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.



Robert Gatliff, director of energy and marine geoscience at the British Geological Survey warned that Britain will need a thousand successful shale wells a year to meet demand.

Speaking on Today, he said: "You can also look at how much gas you get out per well in the United States per well - at the moment they are getting around two billion cubic feet per well, so if we managed to do that, to do our gas production that we use at the moment per day in the UK, we would probably need a thousand successful wells a year - and I think that's years away and will probably never happen, that's a big target."



28 August 2014

BGS Minecraft world screenshot
You may remember when Britain's Ordnance Survey recreated the entirety of the country as a Minecraft map. That was all well and good if, for some reason, you wanted to explore its top soil in a geologically removed way. But what about the peaks and troughs of the British landscape?... To see those, you'll need a new Minecraft map—this one created by the British Geological Survey.


27 August 2014

Researchers studying the remains of Richard III have identified what the 15th century English monarch ate and drank across his lifetime. Isotope geochemist Angela Lamb of the British Geological Survey says ratios of chemical variants in teeth and bone can reveal what a person was consuming. She says as his power grew, so did the king’s sumptuous banquets, which included beef, pork, venison, freshwater and marine fish, and all manner of wildfowl, from peacocks to swans.



25 August 2014

Heightened levels of seismic tremors have increased the risk of the Bárðarbunga volcano erupting and producing an ash cloud. The development has seen the Iceland Met Office raising the risk level to the aviation industry to orange, the second-highest level. Iceland's volcanos are highly active with the most recent eruption in 2010 leading to the European airspace being closed for six days.

Dr Evgenia Ilyinskaya, a volcanologist at the British Geological Survey in Edinburgh, gives us the latest update on the volcano and explains what has increased its chances of erupting.



21 August 2014

A study by the University of Leicester has identified a new method to optimize fracking, improving gas yields and reducing environmental impacts. A team from the University of Leicester and the British Geological Survey have looked into what else comes out of fractured Bowland shale other than methane.

Professor Mike Stephenson, Director of Science and Technology at the British Geological Survey said: “These results show that it might be possible to influence the outcome of fracking to improve the amount of gas we get and the kind of gas. Gases like ethane are useful in industrial manufacturing, beyond their use for energy.”



20 August 2014

See the embedded video featuring BGS Volcanology's Evgenia Ilinskaya

...Seismic activity observed at Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano prompts Iceland to warn airlines about a possible eruption. British Geological Survey volcanologist Evgenia Ilyinskaya discusses on the News Hub with Sara Murray...



20 August 2014

Video embedded in story featuring Prof Jane Evans and Dr Angela Lamb

Scientists at the British Geological Survey measured the levels of isotopes including oxygen, strontium, nitrogen and carbon in the remains of Richard III, found buried beneath a parking lot in the English city of Leicester in 2012...

Isotope geochemist Angela Lamb, who led the study, said two teeth -- a molar and premolar -- and two bones -- a rib and femur -- were analyzed because each held different information and could offer a variety of clues to Richard III's life. "The teeth develop in childhood and don't change, so from them we can get information about a person's early years," she told CNN...



18 August 2014

The findings of the research by experts from the British Geological Survey and the University of Leicester will be shown in a new documentary, Richard III: The New Evidence, to be shown tonight at 9pm on Channel 4...

In a paper in the Journal of Archaeological Science today, researchers state: "Variations in Richard III's diet can be traced through his life using carbon and nitrogen isotope compositions." They add that in medieval England, "the wealthier you were the more variety of meat and fish you consumed"...

Dr Angela Lamb, geochemist at the British Geological Survey, and lead author of the paper said: "Your body processes the food you eat and the water you drink and they have chemical signatures in terms of their isotope composition which gets preserved in your teeth and bone." In the documentary, Dr Lamb says: "The nitrogen isotopes show an increase in the amount of meat and protein they were eating, and also an increase in the amount of fish they were eating. And Richard's are at the top end of comparable medieval high-status individuals."



17 August 2014

A new web portal is opening up access to data about UK soil and its properties. Envirotec asked Russell Lawley of the British Geological Survey (BGS), who manages some of the content and development aspects of the site, about how it is used and how it might help consultants working in areas like brownfield development and the environmental sector...

“We want the environmental sector to run with this data,” he says. “It’s great when people phone up with problems or ideas for better ways of doing things.”



16 August 2014

In a newly published study, Earth scientists Jan Zalasiewicz and Mark Williams, of the University of Leicester, and Colin Waters, of the British Geological Survey, bolster the case for an Anthropocene epoch by pointing out that human activities -- ranging from fracking for oil and gas to underground nuclear tests -- actually have created profound changes deep beneath the Earth's surface...



13 August 2014