Press releases

Press releases and announcements are compiled and issued by the BGS Press Office.

Scientists from the British Geological Survey and NRM Laboratories have found a novel way of using soil data to assess soil fertility. Maps show that the pattern of more acidic soils — which can reduce soil fertility — increasingly reflect geology and typical rainfall patterns across England and Wales. In recent years, less agricultural lime has been added to farmers’ fields to neutralise soil acidity.

10 March 2017

Water overflow due to flooding
The UK has had less rainfall than usual over the winter, and the south and south-east have been particularly dry meaning that the risk of a drought is increased. New maps published by the British Geological Survey (BGS) illustrate that people in the south and south-east of England are especially reliant on groundwater for their water supply and this provides some resilience to drought. However, groundwater levels are much lower than normal for this time of year and so the importance of managing and protecting groundwater is becoming critical.

7 March 2017

Durdle Door
Scientists from the British Geological Survey (BGS) and University of Southampton have published a seamless onshore-offshore bedrock geology map of the eastern half of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.

1 February 2017


Announcing BGS's participation in GeoERA, in collaboration with more than 45 European national and regional Geological Survey Organisations from over 30 European countries. This pan-European initiative is a Horizon 2020 ERA-NET Co-Fund Action, which has just begun and will complete in 2021.

The main objective of GeoERA is to contribute to the optimal use and management of the subsurface while minimizing environmental impacts and footprint for geo-energy, raw materials and groundwater challenges. GeoERA will launch a co-funded joint call that will fund transnational research projects that will aim to support:

  1. a more integrated and efficient management and
  2. more responsible and publicly accepted, exploitation and use of the subsurface.

20 January 2017

Mana Khola landslide, Latpancher, Darjeeling
Physical scientists, engineers and social scientists from nine organisations in the UK, Italy and India are collaborating to improve the assessment of landslide risk, early warning systems and the preparedness of local communities likely to be affected by landslide hazards in India. This will help to protect lives, livelihoods and the local economy of vulnerable landslide-prone communities in India.

20 January 2017

False colour image of the Sun. Courtesty of SOHO (NASA/ESA)

The daily US economic cost from solar storm-induced electricity blackouts could be in the tens of billions of dollars, with more than half the loss from indirect costs outside the blackout zone, according to a new study published 18 January 2017.

Previous studies have focused on direct economic costs within the blackout zone, failing to take account of indirect domestic and international supply chain loss from extreme space weather.

On average the direct economic cost incurred from disruption to electricity represents only 49 per cent of the total potential macroeconomic costs reports the paper published in Space Weather, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

The paper was co-authored by researchers from the Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies at University of Cambridge Judge Business School; British Antarctic Survey; British Geological Survey and University of Cape Town.

19 January 2017

Pentland Hills, southwest of Edinburgh, Scotland
This January scientists from a range of disciplines will come together to undertake the first ever coordinated sampling of the major rivers in Great Britain to look for soil derived organic carbon. This carbon is a large element of our 'natural capital' - in fact it is so large that restoring some damaged elements of it, such as upland peat bogs, could cost up to £570 million over the next 40 years. In recognition of this NERC has commissioned the major new programme, LOCATE (Land Ocean Carbon Transfer). One key early activity is to estimate the loss by sampling thirty rivers once a month for an entire year.

16 December 2016

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, The Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, visited The British Geological Survey (BGS) at The Lyell Centre in Edinburgh today as part of his visit to Scotland. The visit, which followed an extra £800 million infrastructure funding for the Scottish Government, took part in the brand new Lyell Centre Support building which houses the state of the art Rock Drill 2 (RD2).

1 December 2016

The information in the Atlas will help develop better water supplies for people across Africa
The British Geological Survey are today launching the Africa Groundwater Atlas at a major water conference in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire. Funded by DFID/NERC/ESRC’s UPGro research programme, the Atlas is a gateway to groundwater information for 51 African countries, and to unlocking the potential of groundwater resources in Africa.

1 December 2016

Lyell Centre
A pioneering global research centre for earth & marine science and technology was opened by Deputy First Minister John Swinney. Lyell Centre brings together the expertise of British Geological Survey with the academic innovation of Heriot-Watt University.

21 October 2016