For over 70 years, OGS has been a scientific and operational reference point in the field of geophysical research, both marine and terrestrial, having contributed to carrying out fundamental projects for the knowledge of the structure of the Italian subsoil.

OGS undertakes basic and applied research on the scientific knowledge of the subsurface through direct and indirect geological and geophysical surveys, scientific drilling and development of geophysical models. Understanding the subsurface is improved through the use of new technologies for geophysical data acquisition and analysis, with increasing attention to the environmental sustainability of data acquisition techniques both onshore and offshore.

In recent years, OGS has increasingly focused on the environmental sustainability of geophysical data acquisition techniques both onshore and offshore. Indeed, OGS considers it fundamental to devote resources towards improving geophysical data acquisition techniques that respect the environment and to enhancing existing geophysical data.

As a priority mission, OGS identifies conserving the heritage of geophysical expertise, both intellectual and operational, and the development of innovative research activities at the service of society and scientific knowledge.

OGS is a national and international reference point for digital seismic processing, also acquiring marine seismic datasets in the Mediterranean and Black Seas, for geodesy and gravimetry, having contributed to compiling the first gravimetric map of Italy and the Mediterranean Sea, and has been a pioneer in theoretical research on porous media and in modelling the propagation of elastic waves in the subsurface. It also developed the first method for estimating the concentration of gas hydrates in porous media using geophysical data. To further facilitate studies of the Earth's structure by the national and international scientific community, it has developed portals for the distribution of geophysical data.

Since the late 1990s, it has been a European reference for the characterisation and modelling of CO2 storage sites, making a significant contribution to the information and promotion of CCUS activities at European level.

A new line of research concerns the geological interpretation of geophysical data together with information from sampling, such as cores and scientific drilling, which have generated fundamental studies for understanding continental margins, in particular the polar and Mediterranean ones.

The "Earth processes" mission is developed according to 5 scientific priorities covering the institution’s different areas of expertise:

  • Earth dynamics and basin evolution;
  • Mapping and monitoring processes;
  • Sustainable geo-resources; 
  • Integrated water systems;
  • Net carbon zero solutions.

Earth dynamics and basin evolution

No poverty
Zero hunger
Affordable and clean energy
Industry, innovation and infrastructure
Decent work and economic growth
Sustainable cities and communities
Responsible consumption and production
Climate action

Mapping and monitoring processes

No poverty
Clean water and sanitation
Industry, innovation and infrastructure
Sustainable cities and communities
Climate action
Life bellow water
Life on land

Sustainable geo-resources

No poverty
Affordable and clean energy
Decent work and economic growth
Industry, innovation and infrastructure
Reduced inequalities
Sustainable cities and communities
Responsible consumption and production
Climate action

Integrated water systems

No poverty
Good health and well-being
Gender quality
Clean water and sanitation
Affordable and clean energy
Decent work and economic growth
Industry, innovation and infrastructure
Reduced inequalities
Responsible consumption and production
Climate action

Net carbon zero solutions

No poverty
Affordable and clean energy
Decent work and economic growth
Industry, innovation and infrastructure
Sustainable cities and communities
Responsible consumption and production
Climate action