Research news and awards

Latest news about our research. Project progress and collaboration. Awards and achievements.

Digital geographical map
Our vision is to create a digital-first geoscience organisation linking people, data, equipment and technology to make new inferences about the world around us.

2 July 2020

Photograph of the William Smith Building

The British Geological Survey (BGS) supports and endorses the UKRI statement on Black Lives Matter.

The tragic deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, and the subsequent dialogue around institutionalised racism has sharpened our focus on the British Geological Survey’s own attitudes, history and impact on the wider geoscience community.

2 July 2020


13 May 2020

Jaana Pinnick
BGS Data Manager, Jaana Pinnick, has been appointed vice-chair of the Information and Records Management Society (IRMS).

Jaana is responsible for research data and digital preservation at the BGS, managing the National Geoscience Data Centre (NGDC) grants team and leading the development of the BGS digital preservation programme to ensure the long-term usability and accessibility of geoscience data held at the NGDC.

She will begin her appointment as vice-chair in May 2020, bringing considerable experience in data management to work with the executive committee and provide leadership to the society.

Jaana said:

'I have worked as the IRMS groups director for the last two years getting to know all the regional and special interest groups across the UK and Ireland, and before that as the Midlands Group Chair. Our members come from a wide variety of organisations within the information and records management profession. My first duty in May will be to introduce the second day of our annual IRMS Conference, which is an essential event with a packed programme of inspirational speakers for information professionals across the UK.'

Established in 1983, the IRMS is the foremost professional association for all information professionals with a mission to provide leadership in records and information management. A not-for-profit organisation, it currently represents over 1000 members from the UK and around the world spanning the public, private and third sectors.

Businesses, organisations and individuals responsible for managing records and data are under increasing pressure to ensure that information is gathered, processed, stored, accessed, used and shared in the appropriate way.

Jaana has been a member of the IRMS executive team since 2018 and is an accredited member of the society.

Membership of the IRMS includes access to a range of advice and guidance, opportunities to gain professional accreditation, and eligibility for industry awards. Membership of the IRMS includes access to a range of advice and guidance, opportunities to gain professional accreditation, and eligibility for industry awards.

17 February 2020

Professor Melanie Leng receives MBE at Buckingham Palace

Professor Melanie Leng, a Chief Scientist at the British Geological Survey (BGS), has been awarded an MBE by HRH Prince Charles at an investiture held at Buckingham Palace.

13 December 2019

Helen Glaves

BGS is pleased to announce that Helen Glaves has been elected as the President of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) for the term 2021 – 2023. Helen’s new role will involve governance of EGU where she will lead the Executive Board that oversees and provides strategic guidance for the Union. This appointment will compliment Helen’s work at BGS, and is a real honour for us as an organisation.

Helen says "I am delighted and honoured to have been elected as the next President of the European Geosciences Union (EGU). I look forward to the opportunity to work with the members and staff of EGU as well as the wider geoscience community. My election comes at a time when the organisation is seeking to become more diverse and inclusive, and I hope to address some of these issues by encouraging and facilitating wider participation in the various activities that are part of EGU. I want to thank everyone who gave me their vote, and I am especially grateful to my colleagues at the British Geological Survey for their encouragement and support."

Helen will be inaugurated during the EGU plenary meeting on the 4th May 2020 in Vienna, Austria, and she will be only the second female to hold this prestigious position.

Find out more

4 December 2019

Kevitsa, Auroras on Vajunen reservoir. Photo: Boliden/Tomas Westermark © free to use 2016.

A new report by the British Geological Survey (BGS) looks into the worldwide availability of cobalt as global demand for the metal is set to increase dramatically.

19 November 2019

BGS logo

The OGA has published a series of commissioned reports on induced seismicity. BGS seismologists Brian Baptie and Margarita Segou were co-authors of one of these report entitled 'Statistical Modelling of the Preston New Road Seismicity: Towards Probabilistic Forecasting Tools' together with Simone Mancini (Bristol University/BGS) and Max Werner from Bristol University.

The report looks at research into the feasibility of statistically forecasting the microseismicity observed during and after hydraulic fracturing for shale gas. We used a statistical model that was originally developed for tectonic seismicity, called an epidemic type aftershock sequence (ETAS) model, which has been widely applied for forecasting tectonic earthquake sequences. It has also been used with some success for induced seismicity.

The model parameters were determined using data recorded during hydraulic fracturing unconventional shale gas exploration in 2018 by Cuadrilla Resources at its Preston New Road site near Blackpool, consisting of over 38 000 microseismic events. We find that the performance of the model forecasts is mixed, performing well during periods of low to moderate seismicity but under-predicting during the most active periods. This mixed performance may be a result of features in the induced seismicity that are rare in natural seismicity. For example, the induced events do not appear to show the same magnitude-dependent triggering and clustering observed in natural seismicity. This suggests that further research is required to develop the models and to test them on independent datasets such as the data recorded during operations at the PNR2 well, which was hydraulically fractured between August and October 2019.

4 November 2019

Africa Groundwater Atlas digital country hydrogeology maps
The Africa Groundwater Atlas has released digital, GIS-enabled, national-scale hydrogeology maps for 38 African countries, which are freely available to download.

23 September 2019

Ocean image
British Geological Survey and Heriot-Watt scientists are research partners in the ambitious, £20 million UKRI GCRF One Ocean Hub, which will transform the global response to the urgent challenges facing our oceans.
From plastic pollution to rising sea levels and acidification to over-fishing, the threats facing our oceans are well-known.
The UKRI GCRF One Ocean Hub will bring together the competing interests and agendas of the individuals, groups and organisations that rely on our oceans to realise a vision of an integrated and sustainable approach to managing their use.
A key priority will be to ensure the knowledge, experiences and rights of those most-reliant upon the oceans, and disproportionately affected by our failure to protect them, are recognised.
The team will set out to uncover the less tangible values of the ocean, and the hidden 'trade-offs' in ocean decision-making.
The goal is to ensure decision-making is based on evidence of risks and opportunities among competing ocean uses.
Find out more

22 January 2019