Home Articles Geo-information work at China Geological Survey

Geo-information work at China Geological Survey

Full PaperPDFZhang Minghua, Qiherige
China Geological Survey
45 Fuchengmen Wai Street, Beijing, 100037, China
Tel:86-10-68999879, 51632853
Fax: 86-10-68999884
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

1. Introduction
China Geological Survey (CGS) has become national largest geoscience agency since its reconstruction in 1999 who takes the duty of the country’s basic, public and strategic geological investigation and mineral exploration over the whole territory, and geoscientific research and international cooperation. Accordingly, geoinformation work were carried out on the purposes of, (1) to raise informationalization level in main procedure of geological survey, including field data acquisition, data processing and database management, mineral assessment and information dissemination, (2) to further strengthen fundamental geological databases construction in the environment of geographic information system, (3) to push forward standardization works on metadata and geological data model for information exchange within the survey and for information dissemination to the public.

Development Research Center of CGS and six regional centers are the main work forces for database development, updating and maintenance, computer network construction. CGS also establishes tight working relations with the provincial geological surveys and industry agencies through the projects contract and professional direction to maintain a strong national force of geological survey.

2. Geoinformation Work Frame
China Geological Survey (CGS) has continually carried out digital land and resource project (DLRP) since 1999 for the informationalization in the survey, which including two main parts, national geo-scientific databases development and digital informationalization of main work procedure in geological survey. Each part consists of roughly 6 main projects, and each of them was then divided into several sub-projects. Some projects on field mapping data acquisition, geoinformation strategy and data service are newly setup since 2003. Project frame of CGS geoinformation is thus described in three parts as in table 1.

Table 1. CGS main projects and sub-projects carried out under the DLRP project


3. Achievements in the development of national geo-scientific databases

3.1 Geological map databases
Apart from main project in CGS and that for provincial work procedures, geological map compilation and database construction have been put into a key position. In the year 1999, China has finished 1:5,000,000 scale geological map database and released freely to the public. In the scale of 1:500,000, China spatial geological map database was completed and also released to the public in 2000. In 2002, 1:200,000 digital geological map database which contains 1163 quadrangles or sheets has been completed. 1:200,000 hydro-geological maps and 1:50,000 hydrological, engineering, environment and geological maps of provincial cities and eastern metropolis and economic zones have also been completed in 2003. Also in 2003, 1:2,500,000 scale geological map database is developed and to be released in 2004. This year, a newly developed spatial geological map database, 1:250,000 scale in the way of integration with ongoing digital field mapping PDA data is on the way. Also, 1:50,000 geological map database development is continued and geared to focus on main mineralization zones following national exploration plan of the survey, which is mainly of digitization to the previous maps. Newly carrying out 1:50,000 and 1:250,000 field geological mapping data are collected in digital format. China national chronicle geological work database will be completed also in 2004, which involved 40 geological survey teams and organizations in the work of materials collection, filling out data attribution cards and database development.

3.2 Geological thematic database
1:200,000 nature heavy mineral database has completed in 2003, which contain roughly 2 million sampling sites. National isotopic element dating database, containing 15300 sampling sites, is also finished in 2003. The work of rock property database, which contains too much work of both in data checking and original achieve cards retrieving is going to be summarized this year.

The construction of “national solid mineral deposits and its distribution database” was carried out under CGS by different geology bureaus and centers form different industries around China with the coverage of metal, coal, building materials, chemical industry and radioactive. This database is completed and had been put into use in the survey in 2003.It is being updated this year.

China continental scientific drilling (CSD) data has also been achieved each year.

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3.3 Geophysical and geochemical databases
In the field of geological investigation and exploration, a series of databases have been completely developed and some of them are being updated each year. And most databases of this kind are integrated with its data processing system, such as regional gravity database in 2000, geophysical Borehole database in 2001, and aeromagnetic database at 1:1,000,000 scale in 2002. Aero-electromagnetic database is completed in 2001, which contains former survey data all around the country. Data collection of regional geochemical database will soon be completed. Stream sediment data were come form different 31 provinces around China. Multi-purpose geochemical data are also planned to collected into database, which were collected over the past three years both at regional agriculture strategy, environment study and city plan.

