News stories about BGS

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.

It is evident that people have a genuine concern about climate change and the issues of increasing carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. Aided by the nice weather and the general buzz around the University of Birmingham/British Science Festival, this concern saw over 70 people attend 'The Carbon Conundrum' on Sunday morning...

... Q & A panel ran over by nearly 15 minutes showed just how engaged the audience were, and is also a testament to the expertise of the expert panel who were joined by Dr Paul Fennell (Imperial College - Capture), Dr Julia Race (University of Strathclyde - Transport) and Michelle Bentham (BGS - Storage) who between them answered questions on the full chain CCS process.

Overall this was a fantastic little event and one that I am convinced helped to spread knowledge of the science and application of CCS technology within the UK. This event was organised by SCCS with UKCCSRC and BGS and with support from Imperial College London and EPRG at University of Cambridge.

18 September 2014

Leaks from faulty shale gas and oil wells have contaminated water supplies, but fracking itself is not to blame, according to new research.

The findings echo those of a study by Researching Fracking in Europe (ReFINE), backed by the British Geological Survey and published earlier this year, which also found that although shale gas wells can leak, fracking itself was not to blame. Problems with the structure of the wells – such as inadequate cement seals - were responsible.

15 September 2014

This is the amazing moment lumps of solid rock explode into the air as the earth sheds its outer layer in a strange geological phenomenon known as exfoliation...

Leanne Hughes, survey geologist with the British Geological Survey said the issue of exfoliating rock is not tremendously rare...

She said: 'It is unusual to see exfoliating rock captured on video but it is not very rare. It is caused when igneous rock such as granite is exposed to strong sunlight and dry conditions. Under the intense infra red rays the rock expands and then it contracts at night. 'This mechanical process weakens the rock until it reaches the point where it fails. This can happen in the UK but it is not very dangerous.'

11 September 2014

Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano continues to rumble, threatening to blow its top and throw tonnes of ash into the atmosphere like the Eyjafjallajökull volcano did in 2010. This time, however, scientists will be tracking the volcano minute by minute with an array of instruments that they hope will allow them to predict any impending eruption and give early warning of the dangers.

Satellites overhead have been monitoring the rapid collapse at the centre of the volcano, its caldera. This is sinking down 90cm a day and since the eruption started it has dropped 20 metres, said Dr John Stevenson of the University of Edinburgh. “There are big movements going on here,” he said.

This was an important eruption for earth science, and had much to teach us about volcanoes, said Dr Susan Loughlin, head of volcanology with the British Geological Survey. “For the first time we will be totally monitoring and recording enormous amounts of data,” she said.

10 September 2014

Thanks to collaborations between the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) and NERC-funded researchers at the University of Cambridge and NERC's British Geological Survey (BGS) leading to the installation of seismometers in Iceland, the movement of the magma associated with Bardarbunga can now be detected in real time in unprecedented detail.

BGS is also working with the IMO to monitor gas emissions from a fissure eruption close to Bardarbunga, and is helping the IMO provide detailed background information on its website. This includes possible eruption scenarios from the soon-to-be-published Catalogue of Icelandic Volcanoes, a project BGS is leading as part of FUTUREVOLC - an EU project to monitor Europe's volcanoes.

3 September 2014

The latest eruption occurred between Bárðarbunga and Askja, in a remote and unpopulated plain of cooled lava. The Icelandic department that oversees emergency response reported that lava was spurting from a fissure of 100 metres or more. As of early in the morning of 29 August, this development appeared to be relatively small and undramatic.

The sheer volume of magma involved — perhaps some 0.4 cubic kilometres in the dyke — suggests that it is coming directly from Earth’s mantle. That places the source perhaps hundreds of kilometres below the surface of the crust, rather than in a shallow magma chamber of the sort found beneath many volcanoes, says Evgenia Ilyinskaya, a volcanologist with the British Geological Survey in Edinburgh...

29 August 2014

Charles Clough was a respected geologist who was brought up in Huddersfield and worked across northern Britain...

Ken and Trena travelledfrom Huddersfield on to Edinburgh where they saw his notebooks and other memorabilia which are on display by the British Geological Survey and the Edinburgh Geological Society, to show the importance of his geological research.

27 August 2014

"Inspired by the Ordnance Survey (OS) map released a year ago," says BGS, "this map shows the OS map data on the surface and the real geology beneath, right down to the bedrock. You’ll be able to look over the white cliffs of Dover, climb to the top of Ben Nevis and scour over the ancient volcanoes of the Scottish Isles."

There is a point to this, and it revolves around Minecraft's continued popularity as an educational tool—a fact born of the game's continued popularity with people who need educating. "This work is an outstanding opportunity to get people using Minecraft, especially youngsters, to understand the geology beneath their feet and what it can be used for," said Professor John Ludden, executive director of the BGS, in a press release.

27 August 2014

When scientists enter government in the role of a scientific adviser or as the head of a science agency, they need to be prepared for the unexpected. Some of their most crucial contributions come during crises, a theme that will be explored on 28–29 August at a global summit of science advisers in Auckland, New Zealand. On the eve of that meeting, Nature takes a look at how such officials performed during the Eyjafjallajökull eruption, as well as the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and a deadly disease outbreak in Europe the following year...

The SAGE volcanic ash group met for the first time on 21 April, after London's Heathrow airport — the world's busiest — had faced the cancellation of more than 97% of its flights for five days straight. The group included Sue Loughlin, a volcanologist at the British Geological Survey in Edinburgh, who did her PhD on Eyjafjallajökull and had served in Montserrat, in the West Indies, during a deadly eruption there in 1997. Loughlin and others supplied basic information about the volcano's geological history and the pace of the ongoing eruption...

27 August 2014

More than 27 tonnes of ammonium leaches from an Oxford wetland into the River Thames every year, reports the Natural Environment Research Council...

“We’ve been getting rid of waste for an awful long time,” says Dr Daren Gooddy, of NERC’s British Geological Survey, who led the study. “Since Victorian times, we’ve been putting it into landfill and ad-hoc waste dumps on the edge of our towns and cities, often on the fringes of floodplains.”

The research is published in the journal Science of the Total Environment.

26 August 2014