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.



Mr. Brown has 35 years' experience in mining and exploration as an independent consultant, senior executive and global leader of a highly successful discovery team. His broad experience base includes working on four continents, completing over 100 technical assignments, and covering a range of commodities in over 25 countries.

Mr. Brown holds a BSc. from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow and a MSc. from James Cook University, Australia. He has been a Fellow of the Society of Economic Geologists ("SEG") since 1999, participated in the Colombia Senior Executives Program in 2004 and the Duke Business Leaders Program in 2007. He is a past councilor of the SEG and current British Geological Survey industry advisor and Natural History Museum honorary research fellow.



9 February 2016

In a 47-day expedition, researchers collected rock samples that reveal signs of life in the mantle of the ocean’s crust. The mantle rocks, which were collected by an international team using seabed rock drills, could provide clues about the reactions that fuel life in areas without sunlight, and the behaviour of carbon in such a setting.

The team set out with the Rock Drill 2 from the British Geological Survey and the MeBo rock drill from MARUM in Bremen, Germany to collect the rock cores from a 4,000-m tall underwater mountain, the Atlantis Massif. Now, a ‘science party,’ has spent the past two weeks studying the findings at the International Ocean Discovery Project (IODP) at Bremen Core Repository in Bremen, Germany. The samples from the shallow mantle show signs of life, along with indication of unique carbon cycling and ocean crust movement.



1 February 2016

Things take a further macabre twist when it emerges that more than a dozen bodies are littering the shores of the Netherlands and Germany. What could possibly link the deaths? A CSI team, dispatched to hunt for clues, faces a race against time. Scavengers and saltwater will devour the carcasses and destroy potentially vital evidence.

Set up in response to a 1988 virus that killed thousands of European seals, the CSIP – cetacean is the collective noun for aquatic placental mammals – is celebrating its 25th year. It continues work begun by the Natural History Museum in 1913 in response to a mass stranding of 50 sperm whales in Cornwall.

Investigators will check for marine earthquakes with the British Geological Survey and examine underwater noise levels to see if these could have been triggers. They will also study whether there was a change in the distribution of prey that might have encouraged the whales to come into UK waters.



30 January 2016

OGA will provide £700,000 ($991,757) of government funding toward a new 3D visualization facility at the Lyell Centre in Edinburgh, a joint venture between the British Geological Survey and Heriot Watt University. This will be used partly for new equipment to improve interpretation of complex geological and engineering data, with results and analytical tools available to the industry and academia.



29 January 2016

Following a meeting in Aberdeen today between senior representatives from the oil and gas industry and Prime Minister David Cameron, the OGA announced £20 million of new funding for a second round of new seismic surveys in 2016 around Rockall.

In addition, OGA will provide £700,000 of Government funding to be invested in the development of a world class 3D visualisation facility at the Lyell Centre in Edinburgh. The funding will allow the centre, a joint venture between the British Geological Survey and Heriot Watt University, to benefit from state of the art equipment to help better interpret complex geological and engineering data. The open access facility will support the dissemination of data and analytical tools to academia and industry alike.



28 January 2016

The quake hit just before 11.30pm at a depth of 1km, at grid reference 50.164 -5.120 - on Kernick Industrial Estate. Jamie Reed wrote on the Facebook group Falmouth and Penryn Problem Page: "Did anyone feel or hear a massive rumble at around 11.30 this evening? That was weird."



28 January 2016

Grace, a PhD student under the Soil Fertility Consortium for Southern Africa (SOFECSA) Research Group in the Department of Soil Science and Agricultural Engineering at the University of Zimbabwe, is looking at on-farm micronutrient malnutrition through understanding factors affecting the bioavailability of selenium, zinc and iron in tropical soils. She is also investigating the influence of farmer soil fertility management techniques on crop productivity and human nutrition.



25 January 2016

The Science of Sensor Systems Software (S4) project, which also includes the University of Liverpool and Imperial College London, will bring together expertise across computing, engineering and mathematics with a range of private- and public-sector partners. S4 aims to develop new principles and techniques for sensor system software to help the development of more-robust water networks, air quality monitoring, reliable autonomous driving and precision manufacturing.

A number of companies and scientific organisations are involved in the project, including the automation technology developer ABB, the British Geological Survey, the CENSIS centre of excellence for Sensor and Imaging Systems technologies, Freescale Semiconductor, Rolls-Royce, the French multinational Thales Group and Transport Scotland.



21 January 2016

The organisation, a partnership of the British Geological Survey, Heriot-Watt University, University of Aberdeen, the University of Edinburgh and the University of Strathclyde, says that the execution of the proposal would serve to “re-energise the deployment of CCS in the UK and Europe”, which has stalled in recent months due to funding and investment problems. Most recently, the UK government cancelled its £1bn CCS funding competition.

The report envisages an industrial and power CCS cluster in Central Scotland which would use existing pipelines and offshore infrastructure to transport CO2, and allow the project to be implemented quickly and at a relatively low cost. The hub would start small and grow incrementally as necessary. The CO2 could be used for enhanced oil recovery (EOR), to add value. Existing pipelines could be repurposed and existing production platforms converted to CO2 injection sites as the fields beneath them are depleted.



21 January 2016

Regions along the Gulf of Guinea are at highest risk of groundwater pollution on the continent, according to a map drawn by researchers at the Université Catholique de Louvain’s Earth and Life Institute in Belgium. Much of Central Africa and some coastal lands in northwest Africa are also vulnerable, the map shows. The study, to be published in next month’s issue of the journal Science of the Total Environment, shows that the Sahara Desert, where water reserves are deep underground and human activities are low, is the region least vulnerable to groundwater pollution on the continent.

The findings could assist donors and agencies that manage water use across borders, says co-author and environmental scientist Marnik Vanclooster. It is then up to national governments to carry out more specific research at the local level, adds lead author Issoufou Ouedraogo, a PhD student at the university. To estimate how vulnerable groundwater is to pollution across the continent, the team used an established method combining seven parameters including groundwater depth, soil type and topography.

The study method “has its weaknesses, with many of the input parameters interlinked”, says Alan MacDonald, a hydrogeologist at the British Geological Survey. “However, using a well-known methodology, despite its weaknesses, enables comparison with other parts of the world.”



20 January 2016