Modelling process | National Geological Model

The fence diagram in England and Wales classified in terms of aquifer type viewed from the south-east.

The UK fence diagram showing sections in England, Scotland and Wales under construction, using GSI3D.

The production of the National Geological Model is underway with the creation of a fence diagram of UK bedrock geology.

The fence diagram is being constructed to broadly correspond to the UK bedrock geology 1:625 000 maps.

The initial fence diagram, and subsequent embedded models, are attributed with:

  • age
  • lithology
  • stratigraphy
  • hydrogeology
  • engineering, hydrocarbon and industrial mineral potential

With this overall framework in place, more detailed sections and data will be input using a stratigraphic and structural nesting approach referred to as LithoFrame.

Modelling at several resolutions

The LithoFrame Concept showing varied detail at differing levels of resolution

The effective depth of modelling and definition across several 'resolutions' is central to the concept of producing a National Geological Model.

The datasets at each scale resolution must be consistent with each other so that collectively they form a seamless transition from the general national models to a detailed or site-specific ones.

The highest order stratigraphic units extend throughout the model, these should be defined first and included in all models of a higher resolution.

Figure 3 shows the major stratigraphic boundaries selected at the regional 250 K resolution are applied to the higher resolution 50 K and 10 K models.

At the detailed 50 K resolution, seven rather than two units are shown; but this definition is likely to be resolved to a shallower depth.

These units can then act as the basis for the more detailed site-specific 10 K model in the example in Figure 3 some 17 units are identified to shallow depth.

In reverse, detailed models can be generalised and incorporated into lower resolution versions.

Generalised crustal scale model

Crustal-scale model of Caledonian tectonic  terranes bounded by major faults viewed from the south-west.

A more generalised tectonic crustal-scale model has also been developed for the Caledonian structural terranes, of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland in collaboration with the GSNI and the Geological Survey of Ireland  (GSI)

What's next?

The National Geological Model team is also working on developing national models for the Quaternary and enhancement of the coverage of Anthropoceneman-made deposits.


For further information contact Enquiries.

British Geological Survey
NG12 5GG
Telephone: 0115 936 3143
Fax: 0115 936 3276