Work across England's Thames region is focussed on the geological units that underpin infrastructure and economic development. Understanding variation in the physical properties of the Chalk Group, and the geological factors that influence this, is the goal of the chalk basin architecture modelling project. Data from this project will better understanding of the engineering and hydrogeological properties of the chalk, and its susceptibility to pollution. The work will also provide new scientific insights about the processes that formed the chalk, and allow predictions to be made about its physical properties in areas where little is known.
In the Cotswolds, we are working to understand the processes of valley cambering, which causes disruption to geological units and may pose a risk to existing or planned infrastructure. Geophysical surveys will reveal the processes involved, and analysis of spatial data will identify the geological settings most prone to these phenomena. A national map predicting where these features are likely to be present is a longer term goal of this project.
Joint research with the BGS palaeontology team aims to understand the geochemistry of the Oxford Clay, which is important for brick manufacture. Knowledge of how conditions in the Jurassic seas affected the physical character of the mudstone should enable us to make predictions about its properties across southern England.
Team leader: Mark Woods.