BGS Civils: sulfate/sulfide potential

BGS Civils: sulfate/sulfide potential sample.
BGS Civils: sulfate/sulfide potential coverage.
Scale 1:50 000
Coverage Great Britain
Format GIS line and 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.


Sulfates and sulfides in rocks and soils are, when in certain forms and in certain conditions, of importance to the engineered environment as they can give rise to aggressive ground conditions. Sulfate ions react with some types of cement and concrete, weakening it (mostly in slightly acid to alkali conditions). Sources of sulfate ions are primarily from gypsum (calcium sulfate), which is an evaporite deposit found in certain geological units, and from to the oxidation usually of very fine-grained iron sulfide (framboidal iron pyrites).

The BGS Civils: sulfates and sulfides dataset is a GIS layer supporting the management of underground 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 provides a guide to the potential sulfate/sulfide geohazard for geological units found at surface for Great Britain. It can be used as an indicator of primary sulfate and the potential presence or likely formation of sulfate species due to oxidation. It should be considered as a part of desk study for civil engineering purposes to inform the intrusive ground investigation and construction in the ground.

What is at risk and who might require these data?

The properties of earth materials are important in all engineering projects and the classification of the sulfate/sulfide component of a rock formation is important to avoid later weakening of buried concrete infrastructure. This dataset allows for more effective planning and execution of ground investigation work. It is envisaged that the sulfate/sulfide layer will be of interest to a wide range of organisations concerned with development.

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

  • developers and engineering consultants
  • 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 organisations


Contact Digital Data for more information.

Hutton field: well correlation diagram.