BGR Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe

Tasks and Activities

The Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) is the geoscientific center of excellence within the federal government and part of its scientific and technical infrastructure. BGR is a federal institute accountable to the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). We provide neutral and independent advice and information about all geoscientific and natural resource issues. With this, we support the federal government in their following objectives:

  • Stimulating economic development
  • Long-term protection and improvement of the quality of life
  • Enhancing technical and scientific expertise

Based on its foundation articles, BGR performs duties in the following fields of scientific research:

Energy Resources

As consultants to the Federal Government and German industry BGR continuously analyses and evaluates global developments in reserves, resources, exploration and markets for the energy resources crude oil, natural gas, coal and uranium. BGR researches and develops new exploration methods and strategies in the run-up to industrial activities, in particular in marine frontier zones and in the field of unconventional energy resources. It also develops energy resource production concepts taking ecological, social and economic criteria in to consideration, in particular in terms of development policy measures.

Mineral Resources

As consultants to the federal government and German industry BGR continuously analyses and evaluates global mineral resource potentials and markets for metals, industrial minerals and non-metals. BGR researches and develops new exploration methods and strategies in the run-up to industrial activities, in particular for high-tech metals, what are known as "critical resources" and specific industrial minerals. It develops resource and development policy instruments and concepts for utilising mineral resources based on ecological, social and economic criteria.


BGR develops scientific methods for improving groundwater management. Together with institutions from Germany, Europe and the rest of the world BGR works on improved regional groundwater resource information principles. BGR thus supports national and international legislative and development policy measures for securing groundwater resources and contributes to integrated water resource management.


BGR develops tools and standards for providing soil-related information based on the results of applied research. BGR supports normative and legislative activities in a national and international framework with the aim of sustainable use of the soil. BGR cooperates with the pedological services of the federal states and European nations.

Final Disposal of Radioactive Waste

The German Federal Office for Radiation Protection (Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz -BfS) utilises the scientific knowledge of BGR for solving geoscientific and geotechnical problem complexes and cooperates with them when erecting federal installations for the final disposal of radioactive waste. In addition to this, BGR performs its own basic research on final disposal in the framework of BMWi departmental research. In particular its duties comprise geological site reconnaissance, characterisation of the rock mechanics of the host rock, analysis of the stability of final repository structures and the analysis of long-term stability scenarios.

Deep Subsurface Use; Geological CO2 Storage

BGR advises the federal government in all geoscientific and geotechnical questions concerning the use of the deep subsurface. This applies to the geotechnical safety of subsurface structures and cavities as much as to questions concerning the permanent underground storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) in geological formations. A further focus of BGR work is the reconnaissance and development of deep geothermal resources (geothermal energy).

International Geoscientific Cooperation

In accordance with an agreement between BMWi and BMZ BGR acts as the German implementation organisation for technical cooperation with developing nations (TZ). BGR executes projects in the fields of mining, resources, groundwater, soil, georisks, geology, and environmental and resource protection. BGR thereby supports the federal government in achieving its foreign trade and stability policy objectives.

Geoscientific Information and Fundamentals

BGR participates at both national and international levels in fundamental geological research. In cooperation with the geological surveys of the federal states and European nations BGR provides specialist geological information, maps, standards and methodologies. In a framework of national, European (EuroGeoSurveys) and international initiatives, BGR contributes to developing the geodata infrastructure (geoinformation business).
BGR researches the continental geology of the Antarctic and thus contributes to the fulfilling the obligations required for preserving Germany's consultative status in the Antarctic treaty.

Nuclear Weapons Test Ban; Geo-hazard Assessment

BGR fulfils Germany's obligations with regard to the international Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) on behalf of the federal government. It operates the national CTBT data centre, where the seismic waves from potential nuclear weapons test explosions are registered over very large distances. In addition, BGR monitors global earthquake activity at the Federal Republic of Germany's central seismological observatory.
To assist in the early detection and hazard assessment of further natural geogenic catastrophes, such as volcanic eruptions, landslides, tsunamis or subsidence, BGR develops methods that help to reduce geological hazards and thus protect the basis for human life. BGR actively participates in advising countries and regions in applied natural catastrophe management.

BGR's work is supported by a modern scientific-technical infrastructure. Laboratories, collections, equipment and technical expertise are developed and provided as required for executing specific projects. In addition, central technical services such as the library, public relations work and information technology guarantee documentation and target-group oriented provision of data, information and publications.


Andreas Beuge
Phone: +49-(0)511-643-2679
Fax: +49-(0)511-643-3685

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