BGS maps portal — maps and sections 1832 to 2014

Nottingham sheet, Geological Survey of England and Wales 1:63 360/1:50 000 geological map series, New Series

Free online viewing of over 6000 BGS maps and sections

This resource provides high resolution viewing images of almost all small and medium scale maps produced by the British Geological Survey since mapping started in 1832. It includes the key 1:63 360/1:50 000 maps of England and Wales and of Scotland. For users who just want to consult the latest editions of the 1:63 360/1:50 000 maps 'Quick links' have been provided below.

The BGS maps portal incorporates all the earlier maps and history pages that were previously made available through the BGS 'Historical maps of the Geological Survey of Great Britain and Ireland' web resource.

While viewing the map images is free, paper copies of maps that are still in print are also available for purchase through the BGS online shop. For out of print maps BGS offer a 'Print-on-Demand' service.

The maps, sections and atlases delivered by this portal are digital facsimiles of the most recently published and litho-printed versions produced by BGS. Professional users are advised that our most recent mapping is now updated and delivered digitally without production of a litho-printed product. Our latest digital mapping is available via GeoIndex, and may differ significantly from the older versions delivered via this portal.

Terms of use

To encourage the use and re-use of these maps we have wherever possible made them available under the Open Government Licence, subject to the following acknowledgement accompanying the reproduced BGS materials: "Contains British Geological Survey materials © NERC [year]". However some maps contain Ordnance Survey copyright and are delivered under different terms. The terms of use for each map is displayed clearly on every page.

Quick link to latest available published 1"/1:50 000 maps

1001506Geological Survey of England and Wales, New Series 1:63 360/1:50 000 geological map series
The most recently published medium scale map series for England and Wales. View the latest editions only for this series. A complete listing for this series showing the most recent and earlier published editions is also given.
1002302Geological Survey of Scotland 1:63 360/1:50 000 geological map series
The most recently published medium scale map series for Scotland. View the latest editions only for this series. A complete listing for this series showing the most recent and earlier published editions is also given.

Great Britain

1003850 1:250 000 UTM Series. Geological maps of the UK and continental shelf areas

Solid geology, Quaternary geology and sea-bed sediment maps of the UK and continental shelf. The series started in 1977 and superseded the 'Quarter-inch' maps of England and Wales and of Scotland.

Aeromagnetic 1:250 000 UTM Series. Aeromagnetic anomaly maps of the UK and continental shelf areas

Illustrate small departures from the expected values of the earth's magnetic field caused by the variations in the magnetisation of the rocks within the earth's crust. Maps were issued 1977–1990.

Bouguer 1:250 000 UTM Series. Bouguer anomaly maps of the UK and continental shelf areas

Illustrate small departures from the expected values of the earth's gravity caused by the variations in the density of the rocks within the earth's crust. Maps were issued 1975–1989.

Free air 1:250 000 UTM Series. Free air anomaly maps of the UK and continental shelf areas

A small number of Free-air anomaly maps were produced. They are the measured gravity anomaly after a free-air correction is applied to correct for the elevation at which a measurement is made compared with Sea Level. Maps were issued 1981–1989.

1003955 1:25 000 Classical areas of British geology

Selected classic areas of outstanding geological interest have been published at the larger scale of 1:25 000 from 1954 to the present.

1003993 Hydrogeological maps

These maps cover aspects of groundwater availability, exploitation and quality and were published between 1967 and 1994 at various scales from 1:50 000 to 1:625 000.

1007234 Regional geochemical atlases

The regional geochemical atlases are the principal hard copy product of the British Geological Survey G-BASE project. The majority of atlases are for stream sediments; with data on stream waters and soils included when available. Separate stream sediment/soil and stream water atlases have been published for Wales. Maps were issued 1978–2000.

England and Wales

1003114 Geological Survey of England and Wales 1:63 360 geological map series [Old Series]

The main Geological Survey map series from 1835 to about 1900. Earlier sheets issued as full sheets, later sheets in quarter sheet form. All hand-coloured.

1001481 Geological Survey of England and Wales, New Series 1:63 360/1:50 000 geological map series

The most recently published medium scale map series for England and Wales in 360 sheet areas. Editions as Bedrock (formerly Solid); Superficial Deposits (formerly Drift); Bedrock and Superficial Deposits (formerly Solid & Drift). Earlier sheets one inch to one mile, later at 1:50 000. Maps were issued 1856–2013.

1004499 Geological map of England and Wales. Quarter-inch series 1:253 440. Old Series

A set of hand coloured-quarter inch to the mile maps covering England and Wales, published between 1889 and 1895 with later revisions. They were engraved on copper. A very popular series at the time.

1004513 Geological map of England and Wales. Quarter-inch series 1:253 440. New Series

Following the popularity of the Old Series 'Quarter-inch' map a New Series of colour-printed 'Quarter-inch' maps was issued. A long-lived series with sheets still published in the later 1970s. Maps were issued 1906–1977.

