A selection of recent news, that includes mentions of the British Geological Survey, reported in online news websites. Click on a heading link to read the full article.
The Cranfield-led DREAM CDT - or 'Data, Risk and Environmental Analytical Methods' Centre for Doctoral Training - recently held its inaugural Challenge Week attended by the 2016 cohort of PhD students. The DREAM consortium, which also includes Newcastle, Cambridge and Birmingham universities, was launched last year with funding from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
The students had the opportunity to consult with industrial experts from a range of fields such as DREAM industrial advisory board chairman Rob Sharpe (Esri UK), and board members Stephen Harris (Marsh Marine Practice), Professor John Rees (British Geological Survey, NERC) and Dr Arthur Thornton (Atkins). There was also expert advice from a trio from Cranfield - Professor Simon Pollard (the DREAM CDT principal investigator and centre champion); Professor Paul Leinster CBE (former Chief Executive of the Environment Agency); and Jason Carvalho.
Driven by a desire to make more effective use of taxpayers’ investments in science, funding agencies are increasingly mandating data sharing. The idea is that if research data can be shared, used and reused by researchers, it will make science more effective; results can be verified and new insights can be drawn from the data itself.
What makes a good data management plan? Helen Glaves, Senior Data Scientist at the British Geological Survey and coordinator of the international Ocean Data Interoperability Platform, was one of the first speakers. Here, she is commenting from the audience. In the first invited talk, Helen Glaves↗, Senior Data Scientist at the British Geological Survey↗ and coordinator of the international Ocean Data Interoperability Platform (ODIP)↗, outlined how in an ideal scenario, a data management plan (DMP) is written at the project planning stage; evolves throughout the data life cycle; provides fundamental guidance for data management, archiving, preservation and re-use; is available online and searchable; and can to be monitored by funders. DMPs should include basic project information and information on data types/volumes, levels of data (raw, processed), standards, formats, repository, processing (software/calibration) and provenance. Glaves is one of the co-chairs of the RDA Active Data Management Plans interest group, which is planning to elaborate on the items she brought up and act as a focus for discussing requirements and developments needed to support active data management planning.
The new appointments, which started in May 2016, are: Dr Adrian Baker- Environmental sciences fellow, Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (dstl). Dr Debbie Buckley-Golder- Head of research engagement, Innovate UK. Professor Lee Chapman- Director of knowledge transfer, College of Life & Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham. Mr Gary Kass- Deputy chief scientific adviser, Defra. Dr Oliver Price- Science leader, Unilever. Dr Katherine Royse- Science director for geoanalytics and modelling, British Geological Survey. Dr Michael Salter- Research and development facilitator, AB Agri. Mr Mark Southwood- Group chief executive officer and chair, Temple Group Ltd. Mr Dickie Whitaker- Chief executive, Oasis Loss Modelling Framework.
The simple grave in question had been dug into mudstone on the west bank of the River Soar, to the south-west of the Roman town close to the important road known as the Fosse Way. Buried in the grave was the remains of a middle-aged man wearing an elaborately decorated belt in a style that would have been worn by a Late Roman soldier or civil servant during the second half of the 4th century or the early 5th century AD. The find, which is rare in Britain, was positioned at the waist of the skeleton and comprises a belt buckle, belt plate and strap end.
The project is funded by Jamie Lewis Residential as part of the site's redevelopment. Excavation and analysis of the skeletal assemblage has been carried out by a multi-disciplinary team of researchers from University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS), York Osteoarchaeology Ltd., the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre (SUERC) and the British Geological Survey (BGS). The belt has been conserved by Graham Morgan.
The proposal is called the H21 Leeds City Gate and the report has been produced by the North of England’s gas distributor, Northern Gas Networks, which is clearly worried by what could happen to its assets down the line, as the country reduces its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent of 1990 values by 2050, which is the target. It commissioned Kiwa Gastec, Amec Foster Wheeler, and Wales & West Utilities to assess the prospects for converting the gas network to take hydrogen instead of natural gas for cooking in heating, beginning in Leeds and eventually covering the entire UK.
The H21 proposal has been welcomed by Scottish Carbon Capture & Storage, a research partnership that includes the British Geological Survey, whose director, Stuart Haszeldine, called steam reforming with carbon capture and storage “the least cost method of generating the large amounts of hydrogen required”.
Engineers at the University of Strathclyde have secured funding for a four-year project to study the ability of complex rock strata beneath the North Sea to trap carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) securely. Their findings will help to provide the tools for selecting the most suitable CO2 storage sites as part of the large-scale development of carbon capture and storage, a key climate change technology. These tools could also greatly expand the potential for CO2 storage worldwide. The study will look at how CO2, when injected into rocks deep below ground, could migrate upwards through the overlying strata, or overburden. The greenhouse gas can become trapped by dissolving into water-filled spaces between the rock grains. In more complex geology, where the fluids flow through complex pathways, there may be more potential for trapping CO2 as it rises, thereby minimising the risk of it escaping to the surface. However, fault zones cutting geological layers could potentially provide shortcuts past the layers where CO2 could be trapped. The project team will investigate how the faults and rock strata interact to change the pathways for CO2 flow through the overburden. The researchers from Strathclyde, an SCCS partner institute, will work with fellow scientists from the Universities of Cambridge and Imperial, and the British Geological Survey as part of a larger research project funded by Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).
Scientists have spent many years researching the crater and today, drilling is playing a key role in helping deliver solid answers. The International Ocean Discovery Program’s (IODP) Expedition 364 aims to address several questions related to the Chicxulub impact crater by drilling into the structure to recover cores from and above the peak ring
Joanna Morgan, professor of geophysics at Imperial College London and co-chief scientist of Expedition 364, says this is a first-of-its-kind drilling project in that there are no other known intact peak rings on the globe and this is the first time one is being drilled into. She describes the peak ring as a ring of hills inside the crater, highlighting that the Chicxulub crater is the most pristine large crater known of on the planet.
The top ten survey by the British Geological Survey (BGS) is based on use of the popular geology app, iGeology. The latest version of the app allows geologists – professional and amateur alike – to identify exactly rocks they are looking at and get the full information on their geology from the databanks at the BGS. Since its launch in late 2010, the BGS iGeology app has been downloaded more than 285,000 times. This free app can access all of the BGS 1:50,000 geological maps on a smart phone or tablet. Using the GPS built in to the device, the app locates where you are and displays the geology underneath your feet. The iGeology app works in the same way as Google Earth in that it only sends the data you need on demand – otherwise it would not fit on to your phone. Although no personal details are kept, the BGS can work out the most popular areas of the UK where people are interested in the geology under their feet.
In a new study published in the journal Nature Communications, scientists from the universities of Nottingham and Durham and the British Geological Survey (BGS), have discovered the cause of a mass extinction within marine organisms called foraminifera. Foraminifera are an important group in relation to biomass in the deep ocean and the cause of their extinction was previously unknown.