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 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.
According to the British Geological Survey, the earthquake originated at just after 9.40pm last night (Monday, June 13). Measured at a magnitude of 1.9 on the richter scale, the earthquake - which was recorded at a depth of 8km and was centered on Colwyn Bay - was felt as far as Anglesey and Bangor. David Galloway, a seismologist for the British Geological Survey, said despite the UK not being based near the edge of a tectonic plate beneath the earth's crust, earthquakes are still possible due to movement of the plates.
The researchers report an experiment in Iceland where they have pumped CO2 and water underground into volcanic rock. Reactions with the minerals in the deep basalts convert the carbon dioxide to a stable, immobile chalky solid.
Christopher Rochelle is an expert on CCS at the British Geological Survey and was not involved in the Iceland experiment. He said Carbfix underlined the importance of moving beyond modelling and lab studies to real-world demonstrations. Only by doing this can the technology readiness be properly assessed. "We need to do more field-scale tests, like this one in Iceland, to better understand the types of processes that are ongoing and how fast they work," he told BBC News. "Here, they injected into reactive rocks and the minerals precipitated relatively quickly and are then unable to migrate anywhere. That's great, but the rocks under Iceland are different to those under the North Sea, for example. So the approach that is taken is going to have to vary depending on where you are. We are going to need a portfolio of techniques."
The operations manager on the project, Dave Smith, said drilling would likely to end soon. “The core recovery, we’re all really chuffed about — the almost 100% core recovery and the quality of the cores we’ve been getting up. It’s been a remarkable success. We’ve got deeper than I thought we might do,” the British Geological Survey man said. The original target was to get down to 1,500 metre, to drill through a feature called the ‘peak ring’. This was created at the centre of the impact hole where the Earth rebounded after being hit by the city-sized space object. In earlier geophysical surveys that were able to sense below the seabed, this ring looked like an arcing chain of mountains.
A UK/US-led team has spent the past seven weeks coring into the deep bowl cut out of the Earth's surface 66 million years ago by the asteroid that hastened the end of the dinosaurs. Rocks nearly 1,300m below the Gulf seafloor have been pulled up. The samples are expected to reveal new insights on the scale of the impact and its environmental effects
The operations manager on the project, Dave Smith, said drilling would likely end at midnight on Wednesday. "The core recovery, we're all really chuffed about - the almost 100% core recovery and the quality of the cores we've been getting up. "It's been a remarkable success. We've got deeper than I thought we might do," the British Geological Survey man said.
Ambiental provides flood modelling and risk consultancy to insurers, utilities, property professionals and governments as far afield as Australia. Its Flowroute software, developed with support from the UK’s national innovation agency Innovate UK, can predict the risk to any building anywhere in the UK, whether from river, tidal or flash flooding. Use of the cloud-piercing, day-night satellite data in real time promises to take the technology to new levels of sophistication and usability. Ambiental trialled a drone capability over flooded areas around Cockermouth in Cumbria. With photogrammetric software, it can build a 3D computer-generated model that offers an even more accurate picture for emergency services.
Innovate UK has recently awarded Ambiental £62,500 towards the costs of a feasibility project with the British Geological Survey, looking to add a groundwater mapping and modelling capability to Flowroute.
The Anthropocene is the period in which humans have had an effect on the global environment comparable to the comet that killed off most of the dinosaurs and ended the Cretaceous period. In the current issue of the journal Antiquity, San Diego State University archaeologist Todd Braje considers the pros and cons of recognizing the Anthropocene as a formal, geological epoch. Braje acknowledges that geologists might find the term useful because the effects humans have on the environment — such as global warming, plant and animal extinctions and ocean acidification — are so profound that future geologists will have no trouble recognizing the age of humans. Nevertheless, he cautions against adopting a formal Anthropocene Epoch
In a response to Braje’s essay in the same issue of Antiquity, geologists Jan Zalasiewicz of the University of Leicester and Colin Waters of the British Geological Survey write that they support the formal adoption of the Anthropocene Epoch. “If a scientific phenomenon is real and distinct, it is useful to give it a name,” they say. They argue that formalizing the Anthropocene would not “neglect human history,” but instead write it “in layers of sediment and ice, rather than in the pages of a book." "Defining geological periods isn’t meant to include or exclude events within or outside of certain chosen time units." It simply helps us to better grasp “an Earth history that we know to be immensely complex.”