BGS in the media

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.

Jersey was hit by its biggest earthquake in a century yesterday, just as the island's main radio station was playing Rockin' All Over the World....

The British Geological Survey spokesman said: "Small earthquakes do occur in this region from time to time. It is not unusual for earthquakes like this to be followed by aftershocks...

"We get an earthquake of magnitude 4 to 4.9 roughly every two years." Up to 300 earthquakes are detected in the UK by the BGS annually.

11 July 2014

A small earthquake registering 2.9 on the Richter scale has been recorded in Fort William in the Scottish Highlands.

The quake happened on Thursday evening at around 18.30 GMT, according to the British Geological Survey (BGS).

4 July 2014

The British Geological Survey and the Environment Agency have mapped where key aquifers in England and Wales coincide with locations of shale. The research reveals this occurs under nearly half of the area containing the principal natural stores of water. The risk of methane being released into drinking water has long been one of the most sensitive questions over fracking...

Dr John Bloomfield, of the British Geological Survey, said the maps could serve as a guide for regulators and planners. "We've identified areas where aquifers are in relatively close proximity to shale units and any developments would have to be looked at particularly carefully," he said...

3 July 2014

SCOTLAND has modest shale gas and oil resources, an assessment by the British Geological Survey suggests.

Professor Mike Stephenson, director of science and technology at the British Geological Survey, said: "The central estimate of shale gas in place is 80 trillion cubic feet and the central estimate for shale oil in place is 6 billion barrels of oil but reserves cannot be calculated at this stage before drilling and testing take place.

"The Midland Valley of Scotland has complex geology and a relative lack of data compared to the previous DECC-BGS Bowland-Hodder and Weald Basin studies."

30 June 2014

It was an integral part of the war effort with their expertise providing recommendations for everything from the type of sand to use in trench sand bags – so as to provide maximum protection against enemy fire without being impossible to move when sodden with water – to where to find clean drinking water on the Western Front...

This invaluable but often missed contribution to Britain's war effort has now been brought into the public domain as part of the BGS's centenary commemoration of the outbreak of the conflict.

Resident BGS archivist Andrew Morrison, 43, of West Bridgford, has been trawling through the archives of the Survey, established as part of the Ordnance Survey in 1835.

24 June 2014

Hugh Barron, sector manager with the British Geological Survey in Edinburgh, Scotland, gave a presentation at Tuesday’s meeting. He helped establish a geopark in Scotland in 2003 and said that process began with a meeting similar to this one in Corner Brook...

That geopark was established just 18 months later... “The process now is a bit more complicated and it’s likely going to take a little longer because geoparks now really need to be up and running before they can apply to UNESCO for status,” noted Barron...

Besides the geology, a geopark would also have to demonstrate that it can become a sustainable tourist attraction that the local residents have taken ownership of and are committed to protecting. That means the park should be an educational resource for all ages, include all relevant local culture and history in its promotion and contain adequate tourism infrastructure so people can access it... “It’s not imposed on people,” said Barron. “People have to want a geopark to make it work.”

11 June 2014

From threatened coral reefs and oxygen-starved seas to the industrial wastes around our cities and the subway systems beneath them, humans have clearly left their mark on the planet – and now a team of geologists from the University of Leicester has examined evidence from around the world to see exactly how global geology is changing due to human hands.

The findings of these studies have been presented in a new volume entitled ‘A Stratigraphical Basis for the Anthropocene’ published by The Geological Society and edited by Dr Jan Zalasiewicz and Professor Mark Williams from the University of Leicester’s Department of Geology in collaboration with colleagues from the British Geological Survey. They examine the evidence to suggest that we now live in a new epoch - the Anthropocene, in which humans have changed the global landscape in which we live.

‘A Stratigraphical Basis for the Anthropocene’ was published on Wednesday 4 June 2014 by The Geological Society and is available here:

9 June 2014

The Tellus South West project has mapped the soils, rocks, landscape and ecology to unprecedented depth and detail. It could prove crucial to understanding or preventing flooding in North Devon and further afield – including the revelation that run off from here helped feed floods in Somerset earlier this year that left communities cut off for weeks...

Dr Andy Howard of the British Geological Survey said the project had gone extremely well and was all about getting better data for the experts to work with.

“One of the things we really needed to know about was what happens to rainwater when it hits the ground, how much is absorbed into the soil and rivers and how much contributes to flooding,” he said.

6 June 2014

Cornwall's mystery rumble may have been explained. It is after reports of an earthquake and a big bang making buildings shake from Looe to Grampound.

A spokesperson said: "Data from the BGS seismic networks in the region were examined and a signal consistent with a possible sonic origin was recorded at 11:38 & 11:39 UTC on two seismic stations in the area. The reports received are also consistent with historical observations received for previous events with a sonic origin.

6 June 2014

As a seismologist with the British Geological Survey based in Edinburgh, people may well wonder what we do all day...

The data from nearly all our stations is transmitted directly to our office in Edinburgh for real-time processing and analysis. In an average year we detect about 100-200 earthquakes around Britain but just 20 per cent of these are felt by people...

My colleagues and I are on permanent call for earthquake information both here and in the rest of the world. We might have to supply seismic information for anything of significance...

25 May 2014