BGS Civils: corrosivity (ferrous)

BGS Civils: corrosivity (Ferrous) sample.
BGS Civils: corrosivity (Ferrous) coverage
Scale 1:50 000
Coverage Great Britain
Format GIS polygon data. (ESRI, MapInfo, others available by request.)

Product 1: BGS Civils bundle (all 8 layers)

£0.50 per km2

Product 2: BGS Civils individual layers

£0.30 per km2

Product 3: BGS Civils web viewer (subscription service)

£500 per layer for the first layer. £100 for each additional layers.

Or, £1000 for all 8 layers.

BGS Civils comprises 8 layers: bulking volume, corrosivity (ferrous), discontinuities, engineered fill, excavatability, strength, sulfate/sulfide, foundation conditions.

All products are subject to number of users, licence fee and data preparation fee.


As underground structures and pipes get older, their potential to fail as a result of surface pitting and corrosion increases. The cost in the UK of corrosion to these structures has been estimated at four per cent of GNP per year (Institute of Corrosion).

Some of this cost comes in the form of corrosion to underground iron structures (e.g. pipes), particularly in what are termed 'aggressive soils'.

The BGS corrosivity dataset is a GIS layer supporting the management of underground iron assets that has been created in response to the growing awareness of the cost of maintenance of structures such as pipelines and building foundations.

This dataset identifies where the ground beneath the topsoil has potentially 'corrosive' or 'aggressive' characteristics and places them within the recognised scoring framework developed by the Cast Iron Pipe Research Association (CIPRA) now the Ductile Iron Pipe Research Association (DIPRA).

What is at risk and who might require these data?

Underground assets that are at risk from different types of corrosion include water pipelines, oil and gas pipelines, earthing rods, cabling, sewers and building foundations such steel piles.

This dataset can be utilised by a wide range of users including:

  • energy providers
  • engineering and industrial insurers, including associations such as the International Association of Engineering Insurers
  • local authorities and councils
  • petrochemical companies
  • regulatory and coordinating bodies
  • transport infrastructure providers
  • water companies
  • water regulators and coordinating bodies such as Water UK

Inspection/testing prioritisation and project planning

All companies that have underground pipes are required to engage inline inspection testing to assess the state of the pipeline. The corrosivity dataset can be used as part of a risk-based approach to these inspections that takes into account ground conditions. This would result in prioritised inspection plans and, therefore, potentially reduce unnecessary inspections.

The dataset can also be used by pipeline coordinating bodies that have a role to play in agreeing policy and actions and preventing incidents that could cause injury and damage the environment. Companies engaged in the distribution of electrical power (power, water or transport infrastructure) use earthing rods to ensure safety of the power supply. These earthing rods can be subject to corrosion under some types of ground conditions compromising safety.

In addition, the dataset can be used in project planning and desk study stages for new infrastructure, to identify the appropriate construction materials and level of preventative action that may be required. Examples of this include new infrastructure for renewable energy resources including solar, wind, and wave.

Corrosion alone does not cause pipes to fail. However, corrosion coupled with ground movement due to shrink-swell, landslides and a variety of other physical geohazards will cause failure. The BGS also licence a comprehensive set of geohazard data that can be used alongside the corrosivity data within asset management systems.


Contact Digital Data for more information

Hutton field: well correlation diagram.