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Geophysical surveys databases


Since the 1950s a large number of geophysical surveys have been carried out in the UK for a variety of projects and customers, some on a regional scale, such as national gravity surveys, and others on a local scale. Most surveys were conducted for one of two purposes:

  • to aid geological mapping, or to solve specific geological problems, and
  • for mineral exploration; many of which were carried out for the DTI Mineral Reconnaissance Programme in the 1970s and 1980s.

Metadata on the majority of geophysical surveys carried out by the BGS are held in ORACLE databases. For mineral exploration purposes, relevant databases are:

Local surveys database, (UK)

The local surveys database contains details of 800 geophysical surveys, of which about 500 were carried out for mineral exploration. More information on these surveys can be found on the BGS GeoIndex web site.

High-resolution airborne surveys database, (UK)

High resolution airborne data over part of Northumberland,BGS©NERC. Click to enlarge.

BGS holds data for more than 30 high-resolution surveys flown with a terrain clearance of less than 150 metres and flight line spacing between 50 and 400 metres. The majority of these surveys were carried out for mineral exploration projects using combinations of magnetic, EM and radiometric sensors. Much of the data, originally recorded in analogue form, have now been digitised. Survey parameters and data availability are summarised in the accompanying table.

Further information on the location and extent of the survey areas

In 2005-6, as part of the Tellus Project, BGS, in partnership with the Geological Survey of Finland, flew a low-level high-resolution airborne geophysical survey over Northern Ireland.

Further details of the Tellus Project Geophysical surveys

Details of high-resolution airborne surveys held by BGS, October 2009