National geoscience

BGS Research

Avon Gorge at Clifton. Looking north.

The BGS National Geoscience programme forms a core part of the BGS and underpins our role as the UK’s national geological survey.  The programme is a forward-looking investment in UK geology that provides relevant, coherent and enriched geoscience knowledge for our stakeholders.

The programme improves the understanding of the geology of the UK and its continental margin; it will also provide enhanced interpretations of the UK’s sedimentary basins and basement in key areas for applied research and to support UK infrastructure.  

The programme is creating new, quality-assured UK geological knowledge and data, both onshore and offshore, from mapping and modelling. We provide a range of geological services to external stakeholders, including commissioned applied research and geological characterisation.

Research areas

The programme has four strategic research areas alongside several other core activities.

We are developing a core suite of datasets and 2D, 3D and 4D characterisations that deliver coherent geological understanding for the UK shallow and deep subsurface — including new geological data for the UK, maps, models, geological point data and geophysical surveys.

  • Shallow Earth model: new modelling and data analytical approaches to deliver national-scale models and datasets for the top of bedrock and overlying superficial deposits.
  • Deep Earth model: 2D and 3D characterisation of the UK’s bedrock system, including characterisation of major structures and key stratigraphic horizons.

We are improving the structural understanding of the UK and continental margin by acquiring a coherent understanding of the tectonic framework of the UK and regional structural domains.

This aims to develop a coherent, national-scale, stratigraphical model of the UK and its continental margin, providing new interpretations of the UK’s sedimentary basins and basement in key areas for applied research.

We are enhancing our understanding of the unconsolidated materials that make up the UK’s shallow geosphere, and investigating how changes in superficial deposits can be predicted.

Other core activities

  • Enhancement of digital geological map data and provision of customer support to users of BGS Geology.
  • Ensuring that regional stakeholder priorities are understood and reflected in the programme through our network of chief geologists.
  • Leading continuous professional development of geological skills and knowledge at the BGS.

Get in touch

If you would like further information about any of our research, data products or services please contact our enquiries team

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