Charles Gowing

Dr Charles Gowing

Analytical geochemist
BGS Keyworth

Charles Gowing’s Biography

  • 2014 – ongoing: Sample Handling Manager
  • 2012 – ongoing: Radiometrics Manager
  • 2010 – ongoing: Internal auditor
  • 2008 – ongoing: UKAS Quality Manager
  • 2005: Aqueous Analytical Manager
  • 2000 – ongoing: Radiation Protection Supervisor
  • 1992: Analytical Geochemist at BGS
  • 1993: PhD Open University, Development of rapid techniques based on selective dissolution for the determination of the precious metals in geological materials
  • 1987: BSc University of Sheffield, Combined Honours: Chemistry Geology

Research interests

  • Field analysis, including hand held XRFS for sedimentary profiling, ore characterisation and building stone provenance
  • Medical geology, including contaminated land analysis
  • Radiometric analysis, Pb-210 by gamma spectrometry, dating the anthropocene
  • Reference Materials

Current projects and collaboration

  • Advisor to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation Global Soil Laboratory Network (GLOSOLAN) – Laboratory Quality, Reference Materials and Proficiency Testing
  • Dating anthropocene sediments using Pb-210
  • Determination of radon in environmental water samples
  • Preparation and characterisation of Reference Materials
  • Sediment pollutants in the Thames estuary

Published outputs

NERC Open Research Archive — Charles Gowing

Gowing, C J B, Dinsley, J M, Gallannaugh, E L, Smedley, P L, Marriott, A L, Bowes, M J, Green, K A, and Watts, M J. 2019. Method development for rapid quantification of Rn-222 in surface water and groundwater. Environmental Geochemistry and Health,

Webb, P C, Potts, P J, Thompson, M, Wilson S A, and Gowing, C J B. 2019. The Long-Term Robustness and Stability of Consensus Values as Composition Location Estimators for a Typical Geochemical Test Material in the GeoPT Proficiency Testing Programme. Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research. DOI: 10.1111/ggr.12263.

Lacinska, A M, Styles, M T, Bateman, K, Wagner, D, Hall, M R, Gowing, C, and Brown, P D. 2016 Acid-dissolution of antigorite, chrysotile and lizardite for ex situ carbon capture and storage by mineralisation. Chemical Geology, 437. 153-169. 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2016.05.015

Kearsey, T I, Bennett, C E, Millward, D, Davies, S J, Gowing, C J, Kemp, S J, Leng, M J, Marshall, J E, and Browne, M A. 2016. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 457. 52-69. The terrestrial landscapes of tetrapod evolution in earliest Carboniferous seasonal wetlands of S.E. Scotland.

Kemp, S J, Smith, F W, Wagner, D, Mounteney, I, Bell, C P, Milne, C J, Gowing, C J B, and Pottas, T L. 2016. An improved approach to characterise potash-bearing evaporite deposits, evidenced in North Yorkshire, UK. Economic Geology, 111(3), 719-742.

Hamilton, E M, Barlow, T S, Gowing, C J B, and Watts, M J. 2015. Bioaccessibility performance data for fifty-seven elements in guidance material BGS 102. Microchemical Journal, 123. 131-138.

Cave, M R, Wragg, J, Gowing, C J B, and Gardner, A. 2015. Measuring the solid-phase fractionation of lead in urban and rural soils using a combination of geochemical survey data and chemical extractions. Environmental Geochemistry and Health. 04/2015; DOI: 10.1007/s10653-015-9697-9.

Rawlins, B G, McGrath, S P, Scheib, A J, Breward, N, Cave, M, Lister, T R, Ingham, M, Gowing, C, Carter, S. 2012. The advanced soil geochemical atlas of England and Wales. Nottingham, UK, British Geological Survey, 227pp.

Allen, M A, Cave, M R, Chenery, S R N, Gowing, C J B, and Reeder, S. 2011. Sample Preparation and Inorganic Analysis for Urban Geochemical Survey Soil and Sediment Samples. Chapter 3, 28-46. In: Mapping the Chemical Environment of Urban Areas. Johnson C C, Demetriades, A, Locutura, J, and Ottesen, R T. (Eds.). John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., Chichester, UK.


Fordyce, F M, Everett, P A, Bearcock, J M, Lister,T R, Gowing, C, Watts, M, and Ellen R. 2017. Soil Geochemical Atlas of the Clyde Basin. Edinburgh: British Geological Survey Open Report, OR/14/032. ISBN 978-0-85272-881-9.

Smith, M, Bide, T, Gowing, C, and Krabbendam, M. 2015. Geological support to Improving Competitiveness in the Mining Sector in the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan. British Geological Survey Commercial in Confidence Report, CR/15/130. 74pp.

Gowing, C J B, Chenery, S R N, and Vane C H. 2014. Dating the Anthropocene – Pb-210 geochronology of river and estuarine sediments from the River Thames. Presentation at Coordinating Group for Environmental Radioactivity Conference, April 2014.

Gowing, C J B, and Shaw, R A. 2013. A Radiological Assessment of Pulverised Fly Ash from United Kingdom Coal-fired Power Stations. British Geological Survey Commissioned Report, CR/13/010. 23pp.

Milne, C J, Barlow, T S, Chenery, S R N, Gowing, C J B, Harrison, H M, Raycraft, E R, Richardson, C L, Sklenars, L J, Warham, J O, and Watts, M J. 2013. Tellus Border: Geochemical analysis of stream water samples. British Geological Survey Commissioned Report, CR/13/018. 38pp.

Wragg, J, Cave, M, Taylor, H, Gowing, C, and Gregory, S. 2009. The solid phase distribution and Bioaccessibility of arsenic, chromium and nickel in natural ironstone soils in the UK. Poster presentation at the Practical Applications in Medical Geology conference.

Gowing, C J B, Ingham, M N, Vickers, B P, Allen, M A, Harrison, H M, Carter, S J, Eatherington, N D, Grimsley, L D, Moss-Hayes, V L, Barlow, T S, Williams, C L, O’Reilly, J E, Smith, A, Smiles, C A, Walker, S S; Neep, P, Barker, K, Brettle, C, Kirkham, M P, Wheeler, J, Dean, M C, Merry, L T, Slater, C D, and Cohen, A S. 2007. Sample preparation and geochemical analysis of soil samples from the TELLUS project; end of project report. British Geological Survey report (CR/07/044).

Gillespie, M R, Leader, R U, Higgo, J J W, Harrison, I, Hards, V L, Gowing, C J B, Vickers, B P, Boland, M P, and Morgan, D J. 2000. CEC & Kd determination in landfill performance evaluation: a review of methodologies and preparation of standard materials for laboratory analysis. Environment Agency R &D Technical Report, P340 Environment Agency, 67 pp.

Davis, A E, and Gowing, C J B. 1999. The Preparation and Certification of Two Copper Concentrate Reference Materials: BGS100 and BGS101. British Geological Survey, Technical Report, WI/99/12, 31 pp.


  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Gamma spectrometry
  • International Capacity Building – Chemistry Laboratories and Quality Systems
  • Quality Management
  • Statistics and Uncertainty
  • X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry

Boards and committees

  • Council member of the International Association of Geoanalysts
  • Member of the GeoPT Steering Group (geological sample analysis proficiency testing scheme)
  • Member of the Atomic Spectroscopy Group Committee (Royal Society of Chemistry, Analytical Division)
  • Member of the CONTEST Steering Group (contaminated land analysis proficiency testing scheme)
  • Secretary of the Co-Ordinating Group on Environmental Radioactivity (COGER)

Professional association

  • Chartered Chemist, Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry – CChem MRSC

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