British Geological Survey
The British Geological Survey (BGS) is a partly publicly funded body which aims to advance geoscientific knowledge of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 landmass and its continental shelf
Continental shelf
The continental shelf is the extended perimeter of each continent and associated coastal plain. Much of the shelf was exposed during glacial periods, but is now submerged under relatively shallow seas and gulfs, and was similarly submerged during other interglacial periods. The continental margin,...

 by means of systematic surveying, monitoring and research. The BGS headquarters are in Keyworth
Keyworth is a village and civil parish in Nottinghamshire, England. It is located about 6 miles southeast of the centre of Nottingham...

, Nottinghamshire
Nottinghamshire is a county in the East Midlands of England, bordering South Yorkshire to the north-west, Lincolnshire to the east, Leicestershire to the south, and Derbyshire to the west...

, but other centres are located in Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

, Wallingford, Cardiff
Cardiff is the capital, largest city and most populous county of Wales and the 10th largest city in the United Kingdom. The city is Wales' chief commercial centre, the base for most national cultural and sporting institutions, the Welsh national media, and the seat of the National Assembly for...

 and London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

. The current motto of the BGS is: Applied Geoscience for our changing earth.

History and previous names

The Geological Survey was founded in 1835 as the Ordnance Geological Survey, under Henry De la Beche
Henry De la Beche
Sir Henry Thomas De la Beche FRS was an English geologist and palaeontologist who helped pioneer early geological survey methods.-Biography:...

. This was the world's first national geological survey
Geological survey
The term geological survey can be used to describe both the conduct of a survey for geological purposes and an institution holding geological information....

. It remained a branch of the Ordnance Survey
Ordnance Survey
Ordnance Survey , an executive agency and non-ministerial government department of the Government of the United Kingdom, is the national mapping agency for Great Britain, producing maps of Great Britