GeoIndex help | Collections map theme

View the collections map theme

Click on the links below for further information about the available datasets.

BGS rock samples

The intention of this theme is to make the BGS collections of UK rock samples available to the geological community. The map shows the localities where samples that form part of the BGS rock collections have been taken. Many of these samples are from surface exposure, and were collected by BGS geologists during the course of geological mapping programmes. Others are from onshore boreholes or from mine and quarry workings. The principal collections are the E (England and Wales), S (Scotland), N (continuation of the S collection) and the MR (miscellaneous). The collections, which are held at the BGS offices at Keyworth (Nottingham) and Edinburgh, comprise both hand specimens and thin sections, although in individual samples either may not be immediately available. Users may also note that the BGS holds major collections of borehole cores and hand specimens as well as over a million palaeontological samples.

The Britrocks database provides an index to these collections. With over 120 000 records, it now holds data for some 70% of the entire collections, including the UK samples shown in this application as well as rocks from overseas locations and reference minerals. The collections are continuously being added to and sample records from archived registers are also being copied into the electronic database. Map coverage is thin in some areas where copying from original paper registers has not been completed. Further information on Britrocks samples in these and other areas can be obtained from the Chief Curator at the BGS Keyworth (Nottingham) office or from the rock curator at the BGS Murchison House (Edinburgh) office.

In addition to displaying individual sample locations, the Britrocks theme also provides the following information on a sample by sample basis:

Grid_Ref This is the UK National Grid of the sample.
Precision Indication of the precision to which the grid reference is recorded.
Locality A text describing the sampling location.
Collno This is the Collectors Number, being the number the geologist originally gave to the sample.
Sample_No This is the number of the sample.
Rock-name This indicates the approximate rock type.
Comment An additional comment on the rock type or features.
Chronostrat This indicates the age of the sample, if recorded.
Storage This gives users an indication of the immediate availability of the sample. Initially, all samples are to be confirmed until a careful stock take has been undertaken.

With a few exceptions, these collections are open to use by professional and academic enquirers, at the BGS office where they are held. Specimens are available for study at either Keyworth or Edinburgh and a discretionary loan system is also available to accredited scientists. Please contact the curator at the office nearest to confirm that samples are available and discuss the best way to arrange access to them.

For commercial users, charges are made in accord with the BGS Enquiry Service tariff. A standard day ticket for access to the collections is £52-50, and staff costs in retrieving and replacing samples are charged at £42-00 per half hour (or part thereof). BGS is prepared to adjust charges for regulatory bodies or frequent users, at the discretion of the BGS Chief Curator. Those undertaking bona fide non-commercial academic research will normally have their charges waived.

The deposition of samples in the Surveys collections by other organisations is encouraged and BGS is prepared to consider waiving certain charges where a formal agreement for exchange of data would be of benefit to the national archive.

Borehole samples

Collections of drillcore, cuttings, and bulk, individual and processed samples of drillcore from UK onshore boreholes, drilled by BGS, commercial and other organizations.

Enquiries are normally free, but a charge may be levied depending upon the time taken; users will be notified in advance. Material is available for inspection and sampling on application by e-mail; It is free for academic research but is charged for commercial work.

Geochemical samples

These are excess sample materials from the GBASE geochemistry project:- stream sediments, panned heavy mineral concentrates and soils are stored long term in the National Geoscience Data Centre and are available for use in other projects.

The Minerals Programme (incorporating the Mineral Reconnaissance Programme) sample collection contains reference samples of drill cores, rocks, tills, soils, stream sediments and panned concentrates. These samples were collected in the period 1974 - to date in mineralised and potentially mineralised areas of the United Kongdom, principally in the northern and western Britain.

Fossil specimens

Localities for which details of identified fossil specimens in the BGS Biostratigraphy Museum are databased. Only Ordovician and Silurian specimens listed currently. Samples and taxonomic identifications will be listed and will in future be able to be queried using the query-by-attribute tool to the right of the map. See also Fossil Localities.

Enquiries are normally free, but a charge may be levied depending upon the time taken; users will be notified in advance. Material is available for inspection on application by e-mail; it is free for academic research but is charged for commercial work. Specimens are sometimes available for loan to bona fide academics.

Fossil localities

Localities of significant fossil samples, either collected by BGS Staff, or donated by individuals and institutions. The BGS fossil collections contain over 2 million specimens, including a sizeable quantity of type, figured and cited material.

Since a small number of fossil locations are confidential, you are unable to view this dataset at large scales. However, if you send a data enquiry, such information may be made available.

Enquiries are normally free, but a charge may be levied depending upon the time taken; users will be notified in advance. Material is available for inspection on application by e-mail. Specimens are sometimes available for loan to bona fide academics.