1000777 Geological Survey of England and Wales, Horizontal sections

Horizontal sections were the first attempt by the Survey to indicate 'the arrangement of rocks beneath the surface'. Undertaken on the scale of six inches to the mile they were issued with a small explanatory pamphlet. Maps were issued 1844–1894.

1003530 Geological Survey of England and Wales, Vertical sections

Vertical sections were drawn to illustrate the succession of strata in the coalfields. They were usually drawn on a vertical scale of 40 feet to one inch. Maps were issued 1850–1949.

Extract of an early one-inch hand-coloured map covering Swindon History

A short history of the Geological Survey of England and Wales.

timeline Timeline

A timeline of the Geological Survey of England and Wales.

Scotland

1002915 Geological Survey of Scotland 1:63 360/1:50 000 geological map series

The main Geological Survey map series from 1865 to the present day. Early maps were hand coloured and from c. 1900 colour printed. Coverage in 131 sheet areas but with the scale change to 1:50 000 sheet areas were split into East and West sheets.

1009186 Geological Survey of Scotland. Quarter-inch series 1:253 440

A series of colour-printed 'Quarter-inch' maps, first published well after the corresponding English series in 1907. The series was long-lived, being eventually superseded in the 1970–1980s by the 1:250 000 UTM series. Maps were issued 1904–1977.

1003471 Geological Survey of Scotland, horizontal sections

A small number of hand-coloured horizontal sections, published between 1868–1880.

1003642 Geological Survey of Scotland vertical sections

A series of vertical sections was published covering the main Scottish Coalfields. Earlier sections were uncoloured, later ones were colour printed.

Extract from sheet 32 Edinburgh. History

A short history of the Geological Survey of Scotland.

timeline Timeline

A timeline of the Geological Survey of Scotland.

Ireland — historical, up to 1905 only

Geological Survey of Ireland 1:63 360 geological map series

The main Geological Survey map series for Ireland. There were 205 map sheets in the series, and many sheets were issued in more than one edition. Sheets were issued in Solid or Solid with Drift editions. Maps were issued 1853–1963.

1002546 Geological Survey of Ireland 1:63 360 geological map drift series

A small number of Drift sheets were published during the period, mostly around the main cities, Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Belfast and Londonderry. Maps were issued 1902–1922.

1002270 Geological Survey of Ireland 1:10 560 geological map series

A few maps were published at six inches to one mile. They have been included for completeness. Maps were issued 1874–1877.

1002269 Geological Survey of Ireland longitudinal sections, old series

A set of four horizontal sections across the whole of Ireland. They cover a distance of one hundred and thirty miles and had been surveyed on the ground by Henry De la Beche, Thomas Oldham and Warrington W. Smyth. Maps were issued in 1848.

1002243 Geological Survey of Ireland longitudinal sections, new series

A newer series of horizontal sections on the scale of six inches to one mile issued between 1860 and 1894.

1002279 Geological Survey of Ireland. Miscellaneous sheets

A few miscellaneous hand-coloured sheets were issued, such as for the Ovoca mine map in Wicklow. Maps were issued 1859–1902.

Extract from Geological Survey of Ireland Sheet 8. Ballycastle. August 1887. History

A short history of the Geological Survey of Ireland.

timeline Timeline

A timeline of the Geological Survey of Ireland.

Small scale (non-series) maps — all regions

1004591 Small scale (non-series) maps

These maps offer whole-country coverage of the United Kingdom. Geological, tectonic, structural, mineral resources and geophysical maps are represented together with a small number of historical facsimile maps.

Geological maps

1003850 1:250 000 UTM Series. Geological maps of the UK and continental shelf areas

Solid geology, Quaternary geology and sea-bed sediment maps of the UK and continental shelf. The series started in 1977 and superseded the 'Quarter-inch' maps of England and Wales and of Scotland.

1003955 1:25 000 Classical areas of British geology

Selected classic areas of outstanding geological interest have been published at the larger scale of 1:25 000 from 1954 to the present.

1003114 Geological Survey of England and Wales 1:63 360 geological map series [Old Series]

The main Geological Survey map series from 1835 to about 1900. Earlier sheets issued as full sheets, later sheets in quarter sheet form. All hand-coloured.

1001481 Geological Survey of England and Wales, New Series 1:63 360/1:50 000 geological map series

The most recently published medium scale map series for England and Wales in 360 sheet areas. Editions as Bedrock (formerly Solid); Superficial Deposits (formerly Drift); Bedrock and Superficial Deposits (formerly Solid & Drift). Earlier sheets one inch to one mile, later at 1:50 000. Maps were issued 1856–2013.

1004499 Geological map of England and Wales. Quarter-inch series 1:253 440. Old Series

A set of hand coloured-quarter inch to the mile maps covering England and Wales, published between 1889 and 1895 with later revisions. They were engraved on copper. A very popular series at the time.

1004513 Geological map of England and Wales. Quarter-inch series 1:253 440. New Series

Following the popularity of the Old Series 'Quarter-inch' map a New Series of colour-printed 'Quarter-inch' maps was issued. A long-lived series with sheets still published in the later 1970s. Maps were issued 1906–1977.

