Lyell Centre

BGS sites and facilities

The Lyell Centre
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The Lyell Centre. BGS © UKRI

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The Lyell Centre is a collaborative venture between BGS and Heriot-Watt University comprising laboratory, office, and collaborative space designed to enable both organisations to build on their individual and combined interdisciplinary expertise in land and marine conservation, geology and geoscience. Funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Scottish Funding Council and Heriot-Watt, the Lyell Centre builds on interdisciplinary expertise to encourage an outstanding science culture. 

The facility is home to a number of BGS’ specialist research teams, which are listed below.

Our research

Maintenance work.

Earthquakes and seismology research

We are measuring, recording and analysing ground motions from earthquakes and other seismic events across the UK and overseas.

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Aurora Borealis by Stein Egil Liland


Measuring, recording and interpreting variations in the Earth’s magnetic field including those caused by space weather

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Groundwater research

Our research addresses issues related to the sustainability of water resources and quality, impacts of environmental change on the water cycle, natural hazards, and human health.

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Radioactive waste research

Geodisposal: radioactive waste

The BGS has provided geological data and interpretations concerning the safe storage and disposal of radioactive waste for nearly 70 years.

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BGS White Ribbon boat on the Firth of Forth

Sea floor: marine geoscience

The marine geoscientists at BGS provide independent and expert geological advice, research and data acquisition to anyone working in the marine environment.

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UK Geoenergy Observatories

UK Geoenergy Observatories are facilitating a step change in our understanding of geology and our relationship with the underground environment.

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Yasur volcano - Anna Hicks


Our scientists lead research projects and work in partnerships around the world to improve our understanding of volcanic processes, hazards and risks.

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Critical raw materials

All minerals and metals used in manufacturing, including recycled material, have ultimately been mined from the Earth’s crust.

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