Sampling water

The BGS has established a monitoring network of groundwater and stream sites across the Vale of Pickering. Groundwater samples are being taken (Figures 1a and 1b) from both the superficial (Quaternary and/or shallow Kimmeridge Clay) and Corallian Limestone aquifers.

Figure 1a: sampling streams and groundwater
Figure 1b: sampling streams and groundwater

The network

Figure 5: The water monitoring network, Vale of Pickering, and new BGS boreholes for water/seismic investigations

The network comprises 24 groundwater sites and 10 stream sites, most located within an approximate 10 km radius of the proposed shale–gas exploration borehole at Kirby Misperton (KM8) (Figure 2). Sampling site selection has been based on spatial geological and hydrogeological factors and logistic considerations.

Monitoring of water quality at each of the sites has involved monthly or quarterly collection of groundwater and stream water samples. This has established a time series of some three years for evaluating baseline compositions

Water analysis

Analysis of groundwater and surface water includes (where possible):

  • temperature, pH, conductivity, redox potential
  • major ions and trace elements
  • dissolved gases (oxygen, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen, radon)
  • organic compounds
  • stable isotopes of water and inorganic carbon
  • groundwater 'age' indicators (chlorofluorocarbons)
  • other, naturally occurring radioactive materials (e.g. radium)

New borehole installations

Figure 3: new BGS–drilled borehole

A set of groundwater monitoring boreholes has also been installed in the vicinity of the Kirby Misperton site (KMA) and its exploration borehole (KM8) (Figures 2 and 3). These include boreholes within the shallow, superficial aquifer (Quaternary and/or weathered Kimmeridge Clay) and the deeper, Corallian Limestone aquifer. Borehole locations have been determined on the basis of proximity to KMA and on geological data provided by investigations of both the superficial geology and geological modelling of the Corallian Limestone strata. Seismometers have also been installed in a number of the boreholes for monitoring of seismicity.

We are also monitoring boreholes installed by Third Energy at their KMA site (Figure 2).


Contact BGS enquiries for further information.