BGS Marine Geoscience Data Collection

BGS White Ribbon Survey Boat

This collection of seabed and sub seabed data is primarily from the United Kingdom Continental Shelf and adjacent area geoscience surveys undertaken by BGS.

The data is collected using various drilling, sampling and geophysical techniques and the resulting collection comprises of paper records, analogue and digital data, and physical material.

The BGS maintain this collection as part of the National Geoscience Data Centre (NGDC) and as the Marine Environment Data and Information Network (MEDIN) Data Archive Centre (DAC) for Geology and Geophysics.

Use the BGS Offshore Geoindex to view data coverage.

Paper records

BGS Marine Paper Records, Example Sparker, 1974

As the Marine Data collections go back to the 1960s, there are significant amounts of paper records held.

Where resources have allowed, these have been scanned and their content captured digitally, though a proportion still remain on paper only.

The records range from simple geological descriptions, graphical borehole logs and seismic data plots through to full technical reports supplied to BGS for improvement of geological map products.

View a gallery of example marine geophysical records.

View a gallery of example marine sample/borehole records.

Analogue and digital geophysical data

HM Trawler Vulture Multibeam Image

This collection contains more modern digital data, together with legacy analogue data. Where possible, data have been migrated to modern media, subject to available resources.

Gravity and magnetic readings

Unadjusted ship gravity and magnetic data collected by BGS or received from various commercial and academic surveys. Marine gravity and magnetic data from the UK Hydrographic Office are also available.

Single and multibeam echo sounder, side-scan sonar

Seabed imaging providing bathymetric (depth) data or information about the roughness of the seabed.

Seismic reflection profiling data

Sub seabed imaging which gives information about structures beneath the seabed.

View a gallery of some examples.

Digital geological sample data

BGS Sample Data

Much of the existing legacy paper records have been transcribed to digital form. Work is ongoing to check and make these data available together with more recent-born digital data.

Particle size analyses

This dataset is primarily at seabed and includes gravel, sand and mud fractions, carbonate content and phi/half phi analysis of the sand fraction.

Geotechnical analyses and Geological descriptions

These data consist of compressive and shear strength measurements for selected sample locations and geological descriptions of the various types of lithological unit found in offshore samples.

Geochemical analyses

Geochemical data, consisting of a set of 38 elements, available for seabed samples collected from a variety of sediment types.

Physical geological sample material

BGS Core Sample

The marine geological samples collected are managed as part of the BGS Materials collections.

Borehole core material

Borehole core material are collected by BGS from the sea areas around the UK during wireline drilling operations.

Vibrocore, gravity core and seabed drill core samples

Vibrocore and gravity core and seabed drill samples are core material collected by BGS from the sea areas around the UK during coring operations.

Seabed samples

Seabed surface samples are material collected using equipment such as grabs or dredges from around the UK.

Offshore hydrocarbon wells

The UK Continental Shelf hydrocarbon well collection contains drillcore material and samples of cuttings. You can search this collection and, where available, view images of core.