EPOS, European Plate Observing System, is a European research infrastructure that has developed a long-term integration plan with the aim of providing online access to scientific data and products and physical access to laboratories and observatories for solid earth sciences . EPOS was created to promote access and facilitate the integrated use of high quality multidisciplinary data produced by national and transnational monitoring systems and networks.
Open access to multidisciplinary data through innovative services is the first condition for research to progress in understanding the physical and chemical processes that govern earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tidal waves and, in general, all surface deformation processes, and thus contribute to the evaluation of the hazard and the mitigation of natural and anthropogenic risks. The ultimate goal of EPOS is to provide new opportunities to monitor and thus understand the dynamics and complexity of the Earth system.
To achieve this objective, EPOS is integrating the different research infrastructures existing in Europe into a single, distributed and sustainable Infrastructure which provides access to data and scientific products generated by the different communities involved in its integration plan (seismology, geodesy , volcanology, satellite observations, geomagnetism and geology).
EPOS, integrating around 150 research infrastructures in 25 European countries, represents the first and only example of a federated approach to solid earth sciences in Europe.
The European research infrastructure EPOS entered the roadmap of the European Strategic Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) in 2008 and completed the design of its functional architecture during the preparatory phase (EPOS Preparatory Phase, 2010-2014). In 2014, the EPOS infrastructure was proposed by ESFRI to the Competitiveness Council of the European Commission as one of the three priority infrastructures for implementation in Europe. This made it possible to start the implementation phase (EPOS Implementation Phase, 2015-2019) and the creation of services for access to data and scientific products and the construction of the prototype of the integrated infrastructure made up of Thematic Core Services (TCS) and Integrated Core Services (ICS). The TCS represent the environment in which each scientific community involved in the EPOS integration plan collects, controls and integrates data and services to make them interoperable with each other and accessible through the ICS, which represent the new integrated infrastructure, which provides access to data and resources to interact with users.
On 30 October 2018, the European Commission recognized EPOS with the status of European Research Infrastructures Consortium (ERIC), thus formalizing the birth of the "legal entity" EPOS ERIC which, housed in Italy at the INGV, coordinates the pan- European Union and collaboration between European countries and research institutions.
The EPOS research infrastructure started its Pilot Operational Phase in 2020, providing free access to scientific data and products, as well as services for their visualization and analysis through the new ICS-C portal. EPOS contributes to the promotion of open science by strengthening the sharing of scientific data in a sustainable context and by proposing shared solutions for interoperability between research infrastructures for solid earth sciences at European and global level.
INGV also coordinates the participation of the Italian team in EPOS through a Joint Research Unit (JRU EPOS-Italia) signed up by ten national institutions: INGV, CNR, INOGS, ISPRA, CINECA, EUCENTRE, Roma Tre University, Federico II University of Naples , University of Trieste, University of Genoa. The purpose of the JRU is to share support for the EPOS integration plan ensuring a return for the national solid earth science research system. The Italian participation in the pan-European integration plan allows INGV and JRU EPOS-Italia to contribute to the development and sustainability of research infrastructures also through the implementation of services for free access, capitalizing on both the and experiences available in Italy and the participation of national infrastructures in international cooperation initiatives in the global context.
EPOS - European Plate Observing System