GEUS' history

We research conditions that are important for the exploitation and protection of the geological natural values, and we map and survey the subsurface and the nature and we communicate our knowledge. GEUS provides consultancy to public authorities on geological matters such as water, nature, the environment, climate, energy and raw materials. And we take part in carrying out activities for authorities in these areas.

GEUS is the national geological data centre and in this capacity makes data and knowledge available to authorities, education institutions, companies and individuals, etc.

We also carry out projects on contractual terms for private companies and customers abroad. In our core areas and in areas where we have special expertise, we contribute to bachelor, masters and PhD programmes at the universities. GEUS is part of Geocenter Denmark, a formalised cooperation between the geological institutions at the universities of Copenhagen and Aarhus.

GEUS serves many Danish ministries and the Government of Greenland and we are part of the Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities. Our purpose and overall task is laid down in the act about the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) no. 536 of 6 June 2007 and associated orders.


GEUS came into being in 1995, when the two institutions the Geological Survey of Greenland (GGU) and the Geological Survey of Denmark (DGU) merged. They were both old and well-established institutions. GGU was established in 1946 and the history of DGU goes all the way back to 1888.

GEUS has provided the Danish society with information for more than 130 years with the aim of securing clean drinking water and a sound environment and to contribute to a profitable and sustainable exploitation of raw materials and energy.

In Denmark as well as in Greenland, our geologists began by making geological maps showing the structure of the geology, and until 1987, the work also included the geological survey of the Faroe Islands.

The projects have varied through the times. While the subsurface stay relatively constant, the technological possibilities are changing constantly and thus society’s need for geological knowledge.

When GEUS was young, raw materials such as marl, brown coal, peat, clay and gravel were very important. Today, clean drinking water, energy supply, adaptation to climate change and the availability of raw materials are high on the agenda.


After the two institutions GGU and DGU merged in 1995, the new institution was called the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland. GEUS is an abbreviation of the Danish GEologiske (Geological) UnderSøgelse (Survey). GEUS is easier to pronounce and it is short, and a geological survey is a type of institution known all over the world. Almost all countries have a geological survey like Denmark, which carries out research of the subsurface and nature, so our resources such as water, energy, sand, gravel, chalk, minerals and nature can be managed in the best possible way.

In 2007, the new act about GEUS was passed in connection with the reorganisation of the Danish research landscape where the Danish name of the institution became: De Nationale Geologiske Undersøgelser for Danmark and Greenland (Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland), but neither the abbreviation GEUS nor our name in English was changed.