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.

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

An underwater landslide the size of Paris may have triggered the worst of the tsunami that struck Japan on 11 March 2011, a new study claims.

In the new study, Grilli and colleagues worked back from details of the ocean surface motion recorded by gauges along the Japanese shore on the day of the earthquake. Much as sound waves can help the ear pinpoint the source of a gunshot and whether a small pistol or a large cannon fired it, tsunami waves carry the imprint of the ocean floor disturbance that created them. The team concludes that during the earthquake a slab of sediment 20 km by 40 km and up to 2 km thick slid about 300 meters down the steep slope of Japan Trench, “acting like a piston.” Grilli’s calculations also identified where the slump must have happened: near the northern end of the 2011 rupture, 170 km from the Japan shore, and under 4.5 km of water. And when marine geologist and co-author David Tappin of the British Geological Survey compared Japanese maps from before and after the earthquake, he identified just the right kind of slump in the target area. The team’s paper is in press at Marine Geology.

26 September 2014

Mkango Resources Ltd. (TSX VENTURE:MKA) (the "Corporation" or "Mkango") is pleased to announce the results of the Pre-feasibility Study for the Songwe Hill Rare Earth Project...

A comprehensive three year program of mineralogical studies formed the basis for the metallurgical testwork. Mineralogical work included investigations by High Definition Mineralogy incorporating QEMSCAN™ completed by SGS Minerals Services and Camborne School of Mines, scanning electron microscope (SEM), electron microprobe and Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) analyses completed at the Natural History Museum, Aberystwyth University, Camborne School of Mines and the British Geological Survey. Further mineralogical work (SEM) on mineral concentrate was completed at Mintek and the Camborne School of Mines. The mineralogical program identified the fluorocarbonate mineral, synchysite, and the phosphate mineral, apatite, as the most important rare earth bearing minerals, and confirmed that the apatite contained significantly higher concentrations of heavy rare earths and yttrium relative to apatite in other carbonatites worldwide.

23 September 2014

Exactly a year on from the release of GB Minecraft, Ordnance Survey has launched GB Minecraft 2. This free-to-download Minecraft map offers gamers a much more natural-looking and detailed version of Great Britain.

Joseph’s original map has been highly praised by parents and teachers for being a way of engaging children in learning about geography and inspired the Danish government to produce its own Minecraft map. It has been widely talked about in the global Minecraft community, of which there are 100 million registered users, and this summer the British Geological Survey used GB Minecraft to recreate the geology of Great Britain beneath its surface.

23 September 2014

There was a huge bang over North East Lincolnshire on Friday night. Dozens of people reported a large flash and a loud bang with houses shaking and cars bouncing shortly after 10.30pm...

The British Geological Survey have not reported any seismic activity in the area which, along with a "flash" reported by a number of witnesses on Twitter, appears to discount the earthquake theory.

20 September 2014

Dart Energy has applied to operate an exploratory borehole in Dudleston Heath, near Ellesmere, for coal bed methane extraction. But, with hundreds of objections to the plans, along with petitions from campaigners Frack-Free Dudleston (FFD), the proposal has come under fire, with concerns raised about health and environmental safety...

It said it was important that people were aware the company would not be fracking for shale gas on the site, and that it was to be used only for coal bed methane purposes...

“The core samples that are recovered will be retained by the British Geological Survey (BGS) for future reference.”

20 September 2014

NERC has teamed up with BBC presenter Professor Iain Stewart and Shadow Industries, a Bristol-based production company, to create a new short film called 'Anatomy of an Earthquake'. The film uses graphics to provide an introduction to the physical causes of earthquakes, and what happens when a seismic hazard deep beneath the Earth's surface meets a vulnerable city above. It also asks how we can prepare our mega-cities for a direct seismic strike, as people around the world flock to urban centres...

The film was created with the GCSE and A' Level curricula in mind, and is intended as a new resource to introduce students to the topic...

It was created in partnership with NERC's British Geological Survey and Earthquakes without Frontiers, a programme jointly funded by NERC and the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) to improve understanding of the physical and social factors that cause vulnerability to earthquakes on continental interiors.

19 September 2014

It is evident that people have a genuine concern about climate change and the issues of increasing carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. Aided by the nice weather and the general buzz around the University of Birmingham/British Science Festival, this concern saw over 70 people attend 'The Carbon Conundrum' on Sunday morning...

... Q & A panel ran over by nearly 15 minutes showed just how engaged the audience were, and is also a testament to the expertise of the expert panel who were joined by Dr Paul Fennell (Imperial College - Capture), Dr Julia Race (University of Strathclyde - Transport) and Michelle Bentham (BGS - Storage) who between them answered questions on the full chain CCS process.

Overall this was a fantastic little event and one that I am convinced helped to spread knowledge of the science and application of CCS technology within the UK. This event was organised by SCCS with UKCCSRC and BGS and with support from Imperial College London and EPRG at University of Cambridge.

18 September 2014

Leaks from faulty shale gas and oil wells have contaminated water supplies, but fracking itself is not to blame, according to new research.

The findings echo those of a study by Researching Fracking in Europe (ReFINE), backed by the British Geological Survey and published earlier this year, which also found that although shale gas wells can leak, fracking itself was not to blame. Problems with the structure of the wells – such as inadequate cement seals - were responsible.

15 September 2014