Regional Reference Frame Sub-Commission for Europe

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Full name Regional Reference Frame Sub-Commission for Europe
Founded 1987
Members more than 30 countries
Affiliation International Association of Geodesy
Key people J. Ihde, President
A. Caporali, Secretary
C. Bruyninx, Chair of the Technical Working Group
Office location Munich, Germany

Regional Reference Frame Sub-Commission for Europe (EUREF) is the sub-commission of the International Association of Geodesy (IAG), part of the Sub-Commission 1.3 (Regional Reference Frames), under IAG Commission 1 (Reference Frames). EUREF deals with the definition, realization and maintenance of the European Geodetic Reference Frame. The goal of EUREF is to establish a unified geodetic datum (ETRS89) and a consistent network of reference stations (EPN) throughout Europe. EUREF was founded in 1987 at the IUGG General Assembly held in Vancouver.


EUREF is driven by a voluntary agreement of scientific organisations and national geodetic/geographic agencies of the member countries, who are willing to replace their legacy national geodetic datums with a unified European Reference Frame and join their national networks of reference stations into a common European network. The mandate of EUREF is to foster and coordinate the activities of the member countries, which are financed and managed on the national level. EUREF realizes and maintains ETRS89, the European geodetic datum, which is to become a single datum used for geodetic applications in all the member countries. A key instrument in maintaining ETRS89 is the EUREF Permanent Network (EPN), a network of reference stations which covers the European continent. EUREF is also working on the European Vertical Reference System (EVRS), which goal is to determine a unified dm-level accurate geoid model and gravity-referenced height system throughout Europe. EUREF coordinates its activities with EuroGeographics.


The activities of EUREF are discussed and decisions are taken at the annual symposium. The last symposia have been attended by more than 120 participants coming from about 30 member countries of Europe. The results of EUREF are available in the symposia proceedings, which contain the presented scientific papers as well as national reports, resolutions and documentation. Current activities are governed by the Technical Working Group (TWG), which is elected at the symposia and is meeting two/three times a year to manage current activities. The minutes of the TWG meetings are published annually together with the symposia proceedings.

European Terrestrial Reference System 1989 (ETRS89)

ETRS89 is a Cartesian ECEF geodetic datum, in which Eurasian Plate as a whole is static. Within Europe, coordinates and maps based on ETRS89 are stable because temporal variations due to the continental drift are minimized. ETRS89 coincided with the global ITRS datum in 1989, hence the name. ETRS89 and ITRS diverge due to the continental drift at a speed about 2.5 cm per year.

European Vertical Reference System (EVRS)

EVRS is a zero-tidal gravity-related height reference system. The EVRS is realized by the geopotential numbers and normal heights of nodal points of the United European Levelling Network 95/98 (UELN 95/98) extended for Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania in relation to the Normaal Amsterdams Peil (NAP). The geopotential numbers and normal heights of the nodal points are available for the participating countries under the name UELN 95/98 which is now given the name EVRF2000.


There are several projects under development at EUREF.

External links