BGS news

Join our Big Borehole Dig

BGS and the Dig-To-Share Project have launched the Big Borehole Dig – a citizen science initiative to help improve the availability and accessibility of borehole data for all, and we’re looking for anyone with an interest in boreholes or geology to get involved.

07/10/2020 By BGS Press
Big Borehole Dig

BGS launches the Big Borehole Dig

The British Geological Survey (BGS) holds a database of over 1.4 million borehole records, each containing a range of information. We need your help to convert these records into usable digital data that can help inform the future understanding of the subsurface.

The digital scans of these open borehole records can be accessed through the BGS GeoIndex viewer. Despite being held in digital format (usually PDF), the information within these documents is not yet standardised and often requires translating before being able to be used.

We believe it is essential that future generations have access to historical borehole data as Association of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Specialists (AGS) file format. With your help, we can convert our records into AGS format, to improve the availability and accessibility of borehole information to a wider audience. This in turn will enable users to build better models, save costs on construction projects and reduce the amount of time lost due to unforeseen ground conditions.

Once the borehole records have been converted, we estimate that over 800 000 more downhole geology logs will be available for everyone to use. This data can feed directly into site investigations, conceptual ground models and academic projects, as well as provide the data necessary to perform even greater analyses on our subsurface in future. The Big Borehole Dig aims to give people around the country the tools they need to digitise downhole information, create an AGS file and send it back to BGS to store, so that everyone can benefit from it. By helping us to standardise data, your contribution will help the UK take steps towards becoming a major subsurface information manager.

Want to get involved?

You can take part in the Big Borehole Dig by downloading our free Groundhog Desktop software, or alternatively if you have access to OpenGround (or Holebase SI). We have produced a user guide for both software so please download the relevant user guide using the links below. If you have any questions we would love to hear from you. Please contact Steve Thorpe.

Download our user guides

Big Borehole Dig – User Guide – OpenGround/Holebase
Big Borehole Dig – User Guide – Groundhog Desktop

Need more information?

Please contact Steve Thorpe

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