Skip directly to content

NCS meeting report 13/01/2016

Meeting report: National Commission for Stratigraphy BelgiumReport 2016-01

GSB-RBINS, 13/01/2016

Start : 13h30 – End : 15h30

Present (14): N.Vandenberghe (P), M. De Ceukelaire (S and Webmaster), E. Goemaere (S), Isabelle Belanger, Frieda Bogemans, Marie Coen-Aubert, Vanessa Heyvaert, Katrien De Nil, Alain Herbosch, Bernard Mottequin, Jacques Verniers, Johan Yans, Eddy Poty, Bernard Delcambre

Excused (3): Michiel Dusar, Stephen Louwye, Martin Laloux (SPW)

Agenda :

1. Approval of the previous meeting report :



2.  Survey of the different subcommissions:

Lower-Paleozoic :

The  Goutteux Member and the Nivelles Member (Brutia Formation) proposals are accepted by the NCS

Chronostratigraphy  of the strata in the London - Brabant Massif  is almost completed , except for the Blanmont Formation.

Future activities :

  • work on the stratigraphy of the  “Bande du Condroz” with the help of PhD students supervised  by Jacques Verniers.
  • Mapping of the massifs of Rocroi and Stavelot-Venn in concert with the Geological Survey of Wallonia



The Booischot Fm (Bassin de Campine) proposal  is accepted by the NCS.  One comment was raised in the Devonian sub-commission (L.Dejonghe) and was dealt with. The identification of the Aisemont and Falisolle Formations has been extended  to the  Campine Basin.


As a general rule, the original discussion texts, suggesting in this case the Devonian stratigraphy in the Campine Basin containing some non-validated stage names, will be saved but will not be made accessible  on the website. The development of the ideas expressed in the accepted proposal will be reported on the site.

Bernard Mottequin and Marie Coen-Aubert  report on the successful international Mid-Paleozoic meeting they have co-organised in the  RBINS last autumn. The proceedings and the field-trip guide will be published and a link to the publications will be put on the ncs website.

Eddy Poty reports that a sequence stratigraphic revision of the Frasnian and Famennian is in progress.

Descriptions (in French) of new members in the Lower Devonian  of the Neufchâteau Synclinorium are added by E. Goemaere to the ncs website  under the new RegWal tab; these additions result from the ongoing mapping in the Région wallonne.


E. Poty will soon deliver to the ncs  the introductory text for the Carboniferous  and  transmit also the membership list of the  Carboniferous sub-commission. A discussion text is also announced regarding the introduction in the Lower Visean of the Formation d’Emptinne , commonly known before as the “ Terwagne blanc”.

Astrocyclostratigraphy at the resolution of precession cycles of the Tournaisian is in progress. An extended abstract will be posted soon on the website.

The Carboniferous sub-commission will not be further split into  Dinantian and Silesian (Houiller) sub-commissions. However in the future Bernard Delcambre will direct his subcommission-efforts in particular towards the Silesian.

The sub-commission is invited to follow-up the stratigraphic results of the Mol-GT-1 borehole organized by VITO  and already reaching 3500m depth. VITO will be approached by N.Vdb to find out a way to share the stratigraphic data.

Bernard Delcambre will submit discussion texts for three new sandstone-rich members in the Namurian  : the Rieudotte, Gives and Java members.




The membership list is reviewed and renewed online.

New data, following studies by F. Boulvain and I. Belanger and discussed in the sub-commission, suggest that the Hondelange unit  could become a formation rather than a member. A spring field trip is programmed.


Cretaceous :

Johan Yans  presents an updated  note  by M. Dusar .

See annex 0

The Vert Galand Formation and its members  Merlin and Bruyelle (SPW ???) will be posted on the ncs website for discussion . The Thulin and Thivencelle units  ( Geologica Belgique 2001 volume) will be undone.

The ‘Formation des Argiles à silex’ will be put at the  website under a new heading tab  “Alterations”. The reason for the new heading is that alterations are sometimes hard to frame into a stratigraphic table but nevertheless have sufficient thickness to be of importance also for applied geology.



Paleogene-Neogene :

Brussel Formation:  

Discussion documents on the website are referred back for further clarifications to the upcoming meeting of the sub-commission. There is no consensus on which language to use for the locus typicus of the Formation,  Brussel- Bruxelles-  Brussels . In the Geologica Belgica 2001 publication, Brussel Formation is used. The authors will be contacted to know why they chose the Dutch name. Also Formation de Bruxelles has been widely in use . For now, the NCS will consider Brussel-Bruxelles as the best option, but It will again be discussed in the sub-commission.  

