Geological map

The Geological map of the Kingdom of the Netherlands shows the geological deposits of the upper meters of the subsurface. The map covers the Netherlands, the Dutch Continental Shelf, and the Caribbean part of the Kingdom. Map units represent (combinations of) formations (Fm), members (Mb) and beds. In the coastal region, stacks of Holocene deposits have been mapped as profile types. Profile type units can be recognised by the use of lowercase lettering in their codes.

The map units of the Caribbean part of the Kingdom are defined based on common or similar combinations of lithology and genesis (igneous rocks, volcanic rocks, volcano-sedimentary deposits, and sedimentary deposits). For Aruba, Curaçao, and Bonaire, commonly used stratigraphic classifications have been applied at formation (Fm) or group level (Grp), for Saint Martin at series or system level, and for Saint Eustatius and Saba at deposition level.

Coversand (BX4: Boxtel Fm, Wierden Mb) and loess (BX5: Boxtel Fm, Schimmert Mb) are only shown if more than 2 m thick. The ubiquitous layer of actively transported open-marine sand (SB2: Bligh Bank Mb) is only shown if more than 7 m thick. Anthropogenic deposits are not shown on the map.

Besides near-surface deposits and rocks, a selection of fault lines and lines showing the maximum ice extent during previous glacial periods are also depicted on the map. Fault lines are only shown where clearly influencing current topography and/or delineating map units. Lines showing the maximum extent of the Weichselian (last ice age) and Saalian (second-to-last ice age) ice masses help to understand spatial relations between various map units.

Source data

The geological map is based on a multitude of published data, supplemented by recent information and new insights. For the onshore area, geological maps on a 1/50,000 scale (ca 1950-1997) and the 3D-subsurface models DGM and GeoTOP (1997-now) are the main source of information. Apart from that, the digital dataset on the Rhine-Meuse delta by Utrecht University, as well as various other data sources, have been used.

For the offshore area the main source of information is formed by the systematic mapping of the North Sea on a 1/250,000 scale (parts of the near coastal zone on a 1/100,000 scale) that was conducted between the end of the 1970s and 2003. This information has been supplemented by more recent research.

The individual borehole descriptions and cone penetration test results that form the base of the maps mentioned before are largely available through DINOloket.

The map of the Caribbean part of the Kingdom was compiled using the most recent existing geological maps of the area, which have been harmonized and generalized  for the geological overview map.

Map application and reliability

The geological map is an overview map to be used on a national to regional scale. The actual mapping scale is 1/600,000. As such, the map provides a first insight into the shallow geology. For subsurface-related questions that require information on larger scales (subregional or local) and/or deeper below the surface, the user is referred to the information in the 3D subsurface models DGM and GeoTOP.

Due to the relatively small size of the Caribbean islands, the choice was made to show them in more detail. The mapping scale for Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao is 1:400,000, while the mapping scale for Saba, Saint Eustatius, and Saint Martin is 1:300,000.

Current and earlier versions

This map is the successor of the General Geological Map of the Netherlands on a 1/600,000 scale (Zagwijn & Van Staalduinen, 1975), as well as more recent, modified versions of this map (Weerts et al., 2004; Schokker, 2010) that were made available online.

A PDF document (24 Mb) of the new Geological Map of the Kingdom of the Netherlands can be downloaded. The interactive digital version of the map can be found under subsurface models on DINOloket. There, you can also download the GIS files and a higher-resolution PDF document (124 Mb) of the map.

The PDF is of early 2023 and is currently the most up-to-date version of the map. The GIS files will be updated in the coming years and will always be the most up-to-date version from then on. The most current version can be identified by the year in the file name.

The Caribbean part of the Kingdom is not displayed interactively on DINOloket, but its GIS files can be downloaded.


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Schokker, J. (2010) Geologische overzichtskaart van Nederland. Utrecht: TNO Bouw en Ondergrond.

Weerts, H.J.T., Schokker, J., Rijsdijk, K.F. & Laban, C. (2004) Geologische overzichtskaart van Nederland. Utrecht: Nederlands Instituut voor Toegepaste Geowetenschappen TNO.

Zagwijn, W.H. & Van Staalduinen, C.J. (1975) Geologische overzichtskaarten van Nederland: kaarten, profielen, toelichting. Haarlem: Rijks Geologische Dienst.

RGD (1996) Geological map of Aruba. Haarlem: Rijks Geologische Dienst.

De Buisonjé, P.H. (1974) Neogene and Quarternary Geology of Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire. Utrecht: Natuurwetenschappelijke studiekring voor Suriname en de Nederlandse Antillen.

Roobol, M.J., Smith, A.L. (2004) Volcanology of Saba and st.Eustatius. Amsterdam: Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen.

Dagain, J., Westercamp D., Garrabé F. (1989) Carte Géologique des Antilles Francaises - Département de la Guadeloupe - St-Martin. Orléans, Frankrijk: Bureau de recherches géologiques et minieres.