1002915 Geological Survey of Scotland 1:63 360/1:50 000 geological map series

The main Geological Survey map series from 1865 to the present day. Early maps were hand coloured and from c. 1900 colour printed. Coverage in 131 sheet areas but with the scale change to 1:50 000 sheet areas were split into East and West sheets.

1009186 Geological Survey of Scotland. Quarter-inch series 1:253 440

A series of colour-printed 'Quarter-inch' maps, first published well after the corresponding English series in 1907. The series was long-lived, being eventually superseded in the 1970–1980s by the 1:250 000 UTM series. Maps were issued 1904–1977.

Geological Survey of Ireland 1:63 360 geological map series

The main Geological Survey map series for Ireland. There were 205 map sheets in the series, and many sheets were issued in more than one edition. Sheets were issued in Solid or Solid with Drift editions. Maps were issued 1853–1963.

1002546 Geological Survey of Ireland 1:63 360 geological map drift series

A small number of Drift sheets were published during the period, mostly around the main cities, Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Belfast and Londonderry. Maps were issued 1902–1922.

1002270 Geological Survey of Ireland 1:10 560 geological map series

A few maps were published at six inches to one mile. They have been included for completeness. Maps were issued 1874–1877.

Geological sections

1000777 Geological Survey of England and Wales, Horizontal sections

Horizontal sections were the first attempt by the Survey to indicate 'the arrangement of rocks beneath the surface'. Undertaken on the scale of six inches to the mile they were issued with a small explanatory pamphlet. Maps were issued 1844–1894.

1003530 Geological Survey of England and Wales, Vertical sections

Vertical sections were drawn to illustrate the succession of strata in the coalfields. They were usually drawn on a vertical scale of 40 feet to one inch. Maps were issued 1850–1949.

1003471 Geological Survey of Scotland, horizontal sections

A small number of hand-coloured horizontal sections, published between 1868–1880.

1003642 Geological Survey of Scotland vertical sections

A series of vertical sections was published covering the main Scottish Coalfields. Earlier sections were uncoloured, later ones were colour printed.

1002269 Geological Survey of Ireland longitudinal sections, old series

A set of four horizontal sections across the whole of Ireland. They cover a distance of one hundred and thirty miles and had been surveyed on the ground by Henry De la Beche, Thomas Oldham and Warrington W. Smyth. Maps were issued in 1848.

1002243 Geological Survey of Ireland longitudinal sections, new series

A newer series of horizontal sections on the scale of six inches to one mile issued between 1860 and 1894.

Geophysical maps

Aeromagnetic 1:250 000 UTM Series. Aeromagnetic anomaly maps of the UK and continental shelf areas

Illustrate small departures from the expected values of the earth's magnetic field caused by the variations in the magnetisation of the rocks within the earth's crust. Maps were issued 1977–1990.

Bouguer 1:250 000 UTM Series. Bouguer anomaly maps of the UK and continental shelf areas

Illustrate small departures from the expected values of the earth's gravity caused by the variations in the density of the rocks within the earth's crust. Maps were issued 1975–1989.

Free air 1:250 000 UTM Series. Free air anomaly maps of the UK and continental shelf areas

A small number of Free-air anomaly maps were produced. They are the measured gravity anomaly after a free-air correction is applied to correct for the elevation at which a measurement is made compared with Sea Level. Maps were issued 1981–1989.

Geochemistry

1007234 Regional geochemical atlases

The regional geochemical atlases are the principal hard copy product of the British Geological Survey G-BASE project. The majority of atlases are for stream sediments; with data on stream waters and soils included when available. Separate stream sediment/soil and stream water atlases have been published for Wales. Maps were issued 1978–2000.

Hydrogeology

1003993 Hydrogeological maps

These maps cover aspects of groundwater availability, exploitation and quality and were published between 1967 and 1994 at various scales from 1:50 000 to 1:625 000.

Small scale (non-series) maps — various subjects

1004591 Small scale (non-series) maps

These maps offer whole-country coverage of the United Kingdom. Geological, tectonic, structural, mineral resources and geophysical maps are represented together with a small number of historical facsimile maps.

About the maps portal and historical information

1002534About this site

The scope of the site is described, what map series are included and what are excluded. Includes brief notes on navigating and using the Maps portal.

1000820Geological Survey of Great Britain & Ireland 1:63 360 scale geological maps and sections — historical notes

Brief historical notes and links to key documents on the early 1:63 360 map series for England and Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

1003601Index to colours used on geological maps

Charts to indicate the colours used for hand-colouring the different strata on the maps and sections. It is interesting to view the changes over time.

Newman's Inferior OoliteThe origins of systematic geological mapping in Britain

An insight into the origin and early practice of systematic geological mapping by the Geological Survey; the application of hand-colouring; why the constant need for revision?



Hutton field: well correlation diagram.
Small scale (non-series) maps
Hydrogeology
Small scale (non-series) maps