Ieper Group: A working group on the ‘Ieper Group Lithostratigraphy’ was installed in 2014 and its discussion document is now on the website.  The discussion text has shifted emphasis from  mainly field and surface- map data towards the full use of subsurface data by interpreting geophysical well log data. Some of the remaining open discussion points have been already listed and will be discussed during the upcoming meeting in next February.

Chattian - Inden and Kiezelooliet: Discussion documents are available on the website. The discussion documents for the Inden and Kiezelooliet units has been modified on the website. Also for the Chattian lithostratigraphic subdivisions some doubts remain. Therefore all items will be taken up by the next sub-commission meeting in February.

Neogene Continental Group: a discussion text is sent to both the SC NP and SC Q.  The text will be discussed during the next SC NP meeting, and, a procedure will be worked out how to organize a joint discussion with the SC Q. 


Last sub-commission meeting was in summer 2015. Next meeting is 19th February 2016. Open-Science meeting 11/12/2015 – see point 3.


Quaternary :

Quaternary activities :


  • Excursion to the Mark Valley.


  • Agreement concerning the Members of the Arenberg Formation. Text is adapted and send to the members of the sub-commission.


  • Discussion about the Coo Formation, the Rhine – Meuse Group and the Weelde Formation during the meeting of the sub-commission.


  • Poster “ Gent Formation” on the INQUA congress. 


Gent Formation text is accepted and published on the website.


3.  Evaluation of the website: structure, completeness, ease of consultation,  how well is the website known in the stratigraphic community , is the website considered usefull by the community....  suggestions ?

Regarding the content of the website :

History of documents is important to be documented on the website. Certainly for ongoing discussions, but also to past discussions.

An effort should be made by all sub-commissions to provide a user-friendly access to the ongoing discussion and proposal texts  in order to involve as many interested parties as possible in the discussions.

The website does not contain information on the ‘Eo-Devonian’ units  along the eastern border of the Stavelot-Venn Massif , e.g. the Waismes Formation. The geological mapping of the area is underway in this area and a synthesis with the description of the maintained lithostratigraphic units will be communicated at the end of the mapping.

A potential useful item to be inserted on the website is the evolution of the stratigraphic nomenclature and the correspondence with the nomenclature system in the neighboring countries.

Regarding the use of the website :

The present effort to attract users to the site is mainly through the monthly reminder with news and  information in the Miscellanea of Geologica Belgica.

Still, too many geologists are not familiar with the website. All sub-commission boards should make  efforts  in their proper circles to make systematic publicity  for the  ncs website and demonstrate its usefulness.

The board of ncs will make a similar effort by presenting the commission at the Geologica Belgica Mons meeting in January.(see 5)

University teachers of the regional Geology of Belgium course  should inform students about the potential of the ncs-website.

To be informed about the frequency of use of the site an automated consultation counting system needs to be installed at the site.         


4. Lessons from the Open Science Meeting of the Paleogene -Neogene subcommission  in December 2015   (S. Louwye , K. DeNil  ) .

On 11th of December, the Paleogene-Neogene sub-commission organized an Open Science Meeting. This meeting is considered as very successful: over 40 active participants, from different types of institutes and organisations, from the geological field, but as well from the geotechnical and hydrogeological field: ,universities, consulting agencies, researchers, young students, government agencies. The scientific program,  had fundamental science contributions but also applied science orientated contributions. Similar meetings will be organised in the future, depending on the upcoming items of interest .

5.  Preview  of the Geologica  Belgica  Mons 2016 meeting presentation : 

    'Stratigraphy and Commissions. Do we need stratigraphic commissions ?'     by   Noël Vandenberghe, Marleen De Ceukelaire, Eric Goemaere  ,  Board of the Belgian National Stratigraphic Commission

See also annex 1


6.  Varia

- overview collections geology RBINS 2015 – see annex 2 (presentation by MDC)

- relation GSB – NCS

  • The president and Yves Vanbrabant , acting head of the Geological Survey of Belgium (GSB) , have exchanged ideas on the place of stratigraphy in the GSB. Both agree that stratigraphic analysis and providing information on the national stratigraphy is a natural geological survey activity. Also participation in the board of NCS should be continued and honoured.
  • The GSB has coordination meetings on a regular basis with the regional geological survey and administrations, fitting the structure of the NCS which also has representatives of the regional authorities and relays in part on regionally obtained data.
  • The GSB plans specific activities in the field of stratigraphy of Belgium such as advanced automated literature searches, information on the evolution of stratigraphic nomenclature…
  • Yves Vanbrabant has offered to talk about the GSB activities in the field of stratigraphy at the next NCS meeting. The meeting has welcomed this proposition.



Secretaries                                                       President