Use earth sciences to contribute to a sustainable use of energy and earth resources and reduce the impact of natural hazards on society


Combine earth science knowledge with spatial modelling and advanced earth observation analysis, to improve our understanding of the impact of climate and population change on the scarceness of resources and energy, changing natural hazards and increased vulnerability and risk of our society.

Research framework and objectives

4D-EARTH consists of two main research themes: Geothermal Energy and Earth Resources (chair van der Meer), and Natural Hazards and Disaster Risk Management (chair Jetten). The research programme was formed in 2011 out of the two chairs and is on its way to integrate these themes in three ways: i) climate research: the impact of the rapidly growing world population manifests itself in an increasing demand for scarce earth resources and energy, leading to climate change and an increase in the frequency and impact of natural disasters, ii) "geodynamics": research of the earth's crust and mantle provides insight n the geothermal pathways on the one hand, and in the dynamics of earthquakes and related damages on the other, and iii) the use of hyperspectral information to better characterize soil chemical, physical and geotechnical properties, providing valuable information for spatial modelling of land degradation.

In the past years, we have reached a high level of expertise in understanding geothermal systems and related alteration geochemistry and in combining spatial predictive modelling of hydro-meteorological hazards and the variability of societal vulnerability in space and time. At the heart of this research are earth observation methods, from object-oriented (OOA) to multi- and hyperspectral analysis, in order to understand better the spatial and temporal links and dynamics between driving forces and their impacts. In line with the mission of the ITC we specifically aim to make our research useful for society: 4D-EARTH has a strong track record in research and capacity development projects in Europe, East Africa, and Central and South East Asia, working with research institutes, industry and institutes that deal with disaster risk reduction.

Research them

Research group leaders

Geothermal Energy and Earth Resources (GEER)
Prof. dr. Freek van der Meer

Natural Hazards and Disaster Risk Management research theme (NHDRM)
Prof. dr. Victor Jetten


Georesources, Geo-energy, Geodynamics, Geo-engineering, Natural Hazards, Rural & Urban risk, Damage assessment, Applied hydrology, Geomorphology, Spectral image analysis, Contextual image analysis, Spatial statistics, Geophysics, Spatial Process Modelling

Group membership

The Department of Earth Systems Analysis (ESA) is a member of the Twente Graduate School (TGS). Both prof. Van der Meer and prof. Jetten are members of the research school SENSE.