Mathematical modelling

The BGS Mathematical Modelling Team researches and develops technologies that utilise mathematical modelling to understand the subsurface. The team's vision is:

  • to make prediction of the effects of dynamic environmental processes a standard tool for all geoscience disciplines
  • to develop the BGS's world leading capabilities in 3D framework modelling with the intention of developing geologically realistic models populated with physical properties that can be used to calculate and visualise dynamic time-dependent processes
  • to demonstrate leadership in efforts to undertake integrated modelling and transnational 3D framework modelling

Why do you need to see the rock property data in 3D?

3d seismic cube

3D models help to reveal detail that may be otherwise hidden.

For example, it may help us understand better the porosity characteristics of rocks. If you are looking to develop abstraction of groundwater then you would want to find areas of relatively high porosity.

A number of industries of significant national importance to the UK require an understanding of subsurface porosity including:

  • carbon dioxide sequestration
  • gas storage
  • groundwater resources
  • hydrocarbon production
  • waste disposal

Development work will continue for other rock properties datasets, by extracting them from their original datasets and importing them into 3D models to look at how their distributions vary in the subsurface.

PropBase is a BGS project tasked with populating our LithoFrame 3D models with property data, providing these to geologists as an aid to interpretation of the subsurface. We are currently building the tool and refining the techniques that will allow PropBase to be used as a major interpretation tool in the future.

Modelling groundwater systems

Climate change and changing human pressures on our environment require us to make predictions about the future sustainability of our water resources; this necessitates the use of models.

Our groundwater modelling research focuses on the development and application of models to improve our understanding of hydrological and groundwater processes and to allow predictions about the future to be made.

Modelling software

BGS has developed a number of groundwater modelling software tools that simulate groundwater systems at a range of scales

Dynamic environment sensitivity to climate change (DESC)

The DESC project seeks to create a modelling platform where the influence of predicted future climate scenarios can be tested on a variety of landscape evolutionary processes at a range of spatio-temporal scales. The project is funded by the Climate Change and Geoscience Technologies science themes.


Contact Andy Kingdon for more information about the work of Mathematical modelling