L. Vega, R. Morales

Geological Survey of Spain, Hydrogeology and Groundwater Department, Madrid, Spain


The Hydrogeological Atlases have as basic aim the hydrogeological characterization of the territory which they make reference through a thematic maps series. On the other hand, they try to be an important element for the diffusion of the knowledge of the groundwater, to make aware the user of the importance of these and to use as help to the government to attend to an increasing demand of water resource in quantity and quality adapted to the use to which is destined with some limited available resource and a quality that deteriorates if the protective or corrective measurements are not taken, looking for the sustainable use of the resource and the protection to the environment. The Geological Survey of Spain comes carrying out for decades, in collaboration with different public agencies, several provincial or autonomic atlases related to the hydric environment.


This communication is going to centre on the most significant changes identified in the process of creation and edition of the hydrogeological atlases ever since in 1985 it is published the hydrological Atlas of the province of Cádiz, the first one who presented a structure in which the maps are accompanied of an explanatory text. 


In this sense it is necessary to emphasize the use of the new computer tools as databases management software, the spreadsheets and the Geographical Information Systems, which have helped to improve so much the scientifical rigor as well as the graphical aspects of the publications. 


On the other hand, it is important the homogenization degree of the initial information obtained, until this moment, to provincial scale that with the development of the litoestratigrafical map of Spain next to the digital continuous project of the MAGNA, it is glimpsed at European level. This fact will suppose a great advance to stir atlases into action of the process of elaboration of the hydrogeological atlases, so that the effort will be centred on using the new tools to exploit this information and obtain new products like this of an easier and quicker way. The hydrogeological atlases will not be only in hard copy but in electronic support too, either like a simple data warehouse like it would be in format pdf or image, like a digital Atlas in which all the layers would be available or like a Groundwater Information System for every province (SIAS Cádiz). The last two have a great importance in the World Wide Web and therefore in the diffusion at international level.