BGS matters | Winter 2014

From the Executive

Prof John Ludden

Prof John LuddenI am very pleased to welcome "BGS matters" to the wide spectrum of public-related activities of BGS.

The cross section of activities reported in this issue underline the wealth of BGS activities. Mike Stephenson the BGS director of science and technology will outline how the BGS is evolving and developing a strategic monitoring programme. Its focus is energy security, but equally it covers groundwater protection and infrastructure and our how technology and working practices can be transferred globally.

"The Groundbreaking Event" underlines how BGS have been strongly supported by NERC in terms of capital which includes The Lyell Centre at Heriott Watt University, which will be the new home for BGS Scotland from spring 2016. We hope at the same time with NERC and academic partners we’ll be well into planning the installation of our unique underground research facilities, our "energy test beds", to support UK industry.

This year is the 50th anniversary of NERC. With BGS being part of the research council, please be on the lookout for anniversary events, these will coincide with the 200th anniversary of the William Smith map. BGS is also planning to hold an Open Day at our Keyworth headquarters near Nottingham on Saturday the 27th June. It will showcase the research and applied science that we carry out with lots of exciting things to see and do for all ages, so please hold the date!

We know BGS matters and we know that much of what we do matters to the society and economy of the UK and elsewhere. I thank the BGS communication team for producing this first edition, that we will release quarterly.

I hope you will enjoy reading this newsletter.

Prof Mike Stephenson

Prof Mike StephensonThis edition of our new newsletter covers an exciting new development for BGS: our energy test bed concept. The BGS science strategy described our ambition in this area and so we were very pleased to hear through the 2014 Autumn Statement that the BGS’ ESIOS concept will be funded. ESIOS will establish two subsurface research centres that will be run by BGS to study new technologies such as shale gas, geothermal and carbon capture and storage. This is part of our concept of ‘instrumenting the earth’ allowing us to monitor processes below ground in real time. This is a big step on BGS’ journey to develop the ability to understand fully – and manage – the subsurface environment.


Strategy sectionESIOS

NERC and the BGS have been allocated £31m to create a world-class subsurface research test centre - The Energy, Security and Innovation Observing System.

Seismogram of Oakham quakeThe UK has a good shake up!

The BGS seismology team had a busy week (starting 26th January) with two UK earthquakes happening within two days of each other.

MEC logoMidlands Energy Consortium

BGS has joined the Midlands Energy Consortium (MEC) along with the Universities of Birmingham, Loughborough, Nottingham and Warwick

Breaking ground at The Lyell CentreBreaking Ground at the Lyell Centre

On the 21st January, a ground breaking ceremony heralded the start of the £20m Lyell Centre at Heriot-Watt Univeristys Edinburgh Campus.

Geochemistry in sub-Saharan AfricaGeochemistry in sub-Saharan Africa

A project to improve understanding of soil geochemistry to help decision support tool sin agriculture and public health

Extract from Nottingham SheetMap Portal — Gateway to UK geology!

Freely view small and medium scale geological maps produced by the BGS since geological mapping began (back in 1832)

Read more stories: 1 | 2

Meet the (geo) scientist

Dr Angela LambDr Angela Lamb

Angela is an isotope geochemist for the NERC Isotope Geoscience Facility based at the BGS headquarters in Keyworth, Nottingham.

Dr Caroline GrahamDr Caroline Graham

Caroline spent most of her early career listening to the percussive sequence of low frequency sounds that a rock makes when it is forced to break under extreme pressure

Recent publications

Memoir to the delineation of the strata of England and Wales with part of Scotland by William Smith

This year, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the iconic 1815 William Smith geological map, we're publishing the re-mastered original map memoir from our Library. This reproduction accompanies the 1815 geological map of ‘England and Wales, with part of Scotland’ (series 53. issued between 2 November 1815 and 17 December 1815).

You can also buy, for the very first time, the William Smith 1815 geological map in a folded version and as an A4 print in A3 mount.

Upcoming events

Family Fun Day at BGS Keyworth |Saturday 21st March, 10am-4pm

This free event, celebrating British Science Week (formerly National Science & Engineering Week), will be held at our conference venue at Keyworth.

There will be BGS displays, talks, tours and lots of hands-on activities for children and adults; expertly supported by Rockwatch.

Please fill in the online form to register for this event.


Contact BGS corporate comms with letters, comments and anything that you’d like to see more of in the newsletter.