About us

Surface geology of the London Basin. CLICK TO ENLARGE. Reproduced with the permission of the British Geological Survey ©NERC. All rights reserved.

The aim of the Forum is produce a baseline model against which commercial and other geological models could be calibrated; especially information from small-scale site investigations.

For news, events and participation see:


The London Basin Forum arose from the 9th Glossop Lecture given in 6 November 2008 by Michael de Freitas where he illustrated some of the evidence that suggests the Basin is compartmentalised by steeply dipping faults. These seem to originate from the basement, are probably associated with reactivation of the Variscan Front beneath London, and resulted in pull-apart basins operating during the latter part of the Mesozoic and into the Cainozoic.

Some of the most obvious evidence appears to come from the trace of the tributaries of the Thames implying that their location is also related in some way to faults in the basement, and suggesting that deformation of the London area by glacial loading to the north may have impressed the trace of faults at depth to ground level. Many anomalies are found in the London area not least "scour hollows" into the London Clay, some of which are almost certainly pingos, and these seem to be coincident with trace of faults suggested from other lines of evidence. Elevated areas of Chalk also appear to be related to these faults. Horizontal shear surfaces exist which were generated during deposition. Drawdown of water in the Chalk can be seen to produce rectangular 'cones' of depression, and so on. These and other features all point towards there being something very basic about the geology of the Basin which has not yet been appreciated. To do this requires input from the geological and geotechnical community as a whole and the first expression of this was at the 1st Glossop Workshop which followed the Glossop Lecture on 19 November. At this it was agreed that a Forum should be initiated and this is open to all without charge.

The embryo Forum had its first meeting as such on 25 March 2009 and from that it was agreed this web site should be developed for all who express an interest in the work and for those wish to contribute to its progress.

© The London Basin Forum 2014. This site is hosted by the British Geological Survey but responsibility for the content of the site lies with The London Basin Forum not with the British Geological Survey, Questions, suggestions or comments regarding the contents of this site should be directed to Michael de Freitas or Katherine Royse.