Table 2. Data format and database released by CGS

No. Databese Name Software based Status
1 1:500,000 digital geological map spatial database MapGIS Available
2 1:200,000 digital geological map spatial database ArcInfo, MapGIS Partly available
3 1:2,500,000 digital geological map spatial database MapGIS Available
4 1:5,000,000 digital geological map spatial database MapGIS Available
5 1:250,000 digital geological map spatial database ArcInfo, MapGIS On going
6 1:50,000 digital geological map spatial database ArcInfo,MapGIS On going
7 1:6,000,000 digital hydrogeological map spatial database MapGIS Available
8 1:5,000,000 national geochemical anormaly ArcInfo, MapGIS AvailablePartly available
9 1:5,000,000 national gravity anormaly MapGIS Available
10 1:5,000,000 national aeromagnetic anormaly MapGIS Available
11 1:200,000 digital hydrogeological map ArcInfo, MapGIS On goingPartly available
12 Geophysical parameters of rocks ArcView Partly available
13 1:200,000 heavy mineral database MapGIS Partly available
14 1:50000 digital hydrogeological, engineering geological and geo-environmental maps MapGIS Partly available
15 1:500,000 digital geo-environmental maps MapGIS On going
16 National solid mineral deposits and its distribution ArcInfo,MapGIS Available
17 Dynamic monitor of groundwater MapGIS Partly available
18 1:50,000 hydrology, engineering, environment and geology of key cities and economic areas ArcInfo,MapGIS Partly available
19 Rock property and distribution ArcInfo,MapGIS On going
20 National solid mineral drill core Partly available
21 Geophysical Logging ArcView Partly available
22 National isotopic dating of rocks MS Access On going
23 China Litho-stratigraphy/strata ASCII Available
24 Aero-magnetics data Geosoft, Partly available
25 Regional gravity MapInfo, MS Access Partly available
26 Regional geochemistry (stream sediments) OpenInfo, SQL server Partly available
27 Aero-electromagnetic SQL server Available
28 Aero-radioactive SQL server On going
29 Remote sensing PCI, Erdas Available
30 Marine geology and mineral resources ArcInfo, Oracle On going
31 Geological Trans section ArcInfo On going
32 Digital geological reports and bulletins MS Wordand image Available
33 Catalog of geological achieves MS Wordand image Available
34 Catalog of national geological library Available
35 National geological relics On going
36 National geological hazards ArcInfo,MapGIS On going
37 National geothermal and mineral water MS Access On going

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Spatial data in these databases are stored in multi-formats due to different managing software used, mainly in ArcInfo, ArcView( Coverage or Shape ), MapGIS(a Chinese domestic GIS package,Wt, WP and Wl), and MapInfo(Tab and Mif). Most of the database system are based on MS SQL server, some on MS Access based, a few on Oracle.

3.4 Systematic management and maintenance of CGS geological databases
Update and maintenance of all the developed databases have been done in time each year. The database of national solid mineral deposits and its distribution, for instance, has been keyed in more than 2000 metal, nonmetal, coal etc. mineral deposits that were discovered in 2002. Aeromagnetic database has updated to cover Tibet in 2003. Regional gravity data is covering Tibet and western areas within two years.

Geological map databases at the scale of less than 1:250,000 will be updated every three or four years not only new data added, but data format and managing system software. 1;500,000 Geological map database is been updating this year for data format and managing system so as to catch up with the GIS users.

Software on the purpose of data utilization is also developed ever since the beginning of database development. ArcView GIS based aero-electromagnetic survey database (GEMD1.0) and geophysical logging database system(GLDB 1.0) had been developed in 2001. GIS system for geophysical, geochemical remote sensing data processing (PCR/GIS 1.0) has been put into use. Regional geochemistry database information system (GeoMDIS2003) is now running at almost all the provinces over the country. No-seismic geophysical interpretation system(GME/GIS) and gravity data coordination and processing system(RGIS 2.0) are tested and meet with users this year. Figure 1 and figure 2 shows examples of PCR/GIS 1.0 and RGIS 2.0.


Fig.1 User interface of PCR/GIS 1.0.
Geochemical element data table and data analysis manus are shown.


Fig 2. Main user interface of RGIS version 2.0. Pull down manuals from left to right are File, Edit, Object Edit, Quary,Table,DataCoordination,DataProcessing,Map, View and Window in turn.
A system work team for these database updating maintenance is also being development both staff and technical procedures within CGS projects.

4. Achievements in geoinformation work procedures

4.1 Standards for CGS digital informationalization
The standards of CGS informationalization include fundamental standards, database standards and specifications of software system development. Database standards and specifications of software system development are technical standards and can be directly adopted in project work. Database standards are the guarantee of data exchange and sharing, which are used to determine contents of database, management modes, data formats of storage and data exchange.Technical standards are used to instruct systematic design, including data collection, system running and system maintain. To support the database development and informationization in CGS, a series of standard are issued since 1999, include data collection, storage, processing, integration, expression and management. For spatial databases, CGS adopts uniform national geographic space reference coordinates system. Planar control system adopts 1980’s national ground coordinates system; elevation control system adopts 1985’s national elevation benchmark.

