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.

BGS geologists Mike Ellis and Colin Waters are part of the working group meeting to decide whether or not to propose formal adoption of the 'Anthropocene', the new epoch of humanity.

16 October 2014

The UK’s only dedicated space weather forecast centre has been launched to alert satellite telecommunication providers and electrical network operators in case of major solar storms...

...The Met Office is working closely with a range of partners including NOAA’a Space Weather Prediction Centre, Science and Technology Facilities Council, British Geological Survey, University of Bath, RAL Space, British Antarctic Survey and several other universities and research organisations to optimise the use of data, knowledge and models.

9 October 2014

High-resolution scans of over 6,000 geological maps previously published on paper have been released on the internet by the British Geological Survey. The BGS Maps Portal provides free-to-view small and medium scale maps produced by the BGS since geological mapping began in 1832 and includes the recent 1:50,000 mapping of England, Wales and Scotland, geochemical and geophysical maps and also historical maps.

The BGS said that traditionally, geological surveys focused on the geology of the solid subsurface and produced paper geological maps, but its strategy is now to continuously monitor geological processes and develop 3D digital geological models.

Executive director Professor John Ludden said: “BGS is increasingly moving to full digital delivery of its maps and this step allows downloads of our highest resolution map products created and developed over 180 years that have underpinned the economic development of the UK.”

7 October 2014

A new central environmental data platform is to be developed by a scientist at Heriot-Watt University (HWU) to boost safety of oil and gas exploration in UK waters

Dr Gormley’s work builds on the NERC ‘North Sea Interactive (NSI) project, which merges industry environmental survey data held in the UKBenthos Database with BGS sediment data and NOC oceanographic data into a Geographical Information System (GIS) database for the North Sea; an approach embraced by Oil and Gas UK.

NSI was co-ordinated by Heriot-Watt University in collaboration with the British Geological Survey (BGS), the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) and the industry’s representative body Oil and Gas UK.

6 October 2014

An ocean engineer at the University of Rhode Island [in partnership with British Geological Survey's Dave Tappin] has found that a massive underwater landslide, combined with the 9.0 earthquake, was responsible for triggering the deadly tsunami that struck Japan in March 2011.

In a series of models, Grilli and his former doctoral student Jeff Harris worked backwards in time to recreate the movement of the seafloor from the earthquake and concluded that an additional movement underwater about 100 kilometers north of the earthquake's epicenter must have occurred to propagate the large waves that struck Sanriku. So the URI engineers and colleagues at the British Geological Survey and the University of Tokyo went looking for evidence that something else happened there.

"Underwater landslides tend to create shorter period tsunami waves, and they tend to concentrate their energy in a small stretch of coastline," said Grilli. "The train of waves from the landslide, combined with the earthquake generated waves, together created the 40 meter inundation along the Sanriku Coast."

3 October 2014

Dr Kate Gormley of HWU’s Centre for Marine Biodiversity & Biotechnology (CMBB), has secured a NERC Oil and Gas Knowledge Exchange Fellowship worth nearly £250,000 to develop a new environmental data management (EDM) platform.

Professor Murray Roberts, Director of the University’s Centre for Marine Biodiversity & Biotechnology (CMBB) added: “We live in an information age, but the environmental data needed by the oil and gas industry have been scattered and hard to access.

“Our new Lyell Centre partnership with the British Geological Survey has allowed us a unique opportunity to compile biological, geological and oceanographic information in innovative new ways. “This is vital if we’re going to sustainably manage vital energy resources for Scotland and the UK.” When complete, the new data portal will provide a platform for researchers to explore nearly 40 years’ worth of industry and NERC data which, up to now, have remained fragmented.

3 October 2014

The world’s first commercial-scale Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) will begin operating in Canada today.

Scottish Carbon Capture & Storage (SCCS), a research partnership of the British Geological Survey and four Scottish universities, claimed the significance of Boundary Dam’s start-up was “huge”. “The Boundary Dam CCS Project is a global first and its impact will create ripples worldwide,” said SCCS director Stuart Haszeldine who is attending Boundary Dam’s opening ceremony today.

2 October 2014

A UK-led international research team has carried out the first experiment to recreate what would happen if CO2 started leaking after being stored deep under the sea floor. Their findings add weight to the idea that this could be a viable way to cut our impact on the climate.

The QICS team included scientists from PML, the British Geological Survey, the National Oceanography Centre, the Scottish Association for Marine Science and Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt and Southampton Universities, alongside Japanese colleagues. The diving work to monitor CO2 release from the seabed was done by the NERC Facility for Scientific Diving. Financial support came from the Scottish and Japanese governments as well as from NERC and Research Councils UK.

The experiment's results are now helping plan and design large-scale CCS pilot projects in the UK, enabling the companies involved to devise environmental surveys and future monitoring strategies.

1 October 2014

A multidisciplinary team of scientists at The Univ. of Nottingham are using some of the most advanced X-ray micro Computed Tomography (CT) scanners to learn how to design plant roots so they can interact better with soil and capture water and nutrients more efficiently. This non-invasive technology will help Nottingham unearth some of the answers to one of the biggest challenges facing the world today — global food security.

The scanners are also well suited to analyzing a whole range of bio and non-biomaterials such as carbon fibers, food products and electrical components. The team works with a wide range of local and national groups including Nottingham’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, the Faculty of Engineering, the British Geological Survey, several multinational food companies and even Michelin starred chefs.

30 September 2014

BGS [QICS] published a study in journal Nature Climate Change that found damage to marine life from a controlled small-scale leak of carbon dioxide from CO2 storage reservoirs was minimal...

"The results show that small-scale leakage will not be catastrophic, although we do caution that impacts are likely to increase if a larger amount of CO2 is released," project leader Jerry Blackford [Plymouth Marine Laboratory] said in a statement Monday.

29 September 2014