Superficial deposits 1:625 000 scale

The 'Superficial deposits' shown on the GeoIndex map includes the youngest geological deposits laid down in England and Wales, Scotland and part of Northern Ireland. This map is based on the first edition Drift 1:625 000 scale Geological Map of the United Kingdom published in 1977 as two sheets, North and South, available from the BGS Internet Shop.

The Superficial deposits, mainly formed in the Quaternary period of geological time, which extends from the present back to 2 million years ago. Many of the deposits were formed during episodes of glaciation ,or deposited by rivers. They occur as discontinuous patches and larger spreads and rest on top of the older rocks (referred to in the Bedrock).

Most of these Superficial deposits are unconsolidated sediments such as gravel, sand, silt and clay. The name of each deposit or group of deposits corresponds to that shown on the published 1:625 000 map e.g. River Terrace Deposits.

CAUTION

The source geological maps originally used to compile the published 1:625 000 maps are 1:50 000 and 1:63 360 (one inch to one mile) scale maps published before 1977. Many of these have since been up-dated and may therefore not now agree with the 1:625 000 geology shown here.

Because of the generalisation and simplification used in the compilation of this map, it should not be used to determine the detailed geology of any specific sites. It is best used to provide a basic understanding of the geology of the country in general, and for showing the geology of large regions where broad trends are more important than specific details.

Persons interested in the detailed geology of particular sites should consult the latest large scale maps or the British Geological Survey at:-

British Geological Survey,
Environmental Science Centre,
Keyworth,
Nottingham NG12 5GG.
Tel: +44 (0)115 936 3143
Fax: +44 (0)115 936 3276

Faults 1:625 000 scale

Digital geological dataset depicting the faults only of the bedrock geology of the United Kingdom at surface/rock head.

CAUTION

The source geological maps originally used to compile the published 1:625 000 maps are 1:50 000 and 1:63 360 (one inch to one mile) scale maps published before 1979. Many of these have since been up-dated and may therefore not now agree with the 1:625 000 geology shown here.

Because of the generalisation and simplification used in the compilation of this map, it should not be used to determine the detailed geology of any specific sites. It is best used to provide a basic understanding of the geology of the country in general, and for showing the geology of large regions where broad trends are more important than specific details.

Persons interested in the detailed geology of particular sites should consult the latest large scale maps or the British Geological Survey at:-

British Geological Survey,
Environmental Science Centre,
Keyworth,
Nottingham NG12 5GG.
Tel: +44 (0)115 936 3143
Fax: +44 (0)115 936 3276

Dykes 1:625 000 scale

Digital geological dataset depicting the dykes only of the bedrock geology of the United Kingdom at surface/rock head.

CAUTION

The source geological maps originally used to compile the published 1:625 000 maps are 1:50 000 and 1:63 360 (one inch to one mile) scale maps published before 1979. Many of these have since been up-dated and may therefore not now agree with the 1:625 000 geology shown here.

Because of the generalisation and simplification used in the compilation of this map, it should not be used to determine the detailed geology of any specific sites. It is best used to provide a basic understanding of the geology of the country in general, and for showing the geology of large regions where broad trends are more important than specific details.

Persons interested in the detailed geology of particular sites should consult the latest large scale maps or the British Geological Survey at:-

British Geological Survey,
Environmental Science Centre,
Keyworth,
Nottingham NG12 5GG.
Tel: +44 (0)115 936 3143
Fax: +44 (0)115 936 3276

Bedrock 1:625 000 scale

The 'bedrock' shown on the GeoIndex map comprises the bedrock geology, which represents the outcrops (at surface) and subcrops (at near-surface, beneath superficial deposits) in England and Wales, Scotland and part of Northern Ireland. It is based on the third edition Solid 1:625 000 scale Geological Map of the United Kingdom published in 1979 as two sheets, North and South. These sheets are available from the BGS Internet Shop.

CAUTION

The source geological maps originally used to compile the published 1:625 000 maps are 1:50 000 and 1:63 360 (one inch to one mile) scale maps published before 1979. Many of these have since been up-dated and may therefore not now agree with the 1:625 000 geology shown here.

Because of the generalisation and simplification used in the compilation of this map, it should not be used to determine the detailed geology of any specific sites. It is best used to provide a basic understanding of the geology of the country in general, and for showing the geology of large regions where broad trends are more important than specific details.

Persons interested in the detailed geology of particular sites should consult the latest large scale maps or the British Geological Survey at:-

British Geological Survey,
Environmental Science Centre,
Keyworth,
Nottingham NG12 5GG.
Tel: +44 (0)115 936 3143
Fax: +44 (0)115 936 3276