In the UK, geological maps traditionally have been attributed with lithostratigraphical map units. These maps are sometimes only of limited use for planning and engineering projects without significant supplementary information,
The BGS has now produced two 1:1 million scale engineering geological maps of the UK, one for bedrock and one for superficial deposits. These new maps are attributed with ‘engineering geological units’ in place of the traditional lithostratigraphical units.
In addition to the two map sheets an extended key has also been produced. It includes a description of each engineering geological lithology and information on engineering considerations, including foundations, excavatability, engineered fill, and general ground investigation conditions.
The purpose of these maps is to present an overview of the engineering geology of the UK. They are not intended as a replacement for detailed site-specific desk studies or ground investigations. The maps may prove of particular use to those who are embarking on the study of engineering geology or who are in the early stages of their professional careers in civil or environmental engineering. They also serve to raise the awareness of the impact that geology has on planning and development, and act as a reminder of the importance of engineering geology in reducing the risks associated with human interaction in the built and natural environment.
Further, more detailed information on geology, physical properties and geological hazards are available at:
Dobbs, M R, Culshaw, M G, Northmore, K J, Reeves, H J and Entwisle D C. 2012. Methodology for creating national engineering geological maps of the UK. Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology, 45, 335–347.
BRITISH GEOLOGICAL SURVEY. 2011. Engineering Geology (Bedrock) Map of the United Kingdom. (Keyworth: British Geological Survey)
BRITISH GEOLOGICAL SURVEY. 2011. Engineering Geology (Superficial) Map of the United Kingdom. (Keyworth: British Geological Survey)
BRITISH GEOLOGICAL SURVEY. 2011. Extended key for the engineering geology maps of the United Kingdom. (Keyworth: British Geological Survey)
Culshaw, M G, Dobbs, M R, Reeves, H J, Northmore, K J and Entwisle, D C. 2010. A tribute to Professor William Dearman: New small-scale engineering geological maps of the UK. In: Williams, A L, Pinches, G M, Chin, C Y, McMorran, T J, and Massey, C I. (Eds) Geologically Active: Proceedings of the 11th AEG Congress, Auckland, New Zealand, 5–10 Sept. 2010. 187–198.
Dobbs, M, Reeves, H J, Northmore, K J and Entwisle, D C. 2010. Engineering geology maps of the UK. Earthwise, 26, 50–51.
Contact Marcus Dobbs for more information