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British Geological Survey

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  • This poster on the UKCCSRC Call 1 project Fault Seal Controls on Aquifer CO2 Storage Capacity was presented at the CSLF Call project poster reception, London, 27.06.16. Grant number: UKCCSRC-C1-14. Structural traps for storage of supercritical CO2 will commonly rely on a component of fault seal. Faults are among the most important natural potential migration pathways for buoyant fluids stored in reservoir rocks. Failure of storage integrity may occur either by mechanical failure or by flow across faults due to geometric juxtaposition of the reservoir against similarly permeable rocks and/or lack of a low permeability fault gouge. This project aimed to reduce uncertainty relating to the sealing capacity of faults affecting prospective North Sea saline aquifers, by: • Studying the controls on fault seal capability in naturally-occurring fault-bound CO2 accumulations (Fizzy and Oak), • Assessing the geomechanical stability of faults affecting an important saline aquifer offshore UK (Captain Sandstone), • Investigating the characteristics of apparently hydraulically-conductive faults in the North Sea (Netherlands).

  • 1. Grids (in spreadsheet form) of interpreted parameters from the 3D time-lapse seismics (temporal and constructed depth thicknesses) at the Sleipner CO2 storage operation in the North Sea. 2. A synthetic seismic model of a CO2 wedge, to examine the relationship between wedge true thickness and temporal thicknesses. These datasets underpin following publications: Chadwick, R.A., Williams, G.A. & White, J.C. 2016. High resolution imaging and characterisation of a CO2 layer at the Sleipner CO2 Storage operation using time-lapse seismics. First Break, 34, 79-87. The source data comprise the Sleipner 3D time-lapse surveys which were acquired in 1994 (baseline), 1999, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010. The dataset used here for measuring temporal thicknesses is the 2010 high resolution dataset with constructed depth thicknesses from the 1994 baseline data. Grant number: EP/K035878/1.

  • This is one of the early papers on CO2 storage. Natural analogues indicate that it is possible to dispose of CO2 underground in closed structures on deep aquifers. Disposal into depleted or exhausted hydrocarbon fields has many advantages, e.g. proven seal, known storage capacity, no exploration costs. Unfortunately there are very few hydrocarbon fields in the UK onshore area, and their total CO2 storage capacity is very low compared to annual UK CO2 production from power generation. The best aquifers for CO2 disposal onshore are the widespread Permo-Triassic sandstones. Further onshore potential exists in younger Mesozoic reservoirs. Offshore, disposal into depleted oil fields (where cost credits from enhanced oil recovery could be beneficial) or the Perno-Triassic gas fields of the southern North Sea, and nearby associated closures of the Triassic Sherwood Sandstone aquifer, appear to provide the best prospects. doi:10.1016/0196-8904(93)90038-C.

  • We aim to de-risk the development of the major potential CO2 storage reservoirs in the UK sector of the Northern and Central North Sea by developing our understanding of the geometry and properties of the overburden above the potential reservoirs (including their seals), and by developing an understanding of the likely hydraulic connectivity in the reservoirs, surrounding strata and overburden and hence the likely flow paths for CO2 and formation brine within and between them. These reservoirs are some of the most widespread and internally hydraulically well-connected reservoirs on the UK Continental Shelf and appear to have excellent potential for high injectivity, large capacity without excessive pressure rise and, in some cases, good containment. Consequently, they promise to be of great significance if CCS becomes a major greenhouse gas mitigation technology in the UK. Grant number: UKCCSRC-C1-30.

  • Data identifying landscape areas (shown as polygons) attributed with geological names and rock type descriptions. The scale of the data is 1:25 000 scale. Onshore coverage is partial and BGS has no intention to create a national coverage at this scale. Areas covered are essentially special areas of 'classic' geology and include Llandovery (central Wales), Coniston (Lake District) and Cuillan Hills (Isle of Skye). Superficial deposits are the youngest geological deposits formed during the most recent period of geological time, the Quaternary, which extends back about 2.58 million years from the present. They lie on top of older deposits or rocks referred to as bedrock. Superficial deposits were laid down by various natural processes such as action by ice, water, wind and weathering. As such, the deposits are denoted by their BGS lexicon name, which classifies them on the basis of mode of origin (lithogenesis) with names such as, 'glacial deposits', 'river terrace deposits' or 'blown sand'; or on the basis of their composition such as 'peat'. Most of these superficial deposits are unconsolidated sediments such as gravel, sand, silt and clay. The digital data includes attribution to identify each deposit type (in varying levels of detail) as described in the BGS Rock Classification Scheme (volume 4). The data are available in vector format (containing the geometry of each feature linked to a database record describing their attributes) as ESRI shapefiles and are available under BGS data licence.

