Creation and progressive loading of the geological GIS database of the Little Hungarian Plain looks back to 1989. It provides baseline information for a number of important national, as well as international projects ranging from hydrogeological and environmental damage assessment in nature conservation areas (like Szigetköz) to a trilateral geological mapping project between Austria, Hungary and Slovakia (Danreg Project) aimed at the belt along the Danube river. Loading of the GIS database of the Little Hungarian Plain, as well as other basins in Hungary (like the Great Hungarian Plain) became a priority issue in the Geological Institute of Hungary. Following its completion in the next  years it is intended to be a module linked to the Integrated GIS of the Ministry for Environment Protection and Regional Policy of Hungary, an information system and application development realised in co-ordination of the Geological Institute of Hungary.

1. Preliminaries

We had an opportunity to demonstrate the latest results of the digital geological mapping project of the Little Hungarian Plain within the framework of the special computer session organised in The Hague in 1995. It was in fact this mapping project that was processed first in GIS in the Institute and with continuing processing this year we approached the state of a complete, turnkey digital geological GIS database of the NW part of Hungary.

2. Latest results

During the last years we have kept processing 1:100.000 geological maps featuring attributes of geological age, genetic types and lithological composition of the formations. The compilation of applied geological maps representing the hydrogeological, engineering geological, agrogeological and environmental-geological setting also has been continued. On the basis of the results achieved, the Geological Institute of Hungary set an intermediate-term objective of elaborating the fundamental framework of the National Environmental Geological Information System by the year of 2000. It will be based on the 1:100.000 geological map series available in manuscript and partially in printed form. On Figure 1 we specified the region presently under GIS processing that is linked to the functioning system of the Little Hungarian Plain and covering approximately 85% of basin areas in Hungary. The reference system of the map series and the related information system is provided by the widely used Gauss-Krüger projection system. It facilitates us to join easily similar systems of neighbouring countries. Within the framework of a co-operation with Austria and Slovakia between 1991-1996 (DANube REGion project) we have already made the first steps towards producing a uniform international digital map series and GIS. Our GIS tools have also been extended. The digital database has been set up in the Intergraph MGE and related modules but it is also available in Arc/Info format. Considering the work-flow of digital geological map production in the Geological Institute of Hungary, Intergraph MGE product family serves as the basis for processing data in GIS resulting in the creation of linkages between graphic elements and alphanumeric database. Tabular database management proceeds in the Oracle RDBMS. Data validation modules available in the system and specific methods devised by our staff are applied for reducing errors to minimum both in graphic and tabular data acquisition. Intergraph MGA, MSM and MGGA applications are used for creating topology, query sets and digital terrain models as well as for managing raster data. Advanced batch file processing has been elaborated for completing time-consuming procedures with additional opportunity for saving specific parameters including query building, creation of hard-copy maps and overlay map production. Intergraph MGFN and IPLOT modules support preparation for output of cartographic products as well as creation of hard-copies on HP DesignJet plotter. As far as the hardware equipment is concerned, an InterPro workstation server communicates with other workstations and PCs through a network controlled by TCP/IP and NFS products. PCs are principally used for data capture by manual digitalisation. Oracle RDBMS supporting both the Intergraph and Arc/Info graphic environments ensures data consistence and reduces redundancy to the minimum. Data exchange between the two GIS softwares including thematic attributes has also been successfully tackled.

3. The Little Hungarian Plain (Kisalföld) Project

As already mentioned, the results of this mapping campaign provided fundamental data for setting up and testing GIS in the Geological Institute of Hungary. The Little Hungarian Plain (Kisalföld) Project started in 1982. It was aimed at providing governmental bodies, ministries and municipal authorities with baseline information on a set of geoscientific issues related to a 10 000 km2-large sector in the NW part of Hungary. They included the

settings of the area. It can thus be regarded as a complex geoscientific project. Through simultaneous study of different but frequently interrelated geoscientific aspects this multidisciplinary approach proved to be a very cost-effective method of investigation. At the same time, co-operation with a number of institutions was an indispensable prerequisite for acquiring the full scope of information available for the project. The ultimate objective of this project was to set up and load the digital geological database of the whole region including as many geoscientific layers of information as possible. In addition to environmental issues potential targets of application include the agrogeological sector.

As far as the database itself is concerned, it is based on drilling and sampling campaigns conducted by the Geological Institute of Hungary in the area between 1982-1990. They resulted in setting up the key database of laboratory analyses. The digital database can be subdivided upon two major aspects:

As it has already been mentioned the database relies on drilling data acquired during the systematic geological mapping and related results of laboratory analyses. From the 1960s onwards basins are investigated in Hungary using a new, so-called complex geological approach. As a result, many thousands boreholes have been penetrated in a network providing excellent data for digital processing. Laboratory analyses included the following items: - sedimentological tests from the uppermost 10 m of the profile from at least every m - fundamental soil-mechanical tests for each typical formation - detailed laboratory analyses of the groundwater's dissolved solid content - recordings of the groundwater level and its fluctuation in observation wells

4. Regional management

Apart from purely scientific purposes the Environmental Geological Information System established upon the database will furnish fundamental data for local users and municipalities, as well as for regional users and authorities. The basic unit of both the tabular and cartographic database is represented by 1:100.000 map sheets. The area of a particular municipality is much smaller in comparison with the surface of a map sheet (1600 km2), processing data of a specific municipality does not require thus powerful hardware equipment. National institutions and authorities supervising several counties have to possess, however, a technical background satisfying their requirements in data processing.

Thematic layers of the regional information system are as follows:

The availability of these data facilitates the fast assessment of the state of environment in a certain area, as well as determination of regions appropriate for siting waste disposal facilities or industrial complexes and areas requiring measures for soil amelioration. It also provides help in selecting the most appropriate track of large-scale linear facilities (roads and motorways). In order to ensure the effective elaboration and functioning of the system it has to consider the frequently different and changing system of main state administration units and their operation area. The experience of regional offices of the Ministry for Environment protection and Regional Policy shows that furnishing information for this Ministry demands sharing the data of the same territory between two or more administrative centres. Figure 2 represents the simplified scheme of information exchange. All these aspects represent a great challenge for elaborating an application and the acquisition of the necessary technical background. Partially supported by the PHARE program, the Ministry for Environment protection and Regional Policy has already started in the last two years with elaborating its own information system with specific applications. This system will be supplemented with geological data organised into the database.

April 20, 1997

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