Chapter 1: Introduction
Humankind has always been more interested in its visible surroundings, as landscape, air and water, rather than in the subsurface. For most, the subsurface is a mysterious perhaps even threatening realm often perceived as the domain of worms, dirt, darkness, danger, evil, decay and death. The public, including many intellectuals and policy-makers, has generally no idea about the subsurface, let alone the processes that govern it and how these may determine their lives. This lack of awareness points to a major knowledge gap and has hampered major development of the underground so far.