  • Peer reviewed paper published in the journal Petroleum Geoscience - the paper describes work carried-out on behalf of the 'Fault seal controls on CO2 storage capacity in aquifers' project funded by the UKCCS Research Centre, grant number UKCCSRC-C1-14. The geomechanical stability of faults affecting the Captain Sandstone and its overburden in the Inner Moray Firth region is investigated in terms of the ability of the faulted reservoir to safely store CO2. Also available online at

  • These files contain ground penetrating radar (GPR) data collected from the glacier margins and forelands of Falljökull and of Kvíárjökull, south-east Iceland, between 2012 and 2014. The data were collected using a Sensors and Software PulseEKKO Pro GPR system. For each glacier the data are stored in folders that indicate the month and year in which the surveys were conducted. Each GPR profile has a Sensors and Software GPR (.DT1) file, and associated header (.HD) and GPS (.GPS) files. The .HD files (which can be opened as text files) give the parameters and equipment used for each profile. GPS files are not available for some of the profiles collected on Falljökull in April 2013 (due to damage that occurred to the GPS linked with the PulseEKKO Pro system). For these profiles start, finish, and mid profile positions were recorded using differential GPS, and locations of these profiles are instead given by GIS shapefiles in the relevant folders. These datasets have been used in the publications listed below. Further information relating to the data collection methodology can be found therein. Phillips, Emrys; Everest, Jez; Evans, David J.A.; Finlayson, Andrew; Ewertowski, Marek; Guild, Ailsa; Jones, Lee. 2017 Concentrated, ‘pulsed’ axial glacier flow: structural glaciological evidence from Kvíárjökull in SE Iceland. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 42 (13). 1901-1922. Phillips, Emrys; Finlayson, Andrew; Bradwell, Tom; Everest, Jez; Jones, Lee. 2014 Structural evolution triggers a dynamic reduction in active glacier length during rapid retreat: evidence from Falljökull, SE Iceland. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 119 (10). 2194-2208. Phillips, Emrys; Finlayson, Andrew; Jones, Lee. 2013 Fracturing, block-faulting and moulin development associated with progressive collapse and retreat of a polar maritime glacier: Virkisjokul-Falljokull, SE Iceland. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 118 (3). 1545-1561. Flett, Verity; Maurice, Louise; Finlayson, Andrew; Black, Andrew; MacDonald, Alan; Everest, Jez; Kirkbride, Martin. 2017. Meltwater flow through a rapidly deglaciating glacier and foreland catchment system: Virkisjökull, SE Iceland. Hydrology Research, 48 (6). 1666-1681.

  • The GeoSure data sets and reports from the British Geological Survey provide information about potential ground movement or subsidence in a helpful and user-friendly format. The reports can help inform planning decisions and indicate causes of subsidence. The methodology is based on BGS DiGMap (Digital Map) and expert knowledge of the behaviour of the formations so defined. This dataset provides an assessment of the potential for a geological deposit to shrink and swell. Many soils contain clay minerals that absorb water when wet (making them swell), and lose water as they dry (making them shrink). This shrink-swell behaviour is controlled by the type and amount of clay in the soil, and by seasonal changes in the soil moisture content (related to rainfall and local drainage). The rock formations most susceptible to shrink-swell behaviour are found mainly in the south-east of Britain. Clay rocks elsewhere in the country are older and have been hardened by burial deep in the earth and are less able to absorb water. The BGS has carried out detailed geotechnical and mineralogical investigations into rock types known to shrink, and are modelling their properties across the near surface. This research underpins guidance contained in the national GeoSure dataset, and is the basis for our responses to local authorities, companies and members of the public who require specific information on the hazard in their areas. The BGS is undertaking a wide-ranging research programme to investigate this phenomenon by identifying those areas most at risk and developing sustainable management solutions. Complete Great Britain national coverage is available. The storage formats of the data are ESRI and MapInfo but other formats can be supplied.

  • Superficial Geology (250k) This layer shows the superficial (drift) geology of Northern Ireland at 1:250,000 scale. For each rock unit there is a brief generalised description under the following headings. LEX_D: Description of the selected polygon. LEX_RCS: Map code as it appears on the published 1:250,000 map. RCS_D: Decription of the deposit. VERSION: Version of the data. RELEASED: Date of release/update of the data. Persons interested in the detailed geology of particular sites should consult the latest large-scale maps or the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland at:- Geological Survey of Northern Ireland Colby House Stranmillis Court Belfast BT9 5BF

  • Many mineral resource maps for areas of Great Britain at scales of 1:25000 and 1:50000 have been produced by the British Geological Survey. The maps are intended to be used for resource development, strategic planning, land-use planning, the indication of hazard in mined areas, environment assessment and as a teaching aid. The data was originally published in printed map form.