British Geological Survey

The British Geological Survey (BGS) is a partly publicly funded body which aims to advance geoscientific knowledge of the United Kingdom landmass and its continental shelf by means of systematic surveying, monitoring and research.

The BGS headquarters are in Keyworth, Nottinghamshire, England, United Kingdom. Its other centres are located in Edinburgh, Wallingford, Cardiff and London. The current motto of the BGS is: Gateway to the Earth.

British Geological Survey (BGS)
British Geological Survey Logo
by Henry De la Beche
Legal statusGovernment Organisation
Carry out scientific research to understand the structure, properties and processes of
the solid Earth system
HeadquartersEnvironmental Science Centre
Region served
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Dr. John Ludden
Parent organisation
Natural Environment Research Council
around 50% from NERC

History and previous names

The Geological Survey was founded in 1835 as the Ordnance Geological Survey, under Henry De la Beche. This was the world's first national geological survey. It remained a branch of the Ordnance Survey for many years. In 1965, it was merged with the Geological Museum and Overseas Geological Surveys, under the name of "Institute of Geological Sciences". On 1 January 1984, the institute was renamed the British Geological Survey (and often referred to as the BGS), a name still carried today.


British Geological Survey Seal
BGS Seal
Bgs organisation logo

The BGS advises the British government on all aspects of geoscience, as well as providing impartial advice on geological matters to the public, academics and industry. BGS is a component body of the UK Natural Environment Research Council which is the UK's leading body for fundamental, strategic and applied research and monitoring in the environmental sciences both in the UK and for international projects. The core outputs of the BGS include geological, geophysical, geochemical and hydrogeological maps, descriptions and related digital databases. Scientists at the BGS produced the first comprehensive map of African groundwater reserves.[1] One of the key strategic aims for the next decade is to complete the transition from 2-D mapping to a 3-D modelling culture. The BGS has an annual budget of £57M, about half of which comes from the Government's science budget, with the remainder coming from commissioned research from the public and private sectors.

See also


  1. ^ Scholl, Adam. "Map Room: Hidden Waters". World Policy Journal. Retrieved 19 December 2012.

External links

2008 Market Rasen earthquake

The 2008 Market Rasen earthquake occurred at 00:56:47.8s GMT on 27 February 2008. According to the British Geological Survey the earthquake registered a reading of 5.2 on the Richter scale, with its epicentre 2.5 miles (4 km) north of Market Rasen and 15 miles (24 km) south-west of Grimsby.

Andrew Ramsay (geologist)

Sir Andrew Crombie Ramsay (sometimes spelt Ramsey) (31 January 1814 – 9 December 1891) was a Scottish geologist.

Archibald Geikie

Sir Archibald Geikie (28 December 1835 – 10 November 1924), was a Scottish geologist and writer.

Carboniferous Limestone

Carboniferous Limestone is a collective term for the succession of limestones occurring widely throughout Great Britain and Ireland that were deposited during the Dinantian Epoch of the Carboniferous Period. These rocks formed between 363 and 325 million years ago. Within England and Wales, the entire limestone succession, which includes subordinate mudstones and some thin sandstones, is known as the Carboniferous Limestone Supergroup.

Edward Forbes

Professor Edward Forbes FRS, FGS (12 February 1815 – 18 November 1854) was a Manx naturalist.

Geology of Hampshire

The geology of Hampshire in southern England broadly comprises a gently folded succession of sedimentary rocks dating from the Cretaceous and Palaeogene periods. The lower (early) Cretaceous rocks are sandstones and mudstones whilst those of the upper (late) Cretaceous are the various formations which comprise the Chalk Group and give rise to the county's downlands. Overlying these rocks are the less consolidated Palaeogene clays, sands, gravels and silts of the Lambeth, Thames and Bracklesham Groups which characterise the Hampshire Basin.

Geology of the Isle of Man

The geology of the Isle of Man consists primarily of a thick pile of sedimentary rocks dating from the Ordovician period, together with smaller areas of later sedimentary and extrusive igneous strata. The older strata was folded and faulted during the Caledonian and Acadian orogenies The bedrock is overlain by a range of glacial and post-glacial deposits. Igneous intrusions in the form of dykes and plutons are common, some associated with mineralisation which spawned a minor metal mining industry.


Greensand or green sand is a sand or sandstone which has a greenish color. This term is specifically applied to shallow marine sediment, that contains noticeable quantities of rounded greenish grains. These grains are called glauconies and consist of a mixture of mixed-layer clay minerals, such as smectite and glauconite mica. Greensand is also loosely applied to any glauconitic sediment.

