Monday, 22 November 2010

Happy 175th Birthday British Geological Survey (BGS)

The Icelandic volcanic eruptions of  2010 demonstrated how much we still need long-term observations of natural events. The BGS (British Geological Survey) has now been providing geological information underpinning the economy and the well-being of people in Britain for 175 years.

Above, sample of BGS 1:10000 scale geology map for Keyworth, Nottingham, UK

The BGS maintains a treasure trove of carefully collected and catalogued specimens and field observations, producing a fundamental work of reference and cutting-edge research. The BGS’s National Geoscience Data Centre (NGDC) functions as the national collection of geoscientific environmental data and information. It contains the most comprehensive collection of information on the surface and subsurface of Great Britain and the surrounding continental shelf. The collection has been gathered over more than 175 years, and even includes some of Charles Darwin’s original specimens from the Galapagos and Ascension islands. The records held within the NGDC comprise over nine million items dating from the eighteenth century to the present day. The total collection occupies over 11 kilometres of shelving with digital storage comprising approximately 195 terabytes. Examples of the digital collections include 22.25 terabytes for maps and 0.5 terabytes for borehole records .

We at FIND are proud to offer many of the BGS’s data sets for commercial access. All data can be viewed and printed online, as well as exported in DWG, DXF, TAB, SHP formats.

Geology maps - large scale (1: 10 000) and small scale (1: 50 000)
Geological maps are useful to a wide range of businesses with interests in planning and development as well as more academic aspects such as the Earth’s geological history, its fossils and its landscape development. Map themes include, faults and rock segments; artificial ground; landslip deposits; superficial deposits; and Bedrock. More info>

Ground stability
The ground stability map layer is derived from geological mapping and is categorised to show areas that are liable to instability and so are potentially hazardous. It is valuable to any organisation that owns or manages property. Ground stability information is divided into six sub-layers: Collapsible deposits; Compressible deposits; Running sands; Slope instability; Soluble rocks; and Swell and shrink. More info>

Borehole index
This layer displays the locations and summary information for all onshore boreholes and water wells held by the British Geological Survey. More info>

Groundwater flooding / Susceptibility to Groundwater Flooding
The BGS's Susceptibility to Groundwater Flooding information displays areas where geological conditions could allow groundwater flooding to occur, and where groundwater may come close to the ground surface. Flooding of this type often lasts longer than river flooding and can result in significant social and economic disruption. More info>

River and coastal flooding / Geological Indicators of Flooding
The British Geological Survey's Geological Indicators of Flooding information is based on the Digital Geological Map of Great Britain at the 1:50 000 scale (DiGMapGB-50). This map shows the areas vulnerable to the two main types of flooding, inland floodplains and coastal plains / estuarine environments in Britain. More info>

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