine Research Infrastructure Consortium, i.e. FINMARI. This consortium brings together key Finnish marine research infrastructures and develops equipment to meet the needs of top-level research.

The FINMARI Consortium is coordinated by the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE). Other research bodies involved include the Finnish Meteorological Institute, the Finnish Natural Resources Institute (LUKE), the universities of Helsinki, Turku, and Åbo Akademi, as well as the shipping company Arctia Shipping Oy.

The marine geological research vessel Geomari surveys and researches the seafloor

The marine geological research vessel Geomari is owned by GTK and was co-built by the Finnish Navy. This vessel is equipped for both seabed mapping and the survey of the Finnish marine areas.

The RV Geomari has a state-of-the-art acoustic-seismic sounding system, which includes a multibeam and a side-scan sonar, as well as a sediment profiling sonar. Using different sonar frequencies, this latter device is capable of producing sediment profiles below the surface of the seafloor. Besides, this research vessel is also equipped with the necessary sediment samplers and measuring equipment suitable for investigating sedimentation processes.

  Marine geological research vessel Geomari in the Helsinki archipelago.
Tutkimusalus Geomari

Geological data are widely used

The data and knowledge of the structure, composition, geological processes, as well as changes in the environmental history of seabed strata, are important. For example, this information can be used to direct construction activity to the most appropriate location and to choose the right method to implement the construction, while minimising the costs and environmental risks.

Marine geological datasets can also be used to inform about the natural resources of the seafloor, such as sand and gravel.

Understanding naturally occurring changes in the sea and distinguishing them from human-induced change is essential when modelling future developments and assessing the impact of different measures on the marine environment. For example, seabed sediment records provide valuable insight into how the Baltic Sea has responded to climate change in the past. This will help forecast the impact of ongoing climate change on the Baltic Sea.