Henry De la Beche

Sir Henry Thomas De la Beche KCB, FRS (10 February 1796 – 13 April 1855) was an English geologist and palaeontologist, the first director of the Geological Survey of Great Britain, who helped pioneer early geological survey methods. He was the first President of the Palaeontographical Society.

Kingsley Dunham

Sir Kingsley Charles Dunham (2 January 1910 – 5 April 2001) was one of the leading British geologists and mineralogists of the 20th century. He was a Professor of Geology at the University of Durham from 1950-71. He was later Professor Emeritus from 1967-2001. He was director of the British Geological Survey from 1967-75.

List of countries by feldspar production

This is a list of countries by feldspar production in 2011 mostly based on British Geological Survey accessed in April 2013.

List of countries by fluorite production

This is a list of countries by fluorite in 2006 mostly based on British Geological Survey accessed in July 2008.

List of countries by salt production

This is a list of countries by salt production. The six leading salt producers in the world, Australia, Canada, China, Germany, India and the United States, account for more than half of the worldwide production.

The first table includes data by the British Geological Survey (BGS) for countries with available statistics.

The second table includes data by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) for the leading producers.

List of earthquakes in the British Isles

The following is an extensive list of earthquakes that have been detected in Britain & Ireland. On average, several hundred earthquakes are detected by the British Geological Survey each year, but almost all are far too faint to be felt by humans. Those that are felt generally cause very little damage. Nonetheless, earthquakes have on occasion resulted in considerable damage, most notably in 1580 and 1884; Musson (2003) reports that there have been ten documented fatalities – six caused by falling masonry and four by building collapse. The causes of earthquakes in the UK are unclear, but may include "regional compression caused by motion of the Earth’s tectonic plates, and uplift resulting from the melting of the ice sheets that covered many parts of Britain thousands of years ago." Medieval reports of "earthquakes" that threw down newly built cathedrals may simply have been catastrophic failure of overloaded masonry, particularly towers, rather than actual tectonic events.

Mining in Iran

Mining in Iran is underdeveloped, yet the country is one of the most important mineral producers in the world, ranked among 15 major mineral-rich countries, holding some 68 types of minerals, 37 billion tonnes of proven reserves and more than 57 billion tonnes of potential reserves worth $770 billion in 2014. Mineral production contributes only 0.6 per cent to the country's GDP. Add other mining-related industries and this figure increases to just four per cent (2005). Many factors have contributed to this, namely lack of suitable infrastructure, legal barriers, exploration difficulties, and government control over all resources.

The most important mines in Iran include coal, metallic minerals, sand and gravel, chemical minerals and salt. Khorasan has the most operating mines in Iran. Other large deposits which mostly remain underdeveloped are zinc (world's largest), copper (world's ninth largest reserves in 2011, according to the managing director of National Iranian Copper Industries Company), iron (world's 12th largest in 2013 according to the US Geological Survey), uranium (world's tenth largest) and lead (world's eleventh largest). Iran with roughly 1% of the world's population holds more than 7% of the world's total mineral reserves.

Muncaster Fell

Muncaster Fell is a fell at the far western edge of the Lake District National Park, in Cumbria, England. Muncaster Fell is a long, narrow ridge of land, approximately 1.2 km wide and 6 km long, lying between the River Mite to the north, and River Esk to the south. The fell rises from the coast near Ravenglass village to its highest point at Hooker Crag (231 m). The ridge then continues to the north-east, dropping gently to its furthest prominence at Silver Knott (174 m). The fell then falls away rapidly to the village of Eskdale Green at its north-eastern tip.

OPAL Soil Centre

The OPAL Soil Centre is one of five centres of expertise under the Open Air Laboratories Network (OPAL). The OPAL Soil Centre is based at the Centre for Environmental Policy at Imperial College London. The OPAL Soil Centre has high-profile partners including the Environment Agency, British Geological Survey, and the Natural History Museum.

Palaeontological Association

The Palaeontological Association (PalAss for short) is a charitable organisation based in the UK founded in 1957 for the promotion of the study of palaeontology and allied sciences.

Women in geology

Women in geology concerns the history and contributions of women to the field of geology. There has been a long history of women in the field, but they have tended to be under-represented. In the era before the eighteenth century, science and geological science had not been as formalized as they would become later. Hence early geologists tended to be informal observers and collectors, whether they were male or female. Notable examples of this period include Hildegard of Bingen who wrote works concerning stones and Barbara Uthmann who supervised her husband's mining operations after his death. Mrs. Uthmann was also a relative of Georg Agricola. In addition to these names varied aristocratic women had scientific collections of rocks or minerals.In the nineteenth century a new professional class of geologists emerged that included women. In this period the British tended to have far more women of significance to geology.In 1977 the Association for Women Geoscientists was formed to support women in this field as they remained under-represented. There have been advances since then although retention remains a problem.


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