Rocks, thin sections and paper registers: samples from past BGS surveys and projects overseas. Though neglected for several years, the collection has been re-opened for addition of new material from overseas projects and donations. Paper registers are arranged by accession order on a country by country basis. The records have not been placed in electronic format and are not currently machine readable.
Sometimes known as the "One-Inch Collection", this is an archival collection of rock samples collected by BGS field staff during surveys within England and Wales, arranged by 1-inch (or 50 K) scale BGS geological map sheet area. It was intended as a representative suite of the lithologies present in each sheet, although this was only partially achieved. Documentation is via archive of rock sample collection sheets (see COLLECTIONSHEETS) but is poorly coordinated at present.
The Britrocks database provides an index to the BGS mineralogical & petrological collection. The computer database covers samples in the UK onshore mapping collection together with world wide reference minerals and the Museum Reserve collection. Currently circa 200k out of circa 300k samples are recorded in the computer database. A collection audit is ongoing, so availability of any particular sample is not guaranteed. The first England and Wales collection sample is from circa 1877, Threshthwaite Comb, Cumbria (collected by the Reverend Clifton Ward). The addition of new samples, transfer of records from registers and updates of existing records is ongoing on a regular basis. Internet access to the database is provided on the BGS web site.
A collection of large-size, representative hand samples of building stones from current and historic quarries in the UK, together with specimens from historic buildings supplied by conservation architects and contractors, currently c.680 samples. The sample coverage extends across the whole of the UK and supplements material in the Keyworth BGS BRITROCKS collection (Petrological Collection Database). The data included with the samples includes quarry and building locations and relevant lithostratigraphic information. The collection is ongoing and new material is added on a regular basis. The collection was created to mitigate the massive gap in knowledge resulting from the non-transferral of the main BGS Building Stone Collection to Keyworth from the Geological Museum in London, when the original move by BGS from London took place. The samples have been collected to assist in the sourcing, identification and matching of buildings stones from historic buildings throughout the UK. The collection provides essential support for the numerous enquiries the BGS receives through its GEOREPORTS Building Stone Assessment programme.
The BGS 3D scans store holds digital 3-dimensional scans of BGS palaeontological and petrological specimens. The data include 3-dimensional meshes and 2-dimensional images exported by the scanning hardware and software. Data are stored in software-independent 3D modelling formats such as .OBJ and .PLY. These scans are useful for research purposes, for example allowing members of the broader geoscience community to interactively view a particular specimen, and for publicising BGS specimen holdings.
This dataset (1.5 GB) comprises SO2 emission data (SO2 camera and DOAS) of parts of the active 2013 phase from Colima, as well as Scanning electron microscope (SEM) images and microprobe data of the collected ash from explosions and lava and dome rock. These data were used in the following paper: Cassidy, M., Cole, P.D., Hicks, K.E., Varley, N.R., Peters, N., Lerner, A. 'Rapid and slow: Varying ascent rates as a mechanism for Vulcanian explosions' Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 420: 73-84. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2015.03.025
Here, we provide data corresponding to the experimental conditions used, the results gained via electron microprobe for natural and experimental volcanic samples. Mass balance calculations and a compilation of monitoring data for recent explosive eruptions.
The foreign sliced rock or 'F' collection consists of about 10, 000 specimens and thin sections, cited by their 'F' numbers. These include material archived from recent overseas projects and much collected during the late 19th or early 20th Century from regions within what was then the British Empire. It also includes 'exotic' materials donated to the Survey in its earlier years. Its coverage varies, although there is a predominance of African material. It is indexed on paper registers, and approximately 20% has been input onto 'Britrocks'.
Reports of work carried out worldwide by the BGS and its precursors. These reports cover a wide range of scientific and technical disciplines and were produced for a variety of purposes. Reports date from about 1950 although there are only a comparatively small number of reports pre 1960. The reports are not published but copies can be provided on demand, in hard copy or pdf format ,subject to any restrictions.
Three Published Papers; Thomson et al CMP 2014 - Origin of Sub-Lithospheric diamonds from the Juina-5 Kimberlite (Brazil): constraints from Carbon Isotopes and Inclusion Compositions http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00410-014-1081-8. Thomson et al Nature 2016 - Slab melting as a barrier to deep carbon subduction http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature16174 Burnham et al 2015 - Stable Isotope evidence for Crustal Recycling as recorded by superdeep Diamonds http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2015.10.023 NERC grant abstract: Natural diamonds are formed at high pressures and temperatures deep within the Earth's interior. When diamonds form, probably from carbonate-rich fluids and melts in the mantle, they sometimes encapsulate small pieces of the minerals that occur at great depth in the Earth. These are called mineral inclusions. The diamonds are then transported from Earth's deep mantle to the surface in uncommon magmas called kimberlites. Diamonds that contain these mineral inclusions are very rare, and offer a truly unique glimpse into what is an otherwise inaccessible portion of the Earth. Some very rare inclusions provide direct samples of lithologies present in the mantle transition zone (400 - 660 km) and the lower mantle (>660 km) - these are often called superdeep diamonds. The chemistry of the inclusions along with mineral phase relations yield important information about the kinds of lithologies they originated in, and constrain the conditions of diamond formation and the depth at which kimberlite magmas form. Thus, superdeep diamonds are very important for studying the types of materials that occur in the deep Earth, for elucidating deep mantle processes, and for understanding how carbon is cycled from the surface to the mantle and back to the surface again - the deep carbon cycle. For example, some diamonds contain materials that are very similar to those occurring near the earth's surface, such as minerals akin to oceanic crust or sediments, and these often have carbon isotopic compositions akin to organic carbon - although this is a controversial subject. From this, we can conclude that surface materials can be transported to great depth, helping to constrain models of mass transfer in Earth by mantle convection. Further, by dating when the diamonds formed, for example by dating of inclusions, we can effectively place time constraints in the geodynamic processes involved in diamond formation and uplift in the mantle. Inclusion-bearing diamonds suitable for study are very hard to come by. We are very fortunate to be in possession of several large suites (over 200 inclusion-bearing diamonds in all!) of diamonds from kimberlite pipes in the famous Juina region of Brazil, a region known for its superdeep diamonds. Our previous study on diamonds from the Juina region has yielded some fascinating results, and has led to a model of material recycling beneath Brazil that we have recently published in the journal Nature and in Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology. We now wish to extend our investigations by studying new suites of diamonds from Juina to test our current model, and to make high-pressure temperature experiments that will allow us to determine at what depths the inclusions formed and equilibrated, and will provide information needed to constrain the rates at which diamonds were transported in the solid-state mantle, possibly in a mantle plume. Here, we propose a three-year project for a comprehensive mineralogical, geochemical, isotopic and experimental investigation of these unique diamonds and their mineral inclusions.