National Geotechnical Database

What is the National Geotechnical Database?

The National Geotechnical Properties Database holds geotechnical information extracted from site investigation records provided by clients, consultants and contractors and from field and laboratory testing carried out by the British Geological Survey. Much of the data is abstracted from high-quality site investigation reports conducted for major trunk road and other construction schemes.

What kind of information is held within the database?

The database tables and fields are based on current Association of Geotechnical Specialists (AGS) industry standard digital format. Where required, extra geological information related to stratigraphic classification and lithological descriptions are included.
Information held within the database includes locations to British National Grid coordinates; borehole, core and in situ test data; sample data; and a range of laboratory index and mechanical property test data on both soils and rocks.

Highly simplified architecture of the National Geotechnical Properties Database.
Highly simplified architecture of the National Geotechnical Database.

How many records are there in the database?

The database currently contains geotechnical data from over 280 000 laboratory test samples and core descriptions, borehole observations and in situ tests from over 63 000 boreholes extracted from over 3400 site investigation reports.

An example of a cross-section based on geotechnical properties.

How is this data useful?

Current distribution of data in the National Geotechnical Properties Database.

The database underpins BGS geotechnical and geophysical properties and processes research and is an important information resource for answering enquiries and providing for the data needs of external customers.
Geotechnical information held in the database forms the basis for the geotechnical attribution of the BGS's digital geological models. Statistical analyses of the data are also undertaken to assess regional spatial property variations, and hence variations in anticipated engineering behaviour during ground engineering projects.

Outputs underpinned by the information stored in the National Geotechnical Properties Database can assist ground engineers and planners in undertaking feasibility studies and site investigation design for engineering projects, and land-use planning for regional development.


The confidentiality requirements of all site investigation data donated to the BGS by external organisations, and subsequently held in the National Geotechnical Properties Database, is strictly adhered to. All users and beneficiaries of this data and value-added information derived from it are encouraged to send site investigation records (including digital AGS data) to the BGS for archiving and, with permission, adding to the database.


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