Research news and awards

Latest news about our research. Project progress and collaboration. Awards and achievements.

Prof Paul Nathanail

Congratulations to Prof Paul Nathanail (School of Geography) who has been made a Visiting research Associate with the British Geological Survey. Paul is Professor of Engineering Geology and Managing Director of Land Quality Management Ltd. His research, teaching and consultancy interests span the spectrum of risk based contaminated land management and sustainable urban regeneration.

30 November 2016

One month after the end of Expedition 364 Chicxulub K-Pg Impact Crater, the Science Party (including BGS) publishes the first results in Science: "The formation of peak rings in large impact craters"

18 November 2016

BGS staff member Angela Lamb

Congratulations to Dr Angela Lamb who has been appointed on to the editorial board of Nature Scientific Reports. Nature Scientific Reports sits within the nature family of journals and covers all areas of the natural sciences. The journal is open access and continuous online publication enables articles to be published swiftly. The journal has over a million article page views per month. Scientific Reports currently has an Impact Factor of 5.228 (2015).

7 October 2016

Power station

BGS is part of an EC-funded project called ‘CHPM2030’.

This started in January, with startup meeting in February, but only now is some of the promotional material coming out.

BGS activities in the project will focus on 2 main areas:

  • Gathering and assessing data on SW England to see if there is potential for hot rocks at 5–7 km to contain enough ore mineralisation to enable metals to be leached out with a recirculated fluid being used to extract geothermal heat.
  • Laboratory and modelling–based studies to test optimal ways to extract soluble metals from the rocks.

This work will be run through the Renewables, Energy Storage & Clean Coal Team, with work split between the Renewables, Energy Storage & Clean Coal Team and the Ore Deposits & Commodities Team.

More information

CHPM2030 website

25 July 2016

Prof Colin Waters
The University of Leicester have conferred on Colin Waters the title and status of Honorary Professor in the Department of Geology, backdated to start from 1 May 2016 to 30 April 2021. Congratulations Colin!

25 July 2016

The BGS Proactive Infrastructure Monitoring and Evaluation (PRIME) System has won the 2016 Ground Engineering Product and Equipment Innovation Award

The BGS Proactive Infrastructure Monitoring and Evaluation (PRIME) System has won the 2016 Ground Engineering Product and Equipment Innovation Award (sponsored by BAM Ritchies).

PRIME is a low-cost system specifically designed for infrastructure monitoring and remote operation, for deployment on ‘at risk’ geotechnical assets (e.g. embankments, cuttings and dams).

PRIME combines emerging geophysical ground imaging technology with innovative data telemetry, web portal access and intelligent monitoring. It develops the basis of a new generation of smart’ earthwork technology capable of imaging the internal physical condition of infrastructure earthworks using diagnostic methods routinely used in medical physics.

The PRIME monitoring concept has been developed by Jon Chambers, Phil Meldrum, Dave Gunn and all of the BGS Geophysical Tomography Team, supported by Helen Reeves the Director of Engineering Geology.

The work was funded by NERC (Natural Environment Research Council), most recently through the Environmental Risks to Infrastructure Innovation Programme, and input from our stakeholder steering group comprising Network Rail, Canal & River Trust, Scottish Canals, London Underground, RSSB, Arup, Atkins, HS2, National Grid, ITM Monitoring and Geosense.

7 July 2016

National geological model

Following the National Geophysical Survey meeting held in April at the British Geological Survey we are pleased to announce that from 08 June 2016 we are calling for expressions of interest for the survey.

Forms to download:

The closing date for all expressions of interest is Monday 4 July.

If you have any queries then please don’t hesitate to email

8 June 2016

Yorkshire Valley
The British Geological Survey and the University of Birmingham have signed a formal Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen future collaboration and open new opportunities for research.

1 June 2016

BGS shop
NERC has commissioned five highly ambitious research programmes, worth £34m, that will see its research centres, including the BGS, working closely together to tackle major scientific and societal challenges. Read more about these ambitious new projects.

1 June 2016

Sampling groundwater

The BGS, with partners from the universities of Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol, Birmingham and York (National Centre for Atmospheric Science), is carrying out a science-based environmental monitoring programme in the Vale of Pickering, North Yorkshire, where a planning application to carry out hydraulic fracturing for shale gas has been submitted. The programme comprises monitoring of water quality (groundwater and surface water), seismicity, air quality, soil gas, radon in air and ground motion.

With planning permission being granted, the monitoring programme will become even more important as it will provide an independent measurement of the baseline against which any future changes can be compared. The monitoring will continue during the different stages of shale gas development at the site. It will provide the UK with a unique dataset for a shale gas operation over its whole life cycle: before, during and after hydraulic fracturing has taken place.

The BGS’s monitoring programme is independent of that being carried out by industry or regulators. It is designed to enhance the scientific understanding and knowledge of environmental baselines and identify any effects that shale gas operations might have on the environment. Information from the monitoring programme is being made publicly available and will also support peer-reviewed science.

Professor Rob Ward, BGS Director of Science and project director, said, "If hydraulic fracturing goes ahead then understanding the baseline is a critical first step in ensuring it is carried out safely. Our independent monitoring will enable this and allow more informed decisions to be made."

Read more details on the project and the results of the monitoring.

24 May 2016