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  • The dataset is a subset of the BGS borehole material database, created on August 1st 2015 covering only the Bowland-Hodder geological unit (as defined and mapped by Andrews et al., 2013). It shows all boreholes (name, location and registration details) for which BGS hold borehole material (drillcore, cuttings, samples and their depth ranges). This data will add value to existing NERC (Natural Environment Research Council) data by allowing a simple route for users to identify borehole material from the Bowland-Hodder interval.

  • Phylogenetic data matrices used to assess the differences between hard and soft morphological characters For more details see: Fossilization causes organisms to appear erroneously primitive by distorting evolutionary trees Robert S. Sansom & Matthew A. Wills Scientific Reports 3, Article number: 2545 (2013) doi:10.1038/srep02545

  • Advances in our understanding of the Earth's climate system will rely on our ability to link high-resolution sedimentary archives from the oceans, ice-cores and terrestrial sequences, and to interpret these records in the context of novel Earth system modeling approaches. Few places exist in the world where sufficiently detailed and unambiguous marine-ice-terrestrial linkages are possible. One challenge for IODP, and the broader drilling community in general, is to identify and recover marine, ice and terrestrial sequences from appropriate locations and with adequate temporal resolution to study processes of the integrated climate system. One such region is the southwest Iberian Margin where it has been demonstrated that the surface oxygen isotopic record could be correlated precisely to temperature variations (i.e., d18O) in Greenland ice cores. By comparison, the benthic d18O signal in the same core resembled the temperature record from Antarctica. Moreover, the narrow continental shelf and proximity of the Tagus River results in the rapid delivery of terrestrial material to the deep-sea environment off Portugal, thereby providing a record of atmospheric changes and permitting correlation of marine and ice core records to European terrestrial sequences. This is the only place in the ocean where such marine-ice-terrestrial correlations have been demonstrated unambiguously. It is therefore highly desirable to extend the Iberian Margin record to encompass the full range of Plio-Pleistocene glacial-interglacial cycles by drilling with the JOIDES Resolution (JR). Towards this end, Proposal 771-Full was submitted to IODP by an international group of 16 proponents led by the UK. The proposal was well received and reviewed by the Science Steering and Evaluation Panel (SSEP), but the IODP Site Survey Panel (SSP) identified major inadequacies in the quality of the seismic data: "The panel raised several concerns on the suitability of the submitted data with regard to its appropriateness, both to image the target properly and with regard to the site location. The panel also discussed the need for 2 high-resolution lines and considered that places where Mass Transport Deposits (MTDs) or closely spaced faults were present deserved these 2 high-resolution lines." This proposal requests 25 days of ship time to collect the necessary seismic and sediment data needed to meet the SSP requirements and recommendations. Several "stand-alone" scientific objectives are also proposed related to the modern hydrography and sedimentary processes on the southwest Iberian Margin, and calibration of palaeoceanographic proxies used for reconstructing past changes in deep-water circulation. This value-added science will make effective use of ship time and contribute key information needed to interpret the downcore records to be obtained by IODP.

  • The Bedrock Aquifer Productivity Scotland dataset forms part of the BGS Hydrogeological Maps of Scotland data product. This product is comprised of three datasets: Bedrock Aquifer Productivity Scotland; Superficial Aquifer Productivity Scotland; and Groundwater Vulnerability Scotland. Aquifer productivity is a measure of the potential of aquifers to sustain a borehole water supply. The Bedrock Aquifer Productivity Scotland dataset version 2 (2015) indicates the location and productivity of bedrock aquifers across Scotland, and their groundwater flow characteristics. Developed as a tool to support groundwater resource management, the dataset provides a guide to aquifer characteristics at a regional scale, and may be useful to anyone interested in learning more about, assessing or managing groundwater resources across Scotland. The dataset is delivered at 1: 100 000 scale; the resolution of the dataset being 50 m and the smallest detectable feature 100 m.

  • The data relate to the description and geochemical analysis of palaeosols from 5 localities spanning 60 million years from late Silurian to Late Devonian across the NE of North America, encompassing the rise of forested ecosystems. One of the sites (Cairo, New York State) was sampled by drilling cores up to 3m depth through one of the earliest fossil forest sites in the world. The cores were sawn lengthways and half of each has been retained by the New York State Museum Albany NY. The data we provide includes field context photographs of the sites and the samples that were taken, photographic logs of the drilled rock cores annotated with details of the parts that have been sampled, together with detailed geochemical analyses including XRF, XRD and ICP-MS analyses of acid dissolved samples. The 5 localities are sites where there are published records of fossil plants and palaeosols. Late Silurian deposit at Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania; Lower Devonian deposit at Gaspe Bay Quebec; Miiddle Devonian forest at Cairo Quarry New York State; slightly later middle Devonian forest at Gilboa, New York; and late Devonian site at Red Hill Hyner, Pennsylvania.

  • Seawater carbonate system properties and atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration reconstructions from Eocene planktonic foraminifera using boron isotope analyses.

  • Log file and GSAS data files for synchrotron study of NaMnF3. Diffraction patterns from synchrotron experiments on NaMnF3. NERC grant: Understanding the D' zone: novel fluoride analogues to MgSiO3 post perovskite NERC grant abstract: The thermal boundary layers of a convecting system control many aspects of its style of convection and thermo-chemical history. For the silicate Earth these boundary layers are the lithosphere, whose low temperature and high rigidity induces slab-style downwellings, and the D' region on the mantle side of the core-mantle-boundary (CMB). The D' region is the source of plume-style convection and regulates heat exchange from the core to the silicate Earth. The lower thermal boundary is made more complex by the existance of a phase transition in the most common mineral in the lower mantle (magnesium-silicate perovskite) which changes the properties of the D' region at the CMB. Unfortunately, most of these properties cannot be measured at the extreme pressures (120 GPa) of stabilisation of the post-perovskite phase. The best chance of constraining them is through a combination of measurements on low-pressure analogue materials (which have the same crystal structure but a different chemical composition) and ab initio simulations of both the analogue and natural systems. We have recently developed a set of ABF3 analogues whose properties are much more similar to MgSiO3 than are those of the CaBO3 analogues currently in use. We propose, therefore, to use these improved fluoride analogues to determine the properties of post-perovskite which control the dynamics of D' (phase diagram, pressure-temperature-volume relations, viscosity, slip systems and thermal diffusivity). These measurements will allow models to be developed which accurately predict the behaviour of the lower thermal boundary layer of the mantle. This will place coinstraints on (1) the heat budget, dynamo power and start of crystallisation of the inner core, (2)the vigour of plumes, (3) the ratio of underside heating to internal heating in the mantle and, (4) the radioactive element budget of the silicate Earth.

  • The Groundwater Vulnerability Scotland dataset forms part of the BGS Hydrogeological Maps of Scotland data product. This product is comprised of three datasets: Bedrock Aquifer Productivity Scotland; Superficial Aquifer Productivity Scotland; and Groundwater Vulnerability Scotland. The Groundwater Vulnerability Scotland dataset version 2 (2015) shows the relative vulnerability of groundwater to contamination across Scotland. Groundwater vulnerability is the tendency and likelihood for general contaminants to move vertically through the unsaturated zone and reach the uppermost water table after introduction at the ground surface. The groundwater vulnerability dataset was developed as a screening tool to support groundwater management at a regional scale across Scotland, and specifically to aid groundwater risk assessment. The data can be used to show the relative threat to groundwater quality from contamination, by highlighting areas at comparatively higher risk of groundwater contamination. The dataset is delivered at 1: 100 000 scale; the resolution of the dataset being 50m and the smallest detectable feature 100 m

  • Earth is a dynamic planet, for the simple reason that it is still cooling down from the heat of accretion and subsequent decay of radioactive elements. The main mechanism by which it loses heat is plate tectonics, a theory that has been widely accepted since the 1970s. The Earth is formed of a dense metallic core surrounded by a partially molten silicate mantle which itself is capped by a buoyant crust, either continental or oceanic. We live on the continental crust which largely exists above sea level. The ocean crust forms the floors of oceans and is only rarely exposed. The ocean crust forms by mantle melting at mid ocean ridges, such as the mid Atlantic ridge upon which sits the volcanic island of Iceland. New crust is constantly formed, forcing the older crust to spread outwards and oceans to grow larger. As the ocean crust spreads away from the ridge, it cools and becomes denser. Eventually it interacts with a continent, made of less dense material. The ocean crust is driven beneath the continent back into the mantle, a process known as subduction. Volcanoes form along the continental margin above the subduction zone and at least some of this activity results in addition of new continental crust. This may have been the main process responsible for initial formation and subsequent evolution of our continents. It can be observed now around the margin of the Pacific Ocean, where widespread volcanism is known as the "Ring of Fire". However, not all oceans can continue to grow! The Atlantic Ocean has stopped getting bigger as a response to the continued growth of the Pacific. Eventually, an ocean will close completely and the surrounding continents will collide, resulting in a linear mountain chain. A good example is the Himalaya, where India has collided with Asia. This whole process known as plate tectonics has a profound affect on our planet, providing us with land on which to live, seas in which to fish, freshwater to drink and our complex weather patterns. It is also a regulator of our climate since weathering of continental rocks results in drawdown of CO2 to the deep sea where it is stored. Understanding plate tectonics is central to Earth and Environmental Scientists. There are still important details that we know little about, such as how and when it began. This proposal seeks to investigate this by a novel study of critical rocks that characterise plate tectonics, in particular those that result from subduction. When ocean crust is subducted, increasing pressure and temperature change it into denser rock. As the Earth has evolved, the exact pressure and temperature conditions of this "metamorphism" have also changed. We propose to study this by using minerals that form within ocean crust during subduction. The rocks themselves are often destroyed by erosion, but tiny crystals of a robust mineral called rutile (titanium dioxide) can survive to be found in sediments derived from them. By dating these and using their chemical composition as a fingerprint, we can work out the pressure and temperature within the eroded subduction zone. Similarly, the volcanic rocks that form during subduction have changed through time. These are also often destroyed by erosion so that the exposed record may not be representative. Another robust mineral known as zircon (zirconium silicate) often survives the weathering and ends up alongside rutile in the younger sediments. Using similar methods with zircon we can also investigate changing styles of magmatism throughout Earth's history. . Currently the magmatic record implies that modern subduction began around 2500 million years ago, yet the metamorphic record implies a later start of around 700 million years ago. Our novel approach will test this. We will be able to say whether the younger date is correct and the older marks a different kind of plate tectonics, or whether the older date does indeed represent the onset of modern plate tectonics, and the exposed rock record is biased.

  • Reflectance transformation image of a cast (BGS fossil reference number GSM106161) of the holotype of Charniodiscus concentricus. The original fossil is the property of the Geology Department, University of Leicester, and the fossil is on display at New Walk Museum, Leicester