This study presents the 3-D geometry of the Oligocene Rupel Clay Member and a review of its depositional environment based on new and published data. The Rupel Clay Member (RCM) is a clay layer in the Dutch subsurface which is informally known as the Boom Clay. New depth and thickness maps show that the member is present in nearly the whole subsurface of the onshore Netherlands to a depth of about 1500 m. The thickness of the member is variable but rarely exceeds 125 m. We identified three subunits: RCM-U, with a thickness of 15–40 m; RCM-M, with a thickness of 40–90 m; and RCM-L with a thickness of 25–50 m. The Rupel Clay Member is not a homogeneous clay; both vertical and lateral grain-size trends are present. These trends match with general palaeogeographic trends which foresee near-shore facies in the south and southeast of the onshore Netherlands and a more distal setting when moving northward. The three subunits are correlated with global climatic and regional tectonic events, which have mainly affected marginal facies. Faults are known to cut through the clay layer, but have not been mapped. A mismatch of lithostratigraphic nomenclature between the Netherlands and neighbouring countries is present. Part of the solution for this mismatch lies in the proper interpretation of well data in the Netherlands, both on- and offshore.