Some 30 standards are issued and some of them are already released and put into use since 1999, mainly for database development and digital geological map production. The following table 3 shows these standards in brief.

Table 3. CGS standards for informationalization up to 2003

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4.2 Field data collection system toolkit of geological investigation
Digital geological mapping PDA toolkit (PRB) is now widely used now in the field mapping projects. The second generation of field data collection system equipment was developed in 2002 and tested in the field in 2003. This PDA CE platform based toolkit is integrated with GPS and fundamental GIS functions for digital mapping. To replace traditional field notebook, this system can be used in field for digital geological mapping, and transfer data directly to a workstation database after daily fieldwork.

4.3 Achieves and drilling specimen database of geological survey
Tens of thousands of reports and bulletins on geological survey and scientific research were handed in and collected in CGS. About 50 thousands kinds of catalog and abstract were compiled and keyed in database. The Development Research Center in charges of professional training of software use and digital archive management to the staff working in the six region center, provincial geological surveys, colleges and industry agencies. The catalog and abstract database is now being updated in most of these organizations.

5. Information dissemination of CGS

5.1 information dissemination
CGS has provided the public with fresh and fruitful geoinformation products to the public, including digital geological map, geophysical data, digital geological achieves, etc.

China Litho-stratigraphy database was completed in 1996. This unique database contains about 80,380 files of different rock type and stratum. The most authoritative national stratigraphy database had been available since 2000 on the website of CGS. 1:500,000 geological map database for example, more than 500 copies both in Chinese and English version have been sent freely to Chinese government and geoscientist since 2000. It is the first digital version of geological map that covers the whole nation. 1:5,000,000 geological map database also sent freely to Earth scientists in China. And, 1:2,500,000 geological map database will also release to the public this year. Regional gravity database, geochemical database and 1:200,000 geological database have also been utilized by more than 100 projects ever since their development work had started within and outside the survey and for mineral resource potential assessment, fundamental geological researches, and other purposes, such as agricultural planning and environment investigation. Development of digital geological maps at scale of, 1:250,000 and 1:50,000 are continued and served the work plan of CGS each year.

Library of digital geological reports and bulletins was developed and put into used in the autumn of 2002. Catalog of geological achieves can be retrieved on the website since the end of 2002. Catalog of national geological library are quite familiar to many readers both domestic and overseas.

5.2 Metadata
In order to support the dissemination of these geo-databases and other achievements made by geological survey, CGS has launched several projects on metadata in reference to that of national metadata information, and some international information. Some metadata, however, were issued by the staff who working on a database development individually in the past due to the shortage of metadata standard.

The metadata work now is being adjusted and standard is being strengthened in CGS to follow the information center of The ministry of land and resources, and that of national spatial information infrastructure. A metadata database architecture and managing system is now being studied, which will become a part of national architecture of clearinghouse for geological information management, application, sharing and exchange.

Core-metadata in CGS today is following the standard of CCOP. An example is shown in table 4, which can also be found at . A standard for detail metadata is being drafted this year.

Table 4 Core-matadata of 1:1,000,000 Regional Gravity Database in CGS


Metadata of eight databases of CGS are released at Internet Website last year. The released and will soon be released metadata are listed in table 5 below.

Table 5 Metadata release by CGS in 2003


5.3 Databases released to the public
Geological archives are utilized daily by users from different organizations all over the country, especially those who are carrying out a project form CGS. The same time, CGS database services have also been provided to all users in the country. In 2003, thousands of 1:500,000, 1:200,000 digital geological map dataset, have been provided. Other databases, e.g. 1:5,000,000 series digital geological maps, include regional geological maps, regional mineral resource maps and hydrogeological maps etc., regional gravity database, etc., have been provided more than six thousands datasets to the public within China.

6. Geoinformation work of CGS in the near future
So far, more than 30 country wide fundamental geo-databases are developed. Most of them are released within the survey and to the public. There is still a gap, however, exist between the database and the public, due to both data utilization policy and data exchange standards are not yet properly issued in detail. Geo-database development, maintenance, especially database management and issues of metadata and data exchange model are thus become now very important and crucial. It is the key work on the agenda of geo-information work of the CGS. The most important three tasks for 2004 are systematic and standardized database maintenance, field investigation data collection toolkits development and geoinformation standards issue and release. Data dissemination policy is also critical to geoinformation work in CGS.