A guide to the National Landslide Database on the GeoIndex

View landslides on the GeoIndex

This page explains the National Landslide Database (NLD) on the BGS GeoIndex under the following headings:

The National Landslide Database holds over 16 500 records of landslides and is the definitive source of landslide information for Great Britain; it excludes Northern Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

What do the symbols mean?

Each landslide within the National Landslide Database is identified by a National Landslide Database ID number and a point location, as shown on this map. The National Landslide Database ID number represents an individual survey of a landslide, rather than just the landslide itself. This is because there could be several phases of movement within or extensions to the same landslide, particularly if it is a large and complex one. Subsequent surveys of the same landslide may be recorded in the database with the same National Landslide Database ID number but with a new Survey Number.

Landslide ID 10741
Survey No 1
Name Holbeck Hall
Location South of Scarborough, North Yorkshire, England
Easting 504827
Northing 486887
± m 10
Grid checked by BGS Y
Date of landslide 03 June 1993
Date known to the nearest Day
Reference Holbeck Hall case study

The point symbols at the designated location do not reflect the size and shape of the corresponding landslide, but just denote the recorded presence of a landslide within a range of accuracy.
How do I get a map of the landslide extent?

Where possible, each point is located at the highest point on the landslide backscarp feature. This is not always possible to locate as, for example, backscarp information is often omitted from older geological maps. In these cases, the highest point on the mapped landslide polygon is used. If this information is not available, the point is located approximately.
How is the point location accuracy expressed?

In the 1990s, BGS inherited approximately 8500 landslide records from the then Department of Environment (DoE). This survey was carried out by Geomorphological Services Limited (GSL) and involved their staff searching through the literature, including BGS maps and reports, to gain as much information about landslides in Great Britain as possible.

These landslides were recorded as either six-figure grid references (1 km accuracy) or eight-figure grid references (100 m accuracy) thereby incorporating a considerably large locational inaccuracy when displayed on a map. The BGS Landslides Team has been working for several years to re-locate these landslides with more accuracy and to remove duplicates or incorrect entries inherited from the DoE database. This process is still underway and will take several more years to complete.

Consequently, the data are displayed in the GeoIndex to show if the landslide record has been validated by the team.

The Landslides Team have validated this landslide. Y The Landslides Team have validated this landslide point correctly to within a range of accuracy.
The Landslides Team is yet to validate this landslide. N The Landslides Team is yet to validate this landslide.
+ U The Landslides Team has tried to find information about this landslide but the original reference material is unavailable.

How is the point location accuracy expressed?

Each point, which has been validated by the Landslides Team, is given an accuracy range. This is expressed as ±10 metres, ±100 metres or ±1000 metres unless a specific range is known (e.g. GPS).

How do I get a map of the extent of the landslide?

If the landslide is from BGS geological maps, there will be a mapped extent of the landslide from the time of mapping. This can be obtained by contacting enquiries@bgs.ac.uk or by purchasing the geological map extracts. This is not a geomorphological map.

Where have the data come from?

Most of the data have come from BGS geological maps. The following are the various sources of data included in the database; these are written as bibliographic references in the table in the GeoIndex:

  • BGS published paper maps
  • BGS Geology 50k and BGS Geology 10k (BGS digital geological maps)
  • BGS memoirs and sheet explanations
  • BGS reports
  • journal articles, magazines etc
  • non-BGS reports
  • council records
  • media reports e.g. newspapers, radio, television, web
  • inherited databases e.g. DoE database

Where can I obtain the references given in the table?

BGS cannot provide the references given in the table free of charge.

Paper geological maps at 1:50 000 and 1:10 000 scale and the accompanying memoirs or sheet explanations are available to purchase through the BGS shop. Digital map data are available to purchase through enquiries@bgs.ac.uk.

BGS memoirs and sheet explanations can be purchased or viewed in the BGS library.

BGS reports may not be available due to confidentiality.

Journal articles and magazines cannot be provided free but may be obtained through the BGS library, local libraries, university libraries, online science libraries or the British Library.

Non-BGS reports — BGS cannot provide these without written consent from the authors.

Council records cannot be obtained through BGS. Please contact the appropriate council.

Media reports cannot be obtained through BGS. They may still be available online or the media can be contacted direct to request the report.

Terms and conditions — important information about how to use NLD data

Data is supplied in accordance with the GeoReports Terms and Conditions.

In addition to the terms and conditions above; important notes about the National Landslide Database data:

  • Landslides, by definition, are a mass of soil, rock or debris that have moved, or is still in the process of moving, down slope. It is therefore possible that the mass may have moved since the survey was carried out and the data was recorded in the National Landslide Database. This is also true for the landslides mapped on BGS paper and digital maps.
  • The data, information and related records supplied by BGS can only be indicative and should not be taken as a substitute for specialist interpretations, professional advice and/or detailed ground investigations. The data must not be used for insurance purposes. You must seek professional advice before making technical interpretations on the basis of the materials provided.
  • Landslides are named according to the source of information. If the landslide was named by the aforementioned DoE database, published work (e.g. journal publication, report), newspaper or other media, then that name has been retained. If the landslide has been taken from British Geological Survey geology maps, the landslide is named according to the nearest available landmark. In some areas, particularly remote locations, this can be for example the name of a woodland, hill, road, settlement, cliff, farm or any other building on the Ordnance Survey map. The landslide names are nominal only and in no way reflect the size, activity or nature of the landslide.
  • Geological observations and interpretations of landslides are made according to the prevailing understanding of the subject at the time of the survey. The quality of such observations and interpretations may be affected by the availability of new data, by subsequent advances in knowledge, improved methods of interpretation, and better access to sampling locations.
  • Raw data may have been transcribed from analogue to digital format, or may have been acquired by means of automated measuring techniques. Although such processes are subjected to quality control to ensure reliability where possible, some raw data may have been processed without human intervention and may in consequence contain undetected errors.
  • Data may be compiled from the disparate sources of information available to BGS, including material donated to BGS by third parties, and may not originally have been subject to any verification or other quality control process.
  • Data, information and related records, which have been donated to BGS, have been produced for a specific purpose, and that may affect the type and completeness of the data recorded and any interpretation. The nature and purpose of data collection, and the age of the resultant material may render it unsuitable for certain applications/uses. You must verify the suitability of the material for your intended usage.


Copyright in materials derived from the British Geological Survey's work, is owned by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and/or the authority that commissioned the work. You may not copy or adapt the data, or provide it to a third party, without first obtaining NERC's permission. Please visit the IPR web pages or contact the BGS Head of Intellectual Property Rights, British Geological Survey, Environmental Science Centre, Keyworth, Nottingham NG12 5GG. Telephone: 0115 936 3100. Email: ipr@bgs.ac.uk.

© NERC 2012 All rights reserved.

Contact the Landslide Response Team

British Geological Survey
NG12 5GG
E-mail: Landslides team
Telephone: 0115 936 3143
Fax: 0115 936 3276