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.

2.6 magnitude tremor described as 'big bang' is felt across the county. Experts have confirmed Nottinghamshire was hit by an earthquake earlier as social media sites were flooded with reports of a tremor. The earthquake, which had a magnitude of 2.6, struck 0.6 miles from Hucknall, which is just under eight miles north of Nottingham, at around 7.17pm yesterday, according to the British Geological Survey.

29 October 2014

It’s alive! British scientists recently discovered that a glacier named Falljökull in Iceland, considered dead, is in fact living– or actually, it’s both. Using 3D imaging of the interior and surface of the glacier, they found that its long top section, which extends in a steep ice fall from the ice cap Öraefajökull to a plateau below, has at least temporarily saved itself by severing ties with a lower stagnant, dead piece, a little bit like that lone hiker pinned under a rock who hacked off his arm a few years ago to escape certain demise in the wild...

The team of scientists was able to detect this zombie glacier behavior using Ground Penetrating Radar to map the ice’s internal structure; terrestrial Laser scanning (LiDAR) to create a 3D model of the surface of the glacier and surrounding landforms; four Global Navigation Satellite System stations on the glacier’s surface to record its velocity, and digital mapping and measuring of the glaciers surface structures, such as fractures, crevasses and faults.

28 October 2014

Changes at Exit Glacier and the wider Harding icefield are part of a global pattern of mostly melting and shrinking glaciers.

In southeastern Iceland, a well-known glacier is melting so fast that its shrunken lower section has become detached, according to a new study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface

Falljökull Glacier, which was actively retreating from 1990 to 2004, crossed a threshold after that, said the study, conducted by the British Geological Survey. Now the lower part of the glacier is stagnant -- though undergoing long-term decay -- and the upper section has started to override it, even as the margins continue to shrink, according to the study. Melt is occurring year-round, not just in summer, and the newly discovered melt pattern is highly unusual, the study said.

27 October 2014

An international study shows that a huge underwater landslide, triggered by the initial quake, added considerably to the size of the tsunami, which reached heights of 40m on parts of the east coast... modelling of the seabed demonstrates that in Japan’s case the earthquake alone could not have caused such a destructive tsunami. “Our model could only get inundation up to 16m or 18m – not 40m – so we knew there must be another cause,” says Stephan Grilli of the University of Rhode Island, who carried out the study with colleagues at the British Geological Survey and University of Tokyo.

24 October 2014

THE British Geological Survey (BGS) has released high-resolution scans of more than 6,000 geological maps which were previously published on paper, including the recent 1:50,000 mapping of England, Wales and Scotland, and geochemical and geophysical maps.

Professor John Ludden, executive director of the BGS, said: ‘BGS is increasingly moving to full digital delivery of its maps and this step allows downloads of our highest-resolution map products created and developed over 180 years that have underpinned the economic development of the UK.'

23 October 2014

The Falljökull glacier has cut off its lower reaches but the upper portion is advancing once again

The Falljökull glacier of Skaftafell National Park in Iceland has abandoned its rotting, dying lower portion. The upper portion is once again advancing forward. Emrys Phillips, a researcher with the British Geological Survey, compared the glacier to a lizard that has detached its tail to escape a predator. "In the case of the glacier, the predator is our warming climate," he told Climate Central.

Phillips and his colleagues deployed several different forms of reconnaissance technologies — satellites, ground-penetrating radar and remote-sensing LiDAR — to reveal the steep mountain glacier’s survival strategy. They published their findings in the Journal of Geophysical Research last week.

21 October 2014

The largest carbon capture and storage (CCS) research partnership in the UK has grown even bigger as the University of Strathclyde joins the group, bringing world-leading expertise in areas such as carbon dioxide (CO2) transport and environmental impact analysis.

Scientists from the University of Strathclyde will join fellow researchers within the Scottish Carbon Capture & Storage (SCCS) partnership, which already includes the British Geological Survey, Heriot-Watt University, the University of Aberdeen and the University of Edinburgh.

21 October 2014

Some of the fastest growing, most exciting and forward-thinking companies in the geoscience sector will be exhibiting at this year’s Innovate UK event, including, The GeoInformation Group and Virtalis.

An exhibitor of note is The GeoInformation Group, which develops new geographic solutions for 3D elevation data, satellite imagery and mapping data. Also to be exhibited at the event is GeoVisionary, developed by Virtalis in collaboration with the British Geological Survey as specialist software for high-resolution visualisation of spatial data. The initial design goal was to ensure that data sets for large regions, national to sub-continental, could be loaded simultaneously and at full resolution, while allowing real-time interaction with the data.

20 October 2014

A unique new degree in Environmental Geoscience has been launched at the University of Nottingham in collaboration with the world-renowned British Geological Survey (BGS)...

The new course has welcomed its first students who will benefit from the expertise of staff from the world's oldest national geological survey and the United Kingdom's premier centre for earth science information and expertise as well as internationally renowned academics in one of the leading Geography departments in the country.

19 October 2014

Durham Cathedral has been nominated as one of the UK's top 100 Geosites.

The famous world heritage building has been chosen for its range of excellent building stones.

To celebrate the geological importance of Durham Cathedral, local specialist Brian Young will be leading a walk and talk about the geology of the area today.

Mr Young, a retired British Geological Survey, District Geologist for Northern England, is also a Cathedral Guide and is passionate about sharing his knowledge with others in a friendly and accessible way.

Gina Davies, Woodlands and Riverbanks Officer at Durham Cathedral, said: “Brian did some training recently with our volunteers and it was a fascinating session, they all really enjoyed it. "We hope that people will be excited about the opportunity to learn more about the types of stone used in the Cathedral itself.”

18 October 2014