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Geochemistry database

Augering, BGS©NERC

Geochemical data relating to the UK landmass is organised in a relational database, which includes data from the Geochemical Baseline Survey of the Environment (G-BASE), the Mineral Reconnaissance Programme (MRP) and various other BGS projects. Since the start of the MRP in 1974 samples of stream sediments, panned concentrates, soils, tills, rocks and drillcore have been collected and analysed for a wide range of elements. Currently the database holds over 9 million analyses.

Further information on the sample locations and the analysed elements can be found on the BGS site at the GeoIndex.

Stream sediment samples

The database holds information on more than 28 000 samples of stream sediment collected from small streams and rivers in the UK during the MRP. Data on a further 100 000 samples are available from the G-BASE. Other data of interest to exploration, such as the presence of contamination, sediment precipitates, and panned mineral descriptions are also available.

Panned concentrate samples

The MRP normally collected a heavy mineral concentrate sample from most drainage sites and many of these were analysed for a variety of base and precious metals. In total over 33 000 panned concentrate samples have been collected.


There were approximately 9 500 water samples collected and analysed by the MRP. Another 76 000 water samples have been collected for G-BASE.

Rock samples

Drill rig, BGS©NERC

The database holds information on more than 11 000 rock samples collected from surface outcrops and shallow auger holes throughout the UK. The majority were collected during the MRP. Data on the mineralogical and petrological character of these and other rock samples is held in the BGS BritRocks database (add link)

Soil and till samples

The Geochemistry Database holds data on approximately 108 000 samples of soil and till collected by shallow drilling, hand auger and from pits. These were collected by the MRP for exploration purposes and by G-BASE in areas of poor drainage and in urban areas. In addition more than 30 000 shallow, A-horizon soils have been collected by G-BASE.

Borehole samples

BGS holds locational data on over half a million boreholes from the UK which have been were drilled for a wide variety of purposes including site investigations, coal, water etc. The MRP drilled many boreholes, generally less than 150 m depth, in the course of its exploration activities. The logs are available in the MRP reports. Geochemical data for drillcore samples is held in the Geochemistry Database.