Events diary

Lectures, conferences, seminars, exhibitions and workshops presented by BGS, or hosted at a BGS site. For past events view events as calendar


Great Yarmouth North Beach

Recent lurid headlines have suggested that across the planet we are running out of sand. This echoes similar contemporary concerns regarding the physical exhaustion of other natural resources which have in the past been assumed to be essentially infinite. Sand has been an essential raw material from the beginning of urbanisation – a mineral that has formed the foundations of civilisation through construction of our buildings and infrastructure.

Within the last decade or two, in some parts of the world supply of sand has become constrained. In a very few places, sand has arguably become a conflict mineral. As a result, some commentators now suggest we are threatened by the unmanaged and rapid depletion in global stocks of this essential mineral.

Sand is now used to create places on a larger scale than ever before, especially through land reclamation from the sea. Sand is also used in concrete and a wide range of industrial uses including the manufacture of glass & steel, cement production and water purification. Driven by population growth, higher standards of living and increasing urbanisation, global demand for sand has grown rapidly. As a consequence, tensions have risen in some parts of the world where demand for sand for new development highlights an imbalance in value, sand stocks and/or the capacity to supply. Where the understanding of sand resources is poor and regulation is weak, these tensions can result in serious impacts on the environment and communities. The presumption of sand supply continuity requires re-evaluation.

With contributions from key experts, this meeting will consider sand as a commodity, assessing the benefits and disbenefits of its extraction and use against the backdrop of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The meeting aims to explore sand supply and markets; resource management policies and regulation; and the environmental, social and economic risks associated with extraction - all at a range of scales from local to international. In addressing concerns, the meeting will be focussed on sharing knowledge and science, culminating in the identification of best practices and ways forward.

View the meeting flyer Sand and the Sandbank: is sand extraction a sustainable business?.



30th Jan 2019

East Midlands Geological Society
Presidential Address: Mike Allen
Nottingham University – 6.00 pm

The Great Glen Fault is, perhaps, the best known fault in the land. But how much do we really know of its nature and origins? This thorny issue appears to have been discussed more than any other structure in Britain, judging by a review of the geological literature available to me (and probably more besides)!

The general consensus agrees that we are dealing primarily with a strike-slip (or wrench) fault, probably with origins back in Pre-Cambrian times. It produces a very obvious mark right across the Scottish mainland and extends deep into, and perhaps through, the crust; but its continuation beyond both coastlines have been a subject of some speculation, with rather less consensus.

The subject that has, however, courted greatest controversy is the amount, direction and timing of movement along the fault. This debate can be considered by following several lines of argument that commonly appear to be mutually exclusive but occasionally produce elements of support for each other, although a final answer (if such is possible) remains to be established.

This investigation is of further interest to the historian of geology in that it reveals how methods in geology have been shaped and how ideas have evolved through new technological capabilities and understanding of the earth over the course of the last 150 years or so.

More information



18:00 9th Feb 2019

Geological Society

4D Subsurface Modelling: Predicting the Future

The Geological Society, Burlington House 20–21 February 2019

As geoscientists, we strive for an integrated view of the Earth beneath our feet. Yet, barriers are created by technical disciplines, prevailing methods and data availability. This unique workshop examines what can be gained from building shared models through time and how challenges that lie in their way can be overcome.

Call for abstracts deadline: 30th September 2018



20th – 21st Feb 2019

CO2GeoNet logo
Applications invited for the second Spring School on CO2 Geological Storage. An intensive one-week course for PhD students and post-docs with an interest in CO2 storage. The course will be held 23 – 29th May 2019 at Hontomin, Spain. Application deadline 3rd January.


22nd – 29th May 2019