Geochemical Baseline Survey of the Environment(G-BASE)

Stream sediment sampling

The Geochemical Baseline Survey of the Environment (G-BASE) is a major BGS project that has an annual campaign of geochemical sampling within many parts of the UK. Our core function is to provide a national capability in baseline geochemical mapping.

Beginning in the late 1960s, the primary focus was mineral exploration, however the project has now evolved into a multi-media, high-resolution geochemical survey producing baseline data relevant to many environmental issues. G-BASE a focal point for geochemistry within the BGS.

G-BASE is a project within the Applied and medical geochemistry team area. Its main activities can be classified as either Regional or Urban geochemical baseline mapping. Recent work has focused on the geochemical mapping of London — the London Earth project.

Our capability in geochemical mapping is applied to International projects and the samples and data from our work is used in many Research Activities.

Latest G-BASE news

G-BASE for southm west England G-BASE for south west England

G-BASE regional soil and stream sediment data for the south west of England are available via the NERC Open Geoscience license. Interpolated geochemical soil and stream sediment maps for selected elements are available to download via the dedicated G-BASE south west web page and to view via the Tellus south west map viewer. Further information on G-BASE data products can be found via the BGS soil chemistry product pages or by contacting BGS digital data.

NBC Publication NBC Publication

G-BASE topsoil results from England have been used to determine the 'normal background concentrations (NBCs)' of contaminants in soil. Methodology for the determination of normal background concentrations of contaminants in English soil Original Research Article Science of The Total Environment, Volumes 454–455, 1 June 2013, Pages 604-618 E. Louise Ander, Christopher C. Johnson, Mark R. Cave, Barbara Palumbo-Roe, C. Paul Nathanail, R. Murray Lark.

Defra Project SP1008: Normal Background Concentrations of contaminants in soil BGS-Defra project

The BGS-Defra project to determine normal background concentrations (NBCs) of some contaminants in English and Welsh soils has been completed. All project resources and reports are available from the project web site.

Glasgow Soils Report Glasgow Soils Report

A detailed geochemical report on the soils of Glasgow has been published. Fordyce F M, Nice S E, Lister T R, Ó Dochartaigh B É, Cooper R, Allen M, Ingham M, Gowing C, Vickers B P and Scheib A. Urban Soil Geochemistry of Glasgow. British Geological Survey Open Report, OR/08/002. Available in NORA.

Mapping the chemical Environment of Urban Areas cover Urban Mapping Book

The G-BASE team has developed great experience in mapping the chemical environment of urban areas. As part of a EuroGeosurveys Expert Geochemistry Group initiative Dr Chris Johnson (GBMG Team Leader) has led the editing and production of a book on "Mapping the chemical Environment of Urban Areas" published by Wiley-Blackwell. The book contains many contributions from the BGS.

Google Earth with environmental data sets markers Sample index maps
These pages show site locations from important environmental data sets held by BGS for a variety of sample types - stream water, stream sediment and soils. The Google Earth place marker labels describe the chemical results available from each site. Download Google earth to use this application.


Contact Dr Joanna Wragg for further information