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Marine geology

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  • This is the collection of cores and samples held by BGS for the sea areas around the UK. It includes material collected by BGS during its mapping projects and material donated to BGS by other organisations. The main core and sample types are grab samples (sea-bed), gravity cores, vibrocores and rock-drill cores (up to 6m in length), and borehole cores (up to 274m in length). The sea-bed grab samples are Holocene sediments present at the sea-bed and are stored in plastic jars. Where possible, sub-sample material has been retained after analysis. The bulk of the cores consist of Holocene and Pleistocene material. The rest are of bedrock ranging in age from Neogene to Pre-Cambrian. A lot of the core was collected in plastic liner tubing and the unlithified cores have been split vertically. The bulk of the material was collected in the late 1960s, 1970s and 1980s and early 1990's with ongoing additions of new sample and cores each year. The distribution is very variable, but, in general, there are grab samples and/or shallow cores spaced about every 5 - 10km across the entire UK Continental Shelf. In some localised areas the sampling density is much higher. The samples and cores are applicable to a wide range of uses including environmental, geotechnical and geological studies.

  • This is a digital version of the paper based 1:1M scale Offshore Quaternary map, North and South sheets. Customers should be aware that, given the age of the paper based maps, the digital version is not quality assured and BGS can accept no liability for the information held on the digital map. In addition, published 1:250,000 Quaternary maps are available. These contain more detailed subdivision of the Quaternary succession. The original paper based map covers the UK Continental shelf. The paper map is symbolised using lithology and chronology. The lithological boundaries were compiled from the data published in the BGS 1:250,000 Quaternary Geology map series and from revised interpretation of core and borehole data. Core and borehole sites are commonly 5 to 20 km apart, thus the lithological divisions are generalised. The formations and sequences identified by BGS have been grouped into Quaternary age ranges. The geological codes assigned to the digital version of the map have been compiled using the key information held on the paper map. The LEX-ROCK style codes combine the lithology and chronology and have been subject to the standard BGS approval process.

  • This dataset represents a project-based collection of seismic interpretations of 2D and 3D commercial seismic reflection data. These data are integrated in a relational database in ORACLE in a data model called OpenWorks. Well log data, stratigraphic, velocity and well and seismic location data are also held in the database. Data interpretations are held within project indices by interpreter. Interpretations include faults and lithostratigraphic horizons. All data are commercial-in-confidence and cannot be supplied to any third party without the explicit permission of the customer or supplier.

  • The SEA portal is managed by the BGS on behalf of DECC and provides free access to downloadable data, information and reports which have been produced through the SEA process. The Department of Trade and Industry (now DECC) began a sequence of sectoral SEAs of the implications of further licensing of the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) for oil and gas exploration and production in 1999. The SEA Process subdivided the UKCS into eight areas shown; beginning in 2008, integrated Offshore Energy SEAs have been undertaken that cover the whole UKCS. An integral part of the SEA programme has been a series of research and monitoring surveys commissioned to acquire new data about the offshore environment and used to help inform the relevant SEAs. Many files can be downloaded directly from portal. Those that are too large to download can be ordered via the website for postal delivery from BGS.

  • The data consist of the results of geotechnical testing carried out at various depth intervals on shallow cores or boreholes collected BGS from the UK Continental Shelf. The bulk of the data north of 56N are in digital form and result from testing carried out on board survey vessels using hand-held test equipment (penetrometers and shear vanes). These values are averaged for each test interval, and are expressed in kiloPascals. There are approximately 6000 test results in the data set. Some more detailed test information, in non-digital and report form is held for selected sites. Also for most sites where digital data is not available, geological descriptions of core material will also contains semi-quantitative information on the stiffness of the material. Geotechnical knowledge is required to understand and interpret the results if they are to be used as a basis for engineering studies. Core material are managed as part of the BGS Materials collection and are available for examination, testing or subsampling. The data are stored as part of the National Geoscience Data Centre (NGDC) and the Marine Environmental Data and Information Network (MEDIN) Data Archive Centre (DAC) for Geology and Geophysics. Data are delivered via BGS Offshore GeoIndex www.bgs.ac.uk/GeoIndex/offshore.htm geotechnical layers. Reference: Fannin, NGT. (1989) Offshore Investigations 1966-87. British Geological Survey Technical Report WB/89/2, British Geological Survey.

  • The BGS Offshore Bedrock 250k dataset is vector data which reflects the offshore bedrock geological of the UK and some of its adjacent waters at 1:250,000 scale. This comprehensive product provides a digital compilation of the paper maps published by BGS at the same scale, as well as, additional re-interpretations from regional geological studies. The composition, age and deformational history of the rocks underlying the seabed (bedrock) are important for a range of stakeholders, including marine spatial planners and offshore developers. The dataset is arranged in two GIS layers: Bedrock Lithostratigraphy and Bedrock Structural Geology. The polygons within the Bedrock Lithostratigraphy layer show the spatial distribution of the principal lithostratigraphical units (formations and groups). The lines within the Structural Geology layer show the location and extent of known structural features such as faults and folds. This broadscale dataset was derived from geophysical data (e.g. airgun, boomer, sparker, sidescan sonar, magnetometer, gravity meter) and data obtained from commercial wells and BGS shallow boreholes. The variations in data density will be reflected in the detail of the mapping.

  • Data from Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) surveys are archived in the MEDIN Data Archive Centre (DAC) for Geology and Geophysics at the British Geological Survey. This includes geology (Particle Size Analysis) data and multibeam backscatter data. Data are delivered via the BGS Offshore GeoIndex. Additional data are available on request enquiries@bgs.ac.uk. Other data types are archived with the other MEDIN DACs as appropriate (UKHO DAC for bathymetry data and DASSH DAC for biological data). https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/marine-conservation-zone-designations-in-england.

  • The British Geological Survey hold a collection of data recorded during marine geophysical surveys which includes digital data and analogue records. These data result from approximately 350,000 line kilometres of multi-instrument geophysical survey lines. The data include seismic, sonar, magnetic, gravity, echo sounder, multibeam bathymetry and navigation data. The seismic data are mainly for airgun, sparker, boomer and pinger. The data were primarily collected by BGS and the collection also includes additional third party data. The data are primarily from the UKCS (United Kingdom Continental Shelf). The data are stored within the National Geoscience Data Centre (NGDC) and the Marine Environmental Data and Information Network (MEDIN) Data Archive Centre (DAC) for Geology and Geophysics. The majority of legacy geophysical paper records are available as scanned images viewable via the BGS Offshore GeoIndex www.bgs.ac.uk/GeoIndex/offshore.htm. Other records can be scanned on request. Older records are of variable quality. Data not yet available online including segy are available on request enquiries@bgs.ac.uk. The data are applicable to a wide range of uses including environmental, geotechnical, geophysical and geological studies. Reference: Fannin, NGT. (1989) Offshore Investigations 1966-87. British Geological Survey Technical Report WB/89/2, British Geological Survey.

  • This dataset comprises data from Wessex Archaeology surveys which were conducted over various wreck sites between 2003 and 2010. Three of these datasets were acquired in English waters, one in Welsh waters and one in Scottish waters. The geology and geophysics component of the data are archived by British Geological Survey (BGS) in the Marine Environmental data and Information Network (MEDIN) Data Archive Centre (DAC) for Geology and Geophysics. The data include multibeam echosounder, single-beam echosounder, sidescan sonar, sub-bottom profiler, magnetometer, and geological data (vibrocore logs and photos). Data were also provided to other archive centres as appropriate - UKHO (bathymetry), Royal Commission Ancient and Historic Monuments Wales (geophysics), Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (geophysics and diving/ROV), Archaeology Data Service (diving/ROV). Although generated for archaeological purposes, these high quality and resolution data are capable of re-use by marine surveyors and scientists from a range of different fields. Data are delivered via the BGS Offshore GeoIndex www.bgs.ac.uk/GeoIndex/offshore.htm and additional data are available on request enquiries@bgs.ac.uk.

  • Data from the British Geological Survey's GeoIndex Offshore theme are made available for viewing here. GeoIndex is a website that allows users to search for information about BGS data collections covering the UK and other areas world wide. Access is free, the interface is easy to use, and it has been developed to enable users to check coverage of different types of data and find out some background information about the data. More detailed information can be obtained by further enquiry via the web site: www.bgs.ac.uk/geoindex.