GeoIndex help | Geochemistry map theme

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Overview

This category has data-sets concerning the G-BASE programme (Geochemical Baseline Survey of the Environment) as well as DTI Minerals Programme data-sets. GBASE is undertaking a systematic geochemical survey of the United Kingdom, both within the rural and urban environment. This involves the sampling and analysis of chemical elements in stream sediments, stream waters and soils. Analytical precision is high with strict quality control to ensure nationwide consistency. The data provide baseline information on the natural abundance of elements, against which anomalous values caused by factors such as mineralisation and industrial contamination may be compared.

The Mineral Reconnaissance Programme (MRP), funded by the DTI, carried out baseline mineral exploration in Great Britain between 1972 and 1997. Its main aim was to stimulate private-sector exploration and the development of indigenous mineral resources. It has been subsumed into the new BGS Minerals Programme, also funded by the DTI. The Programme provides information and advice to industry, enables technology transfer and promotes wealth creation through the effective sustainable development of Britain's mineral resources. The database contains information from the MRP together with some from earlier programmes and the new Minerals Programme. Information from the early 1970's was largely concerned with the search for uranium and base-metals, while since the 1980's gold and PGEs have dominated. A range of pathfinder elements have also been determined. Data is held on the geochemistry of drainage stream sediments, panned concentrates, soil, deep overburden, rock and borehole samples.

Top Soil

This layer shows data collected mainly by the Geochemical Baseline Survey of the Environment (G-BASE) programme.

Geochemical data are available for soil samples for the Humber-Trent and East Anglia atlas areas (see the Geochemical atlas areas layer). Samples for East Midlands and part of Southeast England have been collected and are currently either undergoing analysis or data conditioning. More than twenty urban areas have also been sampled and top soil analyses are available for these urban areas (Belfast, Cardiff, Corby, Coventry, Derby, Doncaster, Glasgow, Hull, Ipswich, Leicester, Lincoln, Manchester, Mansfield, Northampton, Nottingham, Peterborough, Scunthorpe, Sheffield, Swansea, Stoke, Telford, Wolverhampton and York).

Regional samples are collected at an average density of one site per 2 square kilometres, urban sampling is at a density of 4 samples per square kilometre. Top soil samples are collected at a depth of 5 - 20cm. It is sieved through a 2mm mesh and milled to less than 150 microns. The data include analyses for some or all of the following elements by XRFS: Mg, P, K, Ca, Ti, Mn, Fe, V, Cr, Co, Ba, Ni, Cu, Zn, Ga, As, Se, Rb, Sr, Y, Zr, Nb, Mo, Pb, Bi, Th, U, Ag, Cd, Sn, Sb, Cs, La, Ce, Ge, Sc, Se, Br, Hf, Ta, W, Tl, Te and I. Loss on Ignition (LOI) and pH (in a slurry of 0.01 M CaCl2 ) is now routinely determined on 50% of regional and all urban samples.

Further information on licensing data is available.

Profile Soil

Profile soil analyses are available from a number of BGS programmes, notably the Mineral Reconnaissance Programme (MRP) and the Geochemical Baseline Survey of the Environment (G-BASE) programme. Sampling depth and range of analytes determined is very variable for the MRP. G-BASE samples are consistently from 35 - 50 cm though since 2003 it has become routine practice in the G-BASE project to collect a top soil and deeper profile sample from the same site but only analyses the top soil and store the profile soil. This also applies in urban areas. The G-BASE profile soils were generally sieved to 150 microns before analysis and determined by XRFS for some or all of: Mg, P, K, Ca, Ti, Mn, Fe, V, Cr, Co, Ba, Ni, Cu, Zn, Ga, As, Se, Rb, Sr, Y, Zr, Nb, Mo, Pb, Bi, Th, U, Ag, Cd, Sn, Sb, Cs, La, Ce, Ge, Sc, Se, Br, Hf, Ta, W, Tl, Te and I.

MRP samples can include profile samples from greater than 1 meter collected using a power auger and also include till samples. The G-BASE samples are collected at a density of 1 sample per two square kilometres in rural areas and 4 samples every kilometre square in urban areas. MRP sampling was more site specific generally collecting soil samples along lines at spacing intervals generally 25 - 250 m.

Further information on licensing data is available.

Stream Sediment

G-BASE drainage sitesStream sediment samples are collected under the G-BASE programme at an average density of approximately one site per 1.5 km square. Analytical data for the minus 150 micron fraction of stream sediment samples are available for some or all of the following elements by a variety of analytical methods (now predominantly XRFS): Mg, P, K, Ca, Ti, Mn, Fe, V, Cr, Co, Ba, Ni, Cu, Zn, Ga, As, Se, Rb, Sr, Y, Zr, Nb, Mo, Pb, Bi, Th, U, Ag, Cd, Sn, Sb, Cs, La, Ce, Ge, Sc, Se, Br, Hf, Ta, W, Tl, Te and I.

Stream sediment samples were also collected by the now defunct MRP programme and analytical data for the minus 150 micron fraction of samples is available for a variety of elements including Ag, As, Au, Ba, Bi, Ca, Ce, Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb, Sb, Sn, Sr, Ti, U, V, W, Zn and Zr.

Some of the MRP samples may have undergone several stages of analysis, some for inclusion in the G-BASE project. The samples may have been assigned a different sample number but will plot at the same site.

Further information on licensing data is available.

Stream Water

Water samples have predominantly been collected by the G-BASE project at an average sampling density of one sample per 1.5 km square. Samples have been collected from approximately 85% of Great Britain but it is only from Wales and Humber-Trent southwards that a wide range of analytes have been determined. Currently G-BASE stream water samples collected from high order streams are determined by ICP-AES for 27 elements - Sr, Cd, Ba, Si, Mn, Fe, P, S (as SO42-), B, Mg, V, Na, Mo, Al, Be, Ca, Zn, Cu, Pb, Li, Zr, Co, Ni, Y, La, K and Cr; and by quadrupole ICP-MS for 24 trace elements - Li, Be, Al, V, Cr, Co, Ni, Cu, As, Rb, Y, Zr, Mo, Ag, Cd, Sn, Sb, Ba, La, Ce, Tl, Pb, Th and U. Automated colorimetric methods are used to determine Cl and NO3- and ion selective electrode is used to determine F. Waters are also analysed for non-purgeable organic carbon (NPOC) to determine dissolved organic carbon content. All samples have routinely been analysed for pH, conductivity and bicarbonate. Much of the UK coverage also includes uranium and fluoride analyses.

Further information on licensing data is available.

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Panned Drainage Sediment

At most drainage sampling sites a panned heavy mineral concentrate is collected from the <2mm sediment fraction using a wooden dulang pan. For the Mineral Reconnaissance Programme these pans would be routinely analysed for mineral exploration purposes. The G-BASE project collects them at every drainage site but does not routinely submit them for chemical analyses and the samples are archived. Usually they are inspected when collected with a hand lens and the presence of mineralisation or contamination is recorded in the site information on field cards.

The MRP has collected heavy mineral concentrates from some 33 000 drainage sites and analysed these for a variety of elements (predominantly by XRFS) including Ag, As, Au, Ba, Bi, Ca, Ce, Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb, Sb, Sn, Sr, Ti, U, V, W, Zn and Zr.

Further information on licensing data is available.

Rock

Over 12 500 rock samples from the land area of the United Kingdom have been analysed for a variety of major and trace elements, mainly by XRF.

Further information on licensing data is available.

Borehole Rock

This dataset comprises 17 500 borehole rock samples (drillcore) from the MRP and related studies.

Further information on licensing data is available.

Geochemical Atlas Areas

This map shows the boundaries of the G-BASE project mapping areas which are reported as geochemical atlases. Wales and north of Humber-Trent are reported as hardcopy generally A3 sized publications. The Humber-Trent atlas is available as a pdf file on a CD-ROM.

Further information about G-BASE geochemical atlas areas can be found on the G-BASE geochemical atlas web page.

Atlases can be purchased from the online BGS shop.

Mineral Reconnaissance Programme Reports

The Mineral Reconnaissance Programme (MRP), funded by the Department for Trade and Industry (DTI), carried out mineral exploration reconnaissance in Great Britain between 1972 and 1997.The programme was very successful in that more than half the projects reported attracted significant commercial follow-up resulting in the discovery of many new prospects.

The locations of the investigations covered by each report are shown on the map. Further details and a summary of each report are given on the MineralsUK website.

Urban Geochemical Reports

This layer displays the urban areas for which there is an "urban geochemical mapping" report.

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

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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

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