BGS Civils: corrosivity (ferrous)

BGS Datasets

Key information

1:50 000
Great Britain
GIS line and polygon data (ESRI, MapInfo, others available by request)

BGS Civils bundle (all eight layers) £0.50 per km2

BGS Civils individual layers £0.30 per km2

BGS Civils web viewer (subscription service) £500 for the first layer, £100 for each additional layer. £1000 for all layers.

All products are subject to number of users and licence fee. BGS Civils bundle and individual layers are also subject to a data preparation fee.

Local-level use

Get data

Free access

Our free data is available under the Open Government Licence. Please acknowledge reproduced BGS materials.

Sample data download
Supporting documents

BGS Civils is a suite of national maps of engineering properties based on geological data and the digital 1:50 000 scale geological map — BGS Geology 50K.

It comprises eight layers:

The primary goal of the product is to provide the key engineering characteristics of the geology of Great Britain to professional users who need simple and rapid access to such information. You might be planning pipeline routes avoiding difficult ground conditions, calculating tender costs for trench excavation or you might need knowledge of ground properties in order to plan your daily activities.

The data is provided as GIS shapefiles that are available to licence individually or as a bundle to meet your own requirements.

This dataset

The BGS corrosivity dataset is a GIS layer supporting the management of underground iron assets that has been created in response to the growing awareness of the cost of maintenance of structures such as pipelines and building foundations.

As underground structures and pipes get older, their potential to fail as a result of surface pitting and corrosion increases. The cost in the UK of corrosion of these structures has been estimated at four per cent of gross national product (GNP) per year (Institute of Corrosion).

Some of this cost comes in the form of corrosion of underground iron structures (e.g. pipes), particularly in what are termed ‘aggressive soils’.

This dataset identifies where the ground beneath the topsoil has potentially ‘corrosive’ or ‘aggressive’ characteristics and places them within the recognised scoring framework developed by the Cast Iron Pipe Research Association (CIPRA) — now the Ductile Iron Pipe Research Association (DIPRA).

What is at risk and who might require this data?

Underground assets that are at risk from different types of corrosion include:

  • water pipelines
  • oil and gas pipelines
  • earthing rods
  • cabling
  • sewers
  • building foundations such steel piles

This dataset can be utilised by a wide range of users such as:

  • energy providers
  • engineering and industrial insurers, including associations such as the International Association of Engineering Insurers (IMIA)
  • local authorities and councils
  • petrochemical companies
  • regulatory and coordinating bodies
  • transport infrastructure providers
  • water companies
  • water regulators and coordinating bodies such as Water UK

Inspection/testing prioritisation and project planning

All companies that have underground pipes are required to engage inline inspection testing to assess the state of the pipeline. The corrosivity dataset can be used as part of a risk-based approach to these inspections that takes into account ground conditions. This would result in prioritised inspection plans and, therefore, potentially reduce unnecessary inspections.

The dataset can also be used by pipeline coordinating bodies that have a role to play in agreeing policy and actions and preventing incidents that could cause injury and damage the environment. Companies engaged in the distribution of electrical power (power, water or transport infrastructure) use earthing rods to ensure safety of the power supply. These earthing rods can be subject to corrosion under some types of ground conditions compromising safety.

In addition, the dataset can be used in project planning and desk study stages for new infrastructure, to identify the appropriate construction materials and level of preventative action that may be required. Examples of this include new infrastructure for renewable energy resources including solar, wind, and wave.

Corrosion alone does not cause pipes to fail. However, corrosion coupled with ground movement due to shrink–swell, landslides and a variety of other physical geohazards will cause failure. We also licence a comprehensive set of geohazard data that can be used alongside the corrosivity data within asset management systems.

You may also be interested in

BGS Geology 250k sample


We have a wide range of licensed geoscience data. The datasets range from the geological data family (BGS Geology) to offshore data, ground stability datasets and 3D models.

Show more
BGS civils bulking sample

BGS Civils: bulking volume

BGS Civils is a suite of national maps of engineering properties based on geological data and the digital 1:50 000 scale geological map – BGS Geology 50k.

Show more
BGS civils discontinuities sample

BGS Civils: discontinuities

This theme provides information on the discontinuities in bedrock and superficial deposits as part of a suite of GIS layers for different engineering parameters.

Show more
BGS Engineer fill sample

BGS Civils: engineered fill

This theme provides information on the suitability of a geological material to be used as engineered fill.

Show more
BGS Civils excavability sample

BGS Civils: excavatability

This theme provides information on the excavatability of geological deposits at surface.

Show more
BGS Civils foundation conditions

BGS Civils: foundation conditions

This theme provides information on the suitability of a geological material for foundations as part of a suite of GIS layers for different engineering parameters.

Show more
BGS Civils strength sample

BGS Civils: strength

This theme provides information on zones of rock strength and the local factors controlling it, as part of a suite of GIS layers for different engineering parameters.

Show more
BGS Civils sulfate sample

BGS Civils: sulfate/sulfide potential

The BGS Civils: sulfates and sulfides dataset is a GIS layer that supports the management of underground assets

Show more

Was this page helpful?

  • How can we make this section better?*

  • Please select a reason*

  • How can we make this section better?*