News stories about BGS

A selection of recent news, that includes mentions of the British Geological Survey, reported in online news websites. Click on a heading link to read the full article.



As much as 60% of the groundwater in the Indo-Gangetic basin contains salt and arsenic in high concentration, scientists have warned. “With the right treatment, polluted groundwater can be used for irrigation and drinking. However, first we need to know if a tube well has high arsenic concentrations or other pollutants ― so there needs to be good water testing and monitoring,” team leader Alan MacDonald from the British Geological Survey told DH.


30 August 2016

Experts say human impact on Earth so profound that Holocene must give way to epoch defined by nuclear tests, plastic pollution and domesticated chicken. Prof Colin Waters, principal geologist at the British Geological Survey and WGA secretary, said: “Being able to pinpoint an interval of time is saying something about how we have had an incredible impact on the environment of our planet. The concept of the Anthropocene manages to pull all these ideas of environmental change together.”


29 August 2016

By Roger Musson,a professional seismologist, writer and broadcaster. He worked for the British Geological Survey for 34 years and is now an independent consultant based in Edinburgh. The news of another strong and deadly earthquake in Italy on Wednesday morning sadly comes as no surprise to seismologists.


24 August 2016

The earthquake that devastated Italy's historic Umbria region in the early hours of the morning was felt as far away as Croatia and Switzerland. Geologists say the earthquake was caused by the stretching of the Earth's crust due to tectonic activity that is pulling apart the Apennines Dr Brian Baptie, a seismologist at the British Geological Survey, told MailOnline: 'If you look at earthquake history in Italy, most are due to this motion that is stretching this spine of Italy.'


24 August 2016

A worldwide hunt for a “line in the rock” that shows the beginning of a new geological epoch defined by humanity’s extraordinary impact on planet Earth is expected to get underway in the next few weeks. Dr Colin Waters, secretary of the Anthropocene Working Group who will address the IGC, told The Independent: “The key thing to us is the scale of the changes that have happened. It’s of comparable scale with what happened with the Holocene and the transition from the last ice age.”


18 August 2016

As drought sweeps many countries in Africa, an initiative led by water NGOs supports the use of underground aquifers. Africa’s subterranean water amounts to an estimated 660,000 cubic kilometres (pdf), according to research from the British Geological Society – more than 100 times the continent’s annual renewable freshwater resources.


18 August 2016

Scientists used robotic submersibles to dive more than 2,000m beneath the waves to explore four seamounts off the west coast of Scotland. The Deep Links project team, a collaboration between Plymouth University, the University of Oxford, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee and the British Geological Survey, spent six weeks at sea onboard the RSS James Cook.


9 August 2016

A team consisting of 24 geoscientists announced last week that they are speculating the beginning of a new epoch owing to the fact that the actions of human race have brought about drastic changes on Earth. “Humans have long affected the environment, but recently there has been a rapid global spread of novel materials including aluminium, concrete and plastics, which are leaving their mark in sediments,” said Dr Colin Waters from the British Geological Survey.


8 August 2016

Dr Michael A. Ellis, Science Director of Land, Soil, and Coast at the British Geological Survey outlines the impacts of global warming on the ocean, drawing from both its present state to lessons learned from the past… p.234


8 August 2016

Bob Gatliff from the British Geological Survey (BGS) says nobody knows how much recoverable shale there really is in the key fields: the giant Bowland gas basin in Lancashire and Yorkshire, the Weald oil basin in Sussex, and Midland Valley in Scotland. "We haven't got a clue, and we won't know until they have have drilled hundreds of wells," he said. Tectonic shocks over the last 300 million years may have caused the gas to lose pressure.


3 August 2016