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.



Over the last year Durham University has been working with a number of partners in Nepal and internationally on projects to inform relief efforts, understand ongoing risks, assist recovery and build future resilience. Landslide monitoring and disaster risk reduction A team of researchers at the University’s Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience (IHRR) and Department of Geography have focused their expertise on Nepal over the last twelve months. Professor Alexander Densmore and Drs Katie Oven and David Milledge are researching how earthquake and landslide science is currently informing disaster risk reduction policy and practice in Nepal. Working with partners at Nepal’s National Society for Earthquake Technology (NSET), the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and the British Geological Survey (BGS) the team will also examine the potential for future engagement between the science-policy-practice communities. This work forms part of the Earthquakes Without Frontiers (EwF) project, of which Durham University is a key partner. The EwF project aims to increase resilience to earthquakes in the countries across the India-Asia collision.



25 April 2016

Two methods have been shown to save lives: building earthquake-proof buildings and installing systems that sound an alarm when an earthquake strikes, giving people further away from the epicenter a few seconds warning. In an ill-prepared country like Haiti, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake in 2010 killed more than 100,000 people. In Japan, with much better buildings, a magnitude 9.0 quake (which releases about 1,000 times more energy than a 7.0) in 2011 killed some 18,000 people

Only rich countries can afford earthquake-proofing. As for earthquake prediction, it’s “near impossible,” says Richard Luckett of the British Geological Survey. “We have a build-up of stress on a fault line, and we have no idea what the breaking point would be. When the earthquake occurs is essentially a random event.”



22 April 2016

Over the past 35 years, Greenland has gained increasing control over its internal affairs — it was granted self rule in 2009 — but it continues to receive Danish subsidies that account for roughly one-third of its gross domestic product (GDP). To gain true independence, it will have to generate almost US$1 billion in additional revenues — all from a population of just 56,000 people on an island with only 150 kilometres of roads and an ice sheet about 3 times the size of Texas. But Greenlandic leaders see promise in places like Narsaq. Geological studies of the rugged peaks outside town have identified valuable deposits of rare-earth metals, uranium and zinc; a major mine is approaching the final stages of obtaining a permit. These are just some of many such deposits that have attracted the attention of international mining companies, and which proponents say could usher in a new era of prosperity.

At the moment, many have their eye on the Kvanefjeld deposit near Narsaq, a contender to host Greenland's first major mine. The resource there is “potentially huge”, says Kathryn Goodenough, a geologist with the British Geological Survey in Edinburgh. She works with EURARE, an initiative to develop Europe's rare-earth potential that brings together researchers and mining companies such as Greenland Minerals and Energy (GME), the Australian company behind the Kvanefjeld project.



20 April 2016

The festival, celebrating its 10th anniversary, will take place next weekend at a host of locations across Lyme Regis. As well as speakers and presentations from experts at the Natural History Museum, the British Geological Survey and the British Antarctic Society - the programme of events will include a 'festival campus' at Marine Theatre Square and a range of hands-on activities.



20 April 2016

The 170-year-old property in Kirklee Terrace Lane was “taken down by hand” amid safety concerns, according to a new report by the contractors CBC Stone. Glasgow City Council previously said it had “collapsed” during building works. The local authority was first notified by neighbours “a few days after the collapse,” according to a spokesman. But a report attached to a planning application for ‘partial demolition of dwellinghouse and erection of replacement dwellinghouse’, submitted by owner Michel Soukop, appears to contradict this position.

The document provided by CBC Stone states: “With the failure of the inner face of mortar and due to the existing external face of the stonework being painted it was considered prudent that the stonework above the new rear elevation opening had to be taken down by hand and laid aside.” The contractors then inspected the front of the house and found that it had also “failed”, according to the report. It stated: “Again it was considered prudent to, as quickly as possible, given the previous infills and condition of the stone, to take down the stonework laying aside as much as possible the original stone, however very little was recoverable as the petrographic analysis has found that the stone sample that had been sent had been found to be “very damaged”. “These works to the front, gable and rear elevation were all carried out within a very tight timescale, between the 8th and 14th February 2016, and although we acknowledge were outwith the intended scope of original consents, we consider were carried out in good faith and to maintain a safe working area.”

However, a British Geological Survey report attached to the application notes that: “None of the quarries that might have supplied the stone used in the cottage at Kirklee Terrace Lane are active today, so an assessment of the closest-matching, currently available stones have been made.” The report added: “The BGS Building Stone Assessment is designed to maximise the likelihood that a replacement stone and the original stone will be compatible. “However, the small number and range of currently available stones compared to those that have been used in the past mean that it is commonly not possible to identify an ideal match.”



14 April 2016

A project conducted by the European Consortium for Ocean Research Drilling (ECORD) sent a joint expedition to the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico to drill into the Chicxulub Crater, which was created by the impact of the asteroid hitting Earth. The expedition team used a "liftboat" named Myrtle serving as the drilling platform. The team will open the hole and set a casing of 500 meters (1,640 feet) and start drilling down at a target depth of 1,500 meters (4,921 feet), said Dave Smith of the British Geological Survey.



12 April 2016

Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage (SCCS) won a £2.8million share of the money on offer from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). SCCS, a tie-up between Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt and Strathclyde universities and the British Geological Survey, will put the money towards three projects aimed at developing cost-effective carbon capture technologies. EPSRC’s funding is part of the RCUK Energy Programme, which provides support for emerging energy technologies, including CCS.



6 April 2016

Dr Margaret Stewart, Petroleum Geoscientist at BGS, commented: 'The British Geological Survey (BGS) are delighted to be working with the Isle of Man Government to provide technical advice and encourage investment in their promotion of offshore oil and gas prospectivity. BGS have extensive experience in running and promoting licensing rounds in the UK and abroad, and provide a comprehensive technical understanding of the regional geology from which to evaluate hydrocarbon potential. We look forward to working closely with the Isle of Man Government over the coming years.' The appointment of BGS follows recent developments in the Isle of Man offshore energy strategy with DONG Energy being selected to investigate development of an offshore wind farm and Manx Tidal Energy investigating potential for tidal power development.



4 April 2016

The BGS in Scotland has moved to its new base at the Lyell Centre, on the Heriot-Watt University campus in Edinburgh. Two major new buildings provide large open-plan offices for staff, a major new marine operations and engineering facility, a home for the national collection of Scottish rocks and fossils, together with laboratories and workshops to support the organization’s science programmes.


26 March 2016

Research involving the BGS at a green energy centre at Guardbridge on the potential for ground source heat merits further investigation, a report for the Scottish Government has found.


24 March 2016