3D urban geology

BGS research – urban geoscience

We have developed a series of 3D geology models and urban study reports to support planning and development within major cities of the UK. Underpinned by BGS geological data and expertise, the models and reports provide an enhanced understanding of the geological structures and sediments for urban practitioners to inform construction projects, infrastructure design, groundwater assessments and land use planning.

The 3D geology models for London, Glasgow, Cardiff and Liverpool are available to view, without charge, on our Onshore GeoIndex viewer. Through the GeoIndex platform users can create geological cross-sections, synthetic boreholes and horizontal slices through the 3D models.

> Go to the GeoIndex viewer

Urban Study Reports

Alongside our 3D geology models, we have published a series of open reports which provide detailed information about the 3D model development (metadata report), as well as information about the geology, hydrogeology, geochemistry and engineering geology of major cities and towns in the UK, to assist urban planners and developers.

The Manchester model is currently being updated and is not yet available in the GeoIndex Tool. Please contact our data licensing service (digitaldata@bgs.ac.uk) for more information about accessing model data.


The Liverpoolmodel is currently being updated and is not yet available in the GeoIndex Tool. Please contact our data licensing service (digitaldata@bgs.ac.uk) for more information about accessing model data.


Further urban study reports can be downloaded from GeoIndex viewer (Engineering Geology data layers) and are available for:

  • Black Country (1992)
  • Bournemouth-Poole (1986)
  • Bradford (1996)
  • Bridgend (1985)
  • Coventry (1989)
  • Cramlington-Killingworth Wide-open (1985)
  • Dearham & Gilcrux, West Cumbria (1989)
  • Deeside (1988)
  • Exeter (1985)
  • Garforth-Castleford-Pontefract (1990)
  • Great Broughton & Lamplugh (1992)
  • Leeds (1992)
  • Milton Keynes (1969)
  • Morpeth-Bedlington-Ashington (1990)
  • Newcastle (1982-83)
  • Nottingham (1990)
  • Ponteland-Morpeth (1986)
  • South West Essex (1991)
  • Southampton (1987)
  • Stoke-on-Trent (1991)
  • Wigan (1995)
  • Workington & Maryport, West Cumbria (1988)
  • Wrexham (1991)

Engineering geology maps of the UK and Engineering Geology Formation reports are also available through the map viewer. For further information about the availability of 3D urban models and urban study reports please contact our enquiries team.

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