The Year of Geology 2016

Utilising geodata in civil engineering saves money

In the report year, the focus of operations in the civil engineering theme was on needs-oriented, jointly funded projects that focused on the rock material and water management needs of communities, as well as the prevention of damage to the water system. The development of geomodel for construction is materialising into projects and new operating models in stages.

GTK strengthens its position as the national manager of geological data streams related to civil engineering, as well as a producer of service solutions and an expert in geological service solutions related to groundwater and disposal locations.

Geological data for the land use planning of growth centres

The implementation of 3D models serving the planning and construction related to civil engineering was started in growth areas, and the national specification and adaptation of the cities’ geomodel to GTK’s centralised data management system was started.

Corporate cooperation in the rock material supply project progressed, as did the CityGeoModel project in Tampere. The CityGeoModel project is related to the utilisation of city models and connects a large group of actors. The development of the geo model concept with the Building control department of the city of Tampere has moved to a pilot stage. The studies of this stage will be completed in spring 2017. The cooperation with SITO on the digitalisation spearhead project will supplement the portfolio beginning in 2017. GTK participates in the SmartBuildingFinland activities related to geomodels.

The land use focus areas of the nationwide soil drilling register were expanded according to plans. Material services related to foundation work (soil drilling information and background concentration information) increase efficiency significantly on the system level. We evaluate that utilising existing geological competence and collected data can bring cost savings of up to tens of millions of euros annually.

GTK promoted the utilisation of geodata in growth centres by providing information about the locations of areas where the bearing capacity of soil is different, as well as geotechnical soil drilling data, and baseline concentration data.

The outlines for the modelling work of Helsinki’s areas with soft soil that is related to foundation work was completed. The clay survey of the Malmi district in Helsinki was conducted as an assignment.

Demand for research data on disposal sites is increasing

We continued research related to safe long-term placement of nuclear power plants and spent nuclear fuel through an international research network and as power company assignments. For spent nuclear fuel, a new business venture is offering the competence related to selecting a disposal site commercially on the international market. The first commercial assignment as a part of a consortium led by Posiva Solution Oy was confirmed at the end of the report year.

The structural surveys of groundwater areas continued

The main focus of the resource use was on the structural surveying of groundwater areas to support water management solutions, on a general survey of acidic sulphate soil that cause harm to waterways and on the development of information services.

The structural surveys of groundwater areas continued in accordance with the water protection policy programme in the areas that were the most useful for utilising the groundwater. The specification of the groundwater sector’s electronic service concept was continued by allowing the linking of GTK’s and the environmental administrator’s data.

Despite the record-breaking number of on-going projects, we did not meet the reporting objectives of structural surveys of groundwater areas. Creating flow models of groundwater became even more important. Direct corporate cooperation in groundwater surveying strengthened. We are preparing export projects related to groundwater to a number of countries.

The POSKI project’s second stage that started Lapland and third stage that ended in Northern Ostrobothnia at the end of the year studied the integration of rock material supply and utilising groundwater resources. The POSKI project, which started in the 1990 as cooperation between the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), GTK, Centres for Economic Development, regional councils, municipalities, and rock material companies, will be completed when the second stage of the project ends in Lapland in 2018.

The general survey of acidic sulphate soils will fall slightly behind from schedule of the water protection policy programme (2015), but 66 percent of the objective was surveyed at the end of 2016. The survey of the whole of Finland will be completed in 2020.

Peat resource accounting was continued according to the objectives

Peat resource accounting and mire natural state classification continued. The focus on resource use was still on surveying peat resources and publishing the results digitally. The results are used widely in national land use planning and the development of multiple use, as well as in planning the use of raw material resources. Over 90 per cent of the peat production areas were originally inventoried by GTK. In the report year, the survey objective of 25,000 hectares set by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment was reached. The peat industry was consulted when deciding the areas for peat resource mapping.

The outlining of Finland’s mires was completed. It will allow completing the national mire natural state classification in 2017. We made significant progress in the investigation of the impact of peat resource exploitation on water systems and published the results of the comparative study of the bottom sediments of lake pairs internationally. GTK added a lot of mire-specific and regional data about industrially utilisable peat reserves, mire natural state classification and limitation related to mire use into the Peat resource accounting service.