The new high resolution global lithological map

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The new lithological world map presents a very accurate picture of the Earth’s crust beneath its thin surface layer. The characteristics of rocks are represented approximately 100 times more accurately than in previous maps. The global rock type information was translated into 16 lithological classes and numerous subclasses, which can be combined in more than 400 different ways. Therefore, the new map offers an important database to model various processes at the Earth surface as well as assessing geohazards more precisely.

For example, limestone (shown in blue) dissolves quite quickly and forms very impressive cave systems. However, when these caves collapse, it results in large holes at the surface. At the same time, the map offers important data for climate research. For instance, the weathering of certain rocks reduces the concentration of the greenhouse gas CO2 in the atmosphere by bounding CO2 in water.