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.



We live on an ever-changing planet. Volcanoes emerge from the oceans; landslides transport millions of tonnes of material down hills and mountains causing billions of pounds of damage; coastlines and glaciers retreat at almost visible rates. But can we do anything about it? Lee Jones says we can...

BGS has a field laboratory site on the Holderness coast, at Aldbrough in North Yorkshire. The 300m-long site includes a 17m-high section of cliff made up of glacial till, a mixture of clay, sand, gravel and boulders left behind by retreating glaciers during the last ice age. The cliff has been monitored since 2001 and is disappearing at a rate of 3m a year. This erosion is caused by both landslides and the direct action of the sea crashing against it...

BGS also has a field observatory site at Virkisjökull in south-east Iceland, studying the evolution of the glacier and the surrounding landscape, and their responses to regional climate. Repeated, highly detailed surveys monitor how both the glacier and land surface, and the rock and earth beneath, change over time. Cutting-edge technologies, not used in such a combination anywhere else in the world, give us unique insights into how the landscape is formed and how the glacial system responds to climate change. Virkisjökull is retreating quickly, like most glaciers in Iceland. Since 1996, the glacier margin has retreated nearly 500m and it has accelerated over the last five years.



21 November 2014

The British Geological Survey recorded the tremor at 9.23am on Thursday, November 13. With a magnitude of 2.2, its epicentre was located at nearby Howgate 3km underground.

One Howgate resident, on social media, said: “My dogs ran through from the kitchen at that time. Something had scared them. There was a crash and I couldn’t figure what it was.”



19 November 2014

At the PETEX 2014 conference in London today (November 18) Oil & Gas UK announced the kick- off of two projects aimed at stimulating exploration on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) and appealed for further industry participation in the 21st Century Exploration Road Map –a digital perspective of the UKCS petroleum geology...

In a keynote speech at the PETEX exploration and production conference in London, Oonagh Werngren MBE, Oil & Gas UK’s operations director, said: “Two projects have evolved from a scoping study for the 21st Century Exploration Road Map that made recommendations for both the geological and geographical scope and urgent priorities going forward. The first project comprises an industry-wide review, led and funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), of exploration wells drilled in the Central North Sea 2003-2013, an area deemed to hold the largest remaining potential on the UKCS. The second is a study, developed by the British Geological Survey, of the Palaeozoic potential of the UKCS that will draw on data from operators and contractors. ..



18 November 2014

On 13th November at the Chesford Grange Hotel in Warwickshire, AGI hosted a new look awards ceremony for 2014. This prestigious event brought together leaders from across the geospatial sector to celebrate the best of the year’s geospatial projects, as well as excellence in teaching and research.

Recognising the best paper from the GeoBig5 event series, this award went to “Glasgow, setting the standard for Europe” by Diarmad Campbell, British Geological Survey. Judges said that:“It was a pleasure to watch someone articulate in such a clear manner why geology is important to the Future Cities agenda”.

The final and most prestigious award of the evening recognised an individual who has made a significant long term contribution to geospatial within their professional career over a sustained period of time...Keith was a champion and pioneer of GIS at BGS. With every leap forward in GIS technology over the years, Keith advanced and developed the systems at BGS, providing new capabilities that many of his geological colleagues would not even have dreamed of. He proved the organisational benefits of GIS over and over again. Keith’s many achievements over the years included being the original author and manager of the Geoscience Data Index (GDI), making BGS’s vast spatial data assets accessible to a huge audience from both within and outside BGS. He was a lead player in many other large corporate GIS systems including SIGMA, GeoReports, UKDEAL and GHASP.



18 November 2014

The British Geological Survey (BGS) has released the 10th edition of the Directory of Mines and Quarries (DMQ 2014),an invaluable directory containing information on over 2,000 mineral workings and related mineral handling sites operating in 2014.

Andrew Bloodworth, Head of Science for Minerals and Waste at the BGS said: “Mineral extraction from UK mines and quarries is a vital component of our economy. Aggregates, cement, sand and stone literally underpin our construction sector and major infrastructure projects. Domestically-produced oil, gas and coal remain an important part of our energy mix. The BGS DMQ provides government, regulators, industry and the general public with a detailed, up-to-date and authoritative guide to where and who produces minerals in the UK. This information helps ensure the economic and environmental sustainability of this important industry.”



17 November 2014

The British Geological Survey recorded the minor quake at 9:23 on Thursday 13 November, with locals reporting the tremor lasting for around thirty seconds. Occurring 3km below the surface, residents throughout Leadburn and Howgate reported feeling the tremor. Due to its magnitude and depth, some community members as far north as Kirkhill have acknowledged feeling the earthquake, with Valleyfield properties also being affected.



15 November 2014

The British Geological Survey (BGS) published on Friday an online database of freely viewable and downloadable marine geoscience data. ..

"We want this data to benefit the whole geoscience community by aiding research and inspiring new spin-out products," said Bob Gatliff, BGS Director of Energy & Marine Geoscience. "The marine environment is an ever increasingly important area of scientific study as it is worth more than 48.6 billion pounds to the UK economy, which is predicted to double by 2030. At 3.5 times the UK land mass, it is an area with vast economic and environmental potential," Gatliff added.



15 November 2014

A spokesperson for the British Geological Survey said that flooding in the South West was a bigger risk this year, in comparison to previous years.

Andrew McKenzie said: "At this stage we're in a position were flooding's more likely than normal, but not by a lot. I understand that everybody who's been through the floods last year will be looking at the weather and worrying and I'd love to be in a position to tell them it will or it won't flood, but it's like tossing a coin. It all depends on the weather. The risk is slightly higher than in other years but only very marginally, so there should be heightened vigilance but not undue concern."



14 November 2014

A small earthquake hit Dumfries on Friday morning. Parts of the town shook for a few seconds at 11.23am. And a seismologist has confirmed that there was a tremor, measuring 2.6 on the Richter scale with a depth of 2.6. Brian Baptie of the British Geological Survey in Edinburgh said: "It appears that there has been a small tremor in the Dumfries area.

"We are analysing the data now. "Dumfries and Galloway has had a number of earthquakes in the past few decades and they are usually quite small with a magnitude of 3.1 to 3.2." The Eskdalemuir Monitoring Station recorded a spike in seismic readings at 11.23am. According to the Richter scale the tremor would have been "felt slightly by some people. No damage to buildings" and there are more than one million a year across the globe. There have been a number of recorded tremors in the region over the past few decades usually measuring 3.1 to 3.2.One of the largest ever recorded for Dumfries and Galloway was 3.5 on Boxing Day 2006. People have taken to social media to talk about the quake.



14 November 2014

The British Geological Survey has confirmed an earthquake measuring about 2.6 on the Richter scale has affected parts of southern Scotland...

The BGS reported it had been felt throughout Dumfries and in Lockerbie, Locharbriggs, Lochmaben, Lochfoot, Newbridge, Kirkton, Auldgirth, Torthorwald, Collin and Mouswald...

One of the largest quakes experienced in Dumfries and Galloway was one recorded on Boxing Day 2006 which measured 3.5 in magnitude.



14 November 2014