Aims and objectives

Sampling pair on the move

The Geochemical Baselines Survey of the Environment (G-BASE) project is a systematic survey to establish a geochemical baseline — a point of reference to monitor change — across the United Kingdom. It is the national capability in high-resolution geochemical mapping covering the United Kingdom.

The project aims to have a complete coverage of the United Kingdom by 2020 with geochemical data derived principally from stream sediments at an average density of 1 sample every 1–2 square kilometres of the UK land surface.

Soil samples are also collected in urban areas throughout the UK to complement the regional soil geochemical baseline.

A history of the project is available from downloads and further information in the G-BASE project strategy.


The overall objective of the project is to support UK environmental sustainability and development as defined under Agenda 21 of the United Nations Earth Summit.

Within this context G-BASE data provide a baseline with which to:

  • plan mineral resource development systematically
  • identify and prioritise the investigation, development and remediation of contaminated land
  • identify and preserve geochemical factors that influence the sustainability of bio-diversity and habitats
  • improve our understanding of the epidemological links between the environment and potential influences on health