Jan Walstra

Senior Geologist
Geomodelling, Remote sensing & Geohazards

                    +32 2 788 7660


Dr. Jan Walstra has been with the Geological Survey of Belgium since 2011. He specialises in geological modelling and applications of remote sensing techniques in earth sciences, especially for mapping landscape changes and geohazards. In addition, Jan has expert knowledge of the Quaternary and Neogene geology of Belgium and the geological datasets held in the GSB archives.

Jan completed a master’s degree in Physical Geography at Utrecht University (NL, 2003) and obtained a PhD in Civil Engineering at Loughborough University (UK, 2006). His PhD research focused on the use of historical aerial photographs and digital photogrammetric techniques for assessing landslide dynamics.

At present, Jan is engaged in (hydro)geological modelling in the framework of the cross-border H3O-projects and the RESPONSE-project; he is also collaborating with an international team of archaeologists, reconstructing the paleo-environment of the ancient city of Charax Spasinou in the coastal plain of present-day Iraq. Jan supports and contributes to numerous other projects with his dedicated expertise in geology and mapping.


Quaternary & Neogene lithostratigraphy of Belgium, Lithofacies interpretation of borehole samples, outcrops & geophysical well logs, Geological mapping & 3D modelling, Geomorphological mapping, Geohazard risk assessment, Satellite image processing, Aerial photogrammetry, Radar interferometry, Geo-database management, Data quality control

Research groups

Research interests

  • Geological modelling
  • Landslides
  • Fluvial geomorphology
  • Landscape evolution
  • Photogrammetry
  • Sedimentology
  • Geoarchaeology

Key publications

Declercq, P-Y., Gérard, P., Pirard, E., Walstra, J. & Devleeschouwer, X., 2021. Long-Term Subsidence Monitoring of the Alluvial Plain of the Scheldt River in Antwerp (Belgium) Using Radar Interferometry. Remote Sensing 13 (6), 1160. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13061160

Garrett, E., Fujiwara, O., Riedesel, S., Walstra, J., Deforce, K., Yokoyama, Y., Schmidt, S., Brückner, H., De Batist, M., Heyvaert, V. M. A. & the QuakeRecNankai Team, 2018. Historical Nankai-Suruga megathrust earthquakes recorded by tsunami and terrestrial mass movement deposits on the Shirasuka coastal lowlands, Shizuoka Prefecture. The Holocene 28, 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1177/0959683617752844

Heyvaert, V. M. A. & Walstra, J., 2016. The role of long-term human impact on avulsion and fan development. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 41(14), 2137-2152. https://doi.org/10.1002/esp.4011

Walstra, J., Heyvaert, V. M. A. & Verkinderen, P., 2011. Mapping Late Holocene landscape evolution and human impact – a case-study from Lower Khuzestan (SW Iran). In: Smith, M. J., Paron, P. & Griffith, J. S. (eds.) Geomorphological mapping: methods and applications. Elsevier, Amsterdam, the Netherlands: pp. 551-575. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-444-53446-0.00022-7

Walstra, J., Chandler, J. H., Dixon, N. & Wackrow, R., 2010. Evaluation of the controls affecting the quality of spatial data derived from historical aerial photographs. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 36(7), 853-863. https://doi.org/10.1002/esp.2111

Walstra, J., Dixon, N. & Chandler, J. H., 2007. Historical aerial photographs for landslide assessment: two case histories. Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology, 40, 315-332. https://doi.org/10.1144/1470-9236/07-011


Complete list accessible on Google Scholar


Cross-border geological and hydrogeological 3D model of the Cenozoic of the Pre-Campine region

VPO and GSB, 2020-2023
Role: Principal investigator

Research on the capital of Mesene, a center of ancient trade

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), 2019-2022
Role: Principal investigator

International Quaternary Map of Europe

Role: Collaborator

Cross-border, cross-thematic multiscale framework for combining geological models and data for resource appraisal and policy support

EU H2020 ERA-NET, 2018-2021
Role: Collaborator

Reactive transport modelling of point source contamination in soils and groundwater

BELSPO BRAIN-be 2.0, 2017-2022
Role: Collaborator