Institut Cartogràfic i Geològic de Catalunya (ICGC)

InstitutCartogràficiGeològic de Catalunya (ICGC)

The Cartographic and Geological Institute of Catalonia (ICGC) is the official mapping and geological agency of the autonomous government of Catalonia, within the Catalan Department of Territory and Sustainability. IGCG was founded in 2014 and sum-up the legacies of the former cartographic and geological agencies, both created in 1982.

The ICGC has a staff around 270 people and is a beginning-to-end cartographic and geological institution, comprising:

  • Data acquisition: owning 3 airplanes and 7 sensors, skilled staff in the use of all kind of satellite imagery; geophysical instrumentation and geotechnics equipment.
  • Processing capabilities: geophysics, geological modelling, hydrogeology, geodetics, aerial triangulation, photogrammetry, orthoimage, remote sensing, cartography.
  • Technical support to land and urban planning: applied geology and geophysics, data centre and geological archive.
  • Geological resources analysis: hydrogeology, geo-energies, metallic and non-metallic, and industrial minerals and rocks. Soils – soil characterization and mapping for agriculture and environmental purposes. Geological heritage.
  • Geological hazards assessment and prevention, including mass movements (rock falls, landslides, subsidence, collapses), floods, earthquakes and snow avalanches. ICGC has his own seismic information system and a snow avalanche forecasting service (in collaboration with the meteorological agency of Catalonia, Meteocat).

As a geo-information agency, ICGC is producing in Catalonia topographic products, DTM & DSM, orthoimagery, geological, pedological and geothematic maps and data bases.

One of the main missions of the Cartographic and Geological Institute of Catalonia (ICGC) is to obtain process, store, supply and disseminate geoscientific information on the Catalan territory. The main functions of ICGC related with geology and its related processes are:

  • The elaboration of the geological map of Catalonia in various scales, and carry out mapping software, databases and information systems about soil and subsoil
  • Develop and maintain the seismic network
  • Study and assess the geological risks, including earthquake and snow avalanche risk
  • Develop and promote work, studies and evaluations in the field of geology and its related sciences
  • Advise and provide technical assistance in the field of geology and disciplines related to the Public Administration
  • Supervise under request, land geotechnical studies
  • Develop soil and subsoil studies
  • Establish protocols to be followed in the elaboration of geological, geophysical and geotechnical studies.
  • Facilitate information gathered in the databases.

ICGC and its former agencies have been working on the study of geological hazards since 1982, providing a public service to the Region of Catalonia in the field of geology and geological risks. ICGC has been focusing on the knowledge of the territory, prevention of geologic hazards and risk evaluation, improving and implementing new earth sciences methodologies and services.

ICGC closely collaborates with the Catalan Government Territory and Land Management Institution and the Civil Protection. This collaboration allowed the definition and analysis of the needs on hazard information and risk management from the user point of view, and the location of sites exposed to high geological risk, where monitoring and early warning systems have been implemented in order to manage emergencies.

The main tasks of ICGC within the HEIMDALL project are the development of a terrain movement model and the definition of realistic scenarios using susceptibility maps, based on terrain and soil characteristics (geology, orography, land use, etc.),  terrain movements detected by  satellite DInSAR data as well as triggering factors based on environmental conditions such as meteorology. In addition, ICGC is involved on the acquisition and processing of in-situ and high resolution GB-SAR data, in order to develop more realistic simulations and warning scenarios in hotspot areas with higher susceptibility.