Project philosophy

The Eurolithos project will aim at raising the intrinsic value of European ornamental stones. This will stimulate more use and thus production of European stone and contribute to the maintenance, preservation and continuation of European cultural heritage.

In the context of the GeoEra partnership, the best way of contributing to meet the objectives is a natural stone information platform, providing documentation, databases and recommendations covering the most important aspects of natural stone resources in Europe; partly, by feeding existing solutions, and partly by adding new ones.

Our ambition is to establish a framework that will secure maintenance and continuation to secure long-term life and growth of EuroLithos solutions.


1) Establish a descriptive framework for natural stone resources in Europe and carry out an inventory of natural stone resources in partner countries.

At present some national and regional databases on ornamental stones exist, usually administrated by the geological surveys, on the distribution of quarries and deposits. Unfortunately, these inventories are very fragmented and have various degree of detail. In most cases, there is no display of geological units/provinces linked to quarries. Our ambition is to improve the quality and extent of information and lift it to a European level.

2) Create a directory database of stones and their properties (WP4).

The project will enhance and harmonize information on ornamental stone types provided by the national surveys and other data sources. Geological information (rock type, age, tectonostratigraphic unit etc.) mining sites and districts, productive geological units/prospective areas. The database will encompass information on the use of the ornamental stones (buildings, monuments, other) as well data regarding composition, physical and technical properties of the entries. The data will predominately be harvested from national databases and the Eurolithos project will be carried out in close collaboration with the GeoERA information platform.

3) Make a dimensional stone atlas on a European and country level linked to databases and directories (WP3).

In contrast to many other geological resources, as for today there is no inventory of geographical distribution of ornamental stone resources on a European scale. Therefore, a key component of the project is to introduce an atlas of European natural stones linked to the databases and directories. The atlas will be a science-based information system (available through EGDI) which will identify, collect and harmonize existing available data on the provenance of European ornamental stones. The atlas will document ornamental stone resources with respects to location, the geology, overall use of stone and quarrying sites.

4) Identify heritage values and producing guidelines for assessing heritage values to natural stone (WP5).

Natural stones have to a great extent contributed in shaping our rural and urban landscapes. No other geological material plays such an important role as a bearer of historic significance through its use in our built heritage through different periods. However, these values have often not been identified or simply been neglected and it is therefore critical to document and protect cultural and historical dimensions of natural stone within Europe. Eurolithos will collect information on heritage values of dimensional stones to raise awareness on the subject and identify and valorize these values. Furthermore, the project will create best practice documents from case studies and a set of guidelines for industry and decision makers on how to assess values of stone deposits and types.

5) Communication, dissemination and stakeholder interaction (WP2).

Ornamental stones are a geological resource attracting interest from a diversity of sectors in the society, as well as from the general audience. Being of such importance for the quality of the every-day landscapes surrounding us, many people will at some stage have opinions related to the use of stone. Therefore, communication and stakeholder interaction are key components of the project. Eurolithos will relate to a diversity of professional groups, from industry and construction, to historians and architects, therefore communication must be targeted to different audiences. Finally, emphasis will be put on developing a dissemination strategy tailored for building networks for continuation beyond the project period.

Work packages

WP1 – Project Coordination

Lead NGU
Tom Heldal

Administrative officer
Cyprien Habimana

The main objective of this WP is to secure a proper coordination and management of the project. This will include: i) Monitor and manage the progress and quality of the project achievements. ii) Ensure good coordination and communication between WP’s and tasks. iii) Liaison with other GeoEra projects iv). Manage the project financial issues and risks.

WP2 – Communication, dissemination and stakeholder involvement

Lead NGU
Jakob K. Keiding

The principal aim of WP2 is to ensure that the project and its results are disseminated and communicated to relevant audience and stakeholders. Moreover, WP2 will secure internal workflow and communication among the partners. EuroLithos is relevant to many different stakeholders making it challenging to involve interested parties. We will try to solve this by putting extra effort into stakeholder communication with several tools such as including “stakeholder day” at annual projects meeting and by promotional products for the general audience. Case studies, methods and practices that will be developed in the project deserve proper scientific publishing. Thus, we will create a volume of peer-reviewed papers from the project to be published after the project end.

WP3 – Atlas of European Ornamental Stones

Jorge Kostas

The target of WP3 is to develop a first edition of an Atlas of European Ornamental Stones and to integrate this into the European Raw Materials Knowledge Base (EURMKB) in close connection with the GeoEra Information Platform. The Atlas will identify, collect and harmonize existing available data on the provenance of European Ornamental Stones. Focus will be on the geology, available resources, prospective areas, quarrying sites and competing land uses with emphasis on those that may threaten the resource. In addition, a directory of quarrying districts and sites will be established for the European Ornamental Stones.

WP4 – Directory of Ornamental Stone Properties

Lead IGME Gr
Kostas Laskaridis

The main objective of this WP is to develop a European “identity card” for ornamental stone, providing basic information regarding their composition, physical properties and “performance in use” criteria. The “identity card” will form the core of a European directory (or database) of ornamental stone properties. While the Atlas will address the geological and geographical distribution of ornamental stone, the “identity card” will represent the technical characterization of each stone. Another goal of WP4 is to develop guidelines for using the directory and to test the directory for selected partner countries.

WP5 – Ornamental Stone Heritage

Željko Dedić

Work package 5 aims at establishing tools to assess the value of dimensional stone resources. This will contribute to better maintenance of stone-built heritage, better conditions for SME’s and better protection of stone resources in land-use planning. The work will address three aspects of stone heritage; the intrinsic value of stone quarries and quarry landscapes, the value of stones from their use in stone-built heritage, and the traditional crafts. This will result in three guidelines, one on each aspect. At least two case studies will be performed on each aspect, used for demonstrating, testing and illustrating the guidelines.

WP6 – Link to information platform

Lead  NGU
Tom Heldal

This work package (WP6) will secure the integration of the information structure generated by EuroLithos with the Information Platform project (GIP-P). Specifically, WP6 will identify and discuss requirements in close dialogue with the IP team and ensure that the principles and guidelines provided by the IP-project is followed and implemented.  Finally, WP6 will assess the use of UNFC geology axis for ornamental stone resource classification.

Structure and workflow of the EuroLithos project.


NGU (Coordinator) Norway

LNEG Portugal

SGU Sweden

IGME Sp Spain

IGME Gr Greece

SGSS Italy

RT Italy


GBA Austria





HGI-CGS Croatia




For more information please contact us.

Tom Heldal (Project coordinator)
Telephone: (+47) 739904205

Jakob Kløve Keiding (Communication and dissemination)
Telephone: (+47) 739904205

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