About FutureThames

What is FutureThames?

Rural landscape around the Colne Valley near Chappel, northern Essex 1:625,000 scale geological map of the Thames basin region Blackwater estuary near Northey Island, eastern Essex The London LithoFrame model, viewed towards the North City of London skyline Exploded 3D volume model of part of the Thames Gateway and attributed according to aquifer classification

FutureThames is an ambitious cross-cutting project aimed at bringing together wide-ranging research, knowledge and expertise within the Thames basin, with a view to improving decision making and facilitating sustainable planning within the region.

FutureThames was established by the British Geological Survey (BGS) in response to the current BGS strategy and is driven by the overarching need to respond to the unique environmental, social and economic challenges facing the Thames basin.

FutureThames aims to initiate, facilitate and support interdisciplinary and collaborative research in an attempt to fully understand the effects of climate change in the Thames basin.

It is hoped this will involve not only the diverse threads of science within the BGS, but also the wider environmental community and public bodies to provide a holistic approach to predicting and mitigating against climate change.

Why the Thames basin?

3D geological model of the Thames basin

The Thames basin refers to the catchment area of the River Thames and is particularly relevant because it encompasses Europe’s largest megacity, the UK’s principal aquifer and an extensive zone of coastal interaction.

This presents a unique combination of geological, hydrogeological, environmental and socio-economic factors that are intrinsically linked by climate change.

Understanding these links and encouraging seamless research and knowledge exchange between these areas of science and industry is essential if the impacts of environmental change in the Thames basin are to be quantified.

The BGS is also involved in other large-scale interdisciplinary projects in other areas, including the Clyde Basin and the Thames Gateway.

What is FutureThames hoping to achieve?

FutureThames aims to promote geoenvironmental collaboration that will underpin this work. This website intends to provide a focus for interdisciplinary and collaborative projects. We will bring together diverse threads of geological research and knowledge into a fully attributed three-dimensional model of physical properties and processes, with the potential to give ‘real world’ responses when ‘what if?’ scenarios are tested against the model.

Crucially, FutureThames aims to encourage collaboration between BGS and the research community/external organisations that have an interest in the Thames basin in order to fully understand potential impacts of climate change and to influence policy and decision-making.

How can you get involved with FutureThames?