Present and future projects

We are the UK's premier provider of geoscientific data, information and knowledge for wealth creation, sustainable use of natural resources, reducing risk and living with the impacts of environmental change.

Our research includes core geological survey and monitoring work and other innovative projects addressing today's geoscientific challenges driven by the changing needs of our stakeholders.

Climate change

The impact of climate change is one of the biggest and most complicated challenges facing society today.

The BGS climate change programme is addressing these issues through a variety of focused efforts.

We are at heart of a community effort to:

  • observe past and present climate;
  • to understand those observations, and ultimately;
  • to predict future climates and the environmental responses to those climates.

Carbon capture

The BGS is recognised as a European centre of excellence for the study of carbon dioxide (CO2) storage, contributing to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

At the BGS we research the ways in which CO2 can be stored in rocks under the ground, so that we can maintain electricity supplies and economic growth, while not changing the atmosphere and the climate.

Carbon Capture and Storage, or CCS, involves capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from large emission sources (such as power stations); then transporting and storing it in deep geological formations.

CCS can also mean the removal or scrubbing of CO2 from the open atmosphere followed by storage in a deep geological formation.

Geological hazards

The BGS research into the dynamic processes in the Earth's core, mantle and crust, and the space environment surrounding our planet.

We need to understand how these processes create and control hazards to life, the environment, and economic infrastructure.

This will enable better forecasts to be made of earthquake occurrence and volcanic eruptions, and of related hazards; including tsunamis.

Remote sensing

Afar Rift

Colour shaded-relief topographic image of the western hemisphere of Mars where structural patterns in areas of low relief have been greatly enhanced.

Remote sensing is the technique of measuring spectral reflectance and emittance from the Earth's surface using sensors mounted on airborne or spaceborne platforms.

These measurements are used to infer the nature and characteristics of the land at the time of observation by comparing the image spectral response patterns with reference spectra of known surface materials.

Since 2008 we have been using remote sensing techniques for planetary geoscience studies with an initial emphasis on the geology of Mars.