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Marine geology

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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Data from the British Geological Survey's GeoIndex Offshore (cultural data) 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.

  • BGS offshore marine products are made available to view via this web map service. The 1:250 000 scale offshore geological maps in the UTM series (Universal Transverse Mercator projection) are available digitally as two themes: bedrock geology (DigRock250) and sea-bed sediments (DigSBS250). Marine Hard Substrate Dataset (DiGHardSubstrate250k) is also made available via this service.

  • 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.

  • The NERC-funded QICS controlled CO2 release experiment (located offshore Oban, Scotland) mimics the formation of a new CO2 seep in the marine environment. At the site, CO2 is injected at an onshore well head, and a stainless steel pipe transports the CO2 under the seabed. Approximately 350 m offshore, the CO2 is released through a perforated screen into the 12 metres of overlying marine sediment, which is at approximately 10 metres water depth. During spring/summer 2012, 4.2 tonnes of CO2 was released at the QICS experimental site. CO2 bubbles emerged from the seafloor ~30m to the west of the site and individual plumes covered a total area of ~ 350m2. Bubble stream location was recording using audio (acoustic) and visual techniques (photography, video). Both techniques are useful for recording the general location of plumes. However their 2D nature made it hard to characterise individual plumes and their exact locations. The QICS1 experiment included 200 deployments/recoveries of instruments, collection of 1,300 samples, and installation of 1600 m of cable and placement of 24 cages of indicator species on the seabed. In order to aid planning and operation during potential further experiments at the site it would be beneficial to utilise a robust and accurate method of recording the locations of equipment, samples and CO2 bubble streams. In this review, the four main types of submarine geolocation technologies are detailed and compared, and best available models (as of June 2013) are detailed. Grant number: UKCCSRC-C1-31.

  • This layer of the map based index (GeoIndex) shows unadjusted ship gravity, magnetic and bathymetry data acquired by BGS as part of its Offshore Reconnaisance Mapping Programme. This programme commenced in 1967, and was funded mainly by the Department of Energy. Unadjusted ship gravity and bathymetry data from various commercial and academic surveys between 1965 and 1994. Confidential M.O.D Hydrographic Office integrated ship gravity and magnetics surveys of NW Europe marine areas for which BGS acts as agent. Network adjusted gravity and magnetic compilations of data from BGS and non-BGS sources.

  • This layer of the map based index (GeoIndex) shows the location, with basic metadata, of selected DECC (Department of Energy & Climate Change) offshore hydrocarbon wells. The source data for this layer was downloaded from the DECC website at www.og.decc.gov.uk/information/maps_offshore.htm. These are DECC owned data and information and supply of the actual data is through the DECC release agents.

  • 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 1:10,000 scale Bedrock geological map for some 800 km2 of the seabed across Weymouth Bay in Dorset. It joins seamlessly to the onshore BGS 1:10,000 scale Digital Geological Mapping (DiGMapGB-10) and therefore shows the coastal geology in detail. It comprises bedrock polygons, faults and limestone bed lines. The map was produced in 2015-16 by digitising against a seamless on- to offshore-shore elevation surface generated from high (1 m bin) resolution bathymetry and coastal Lidar data, collected as part of the Dorset Integrated Seabed Survey (DORIS) project and the Regional Coastal Monitoring Programme of England, made available by the Channel Coastal Observatory under the Open Government Licence. The map can be veiwed using the map viewer at www.bgs.ac.uk/research/marine/doris.html. This map has been produced under the auspices of the Marine Environmental Mapping Programme (MAREMAP), in collaboration between the BGS and the University of Southampton. The map itself should be referred to as: Westhead, R K, Sanderson, D J, Dix, J K. 2016. Bedrock map for the offshore Weymouth Bay area, with seamless coastal joint to BGS onshore (DiGMapGB-10) mapping. Bedrock Geology. 1:10 000 (Marine Environmental Mapping Programme, MAREMAP)