I own this map and perhaps one of the interesting things about this map is not only the wealth of information available and aesthetic quality but how over 40 European and adjacent countries worked together to create the seamless geology map hanging in my office as well as a GIS Database underpinning it.

Geology Of Europe BGR (Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources of Germany) 2006

Figure 1 The International Map of Europe and the Mediterranean region 1 : 1 500 000 (Ash, 2005).

The project that created the geology of Europe map was called IGME 500 and the aims were to develop a GIS underpinned by a geological database, and also a printed map providing up-to-date and consistent geological information.

You can see the GIS here.

The map follows the principles of traditional geological cartography, where features are drawn and coloured on the age of the formation of outcropping rocks.

Cartography of chronostratigraphy

The age of the sedimentary deposits is visualised by a set of internationally recognised colour shades identifying the chronostratigraphic units ranging from the Archean to the Holocene. These colours are been defined by the International Commission for Stratigraphy (ICS) as published on their website.
I have created a free to download PDF document for you that includes the standard set of colours (including their CMYK and RBG code) for mapping Era, Period and Epoch units.
Happy map making!


Asch, K. (2005): IGME 5000: 1 : 5 Million International Geological Map of Europe and Adjacent Areas. BGR (Hannover).

Categories: Geology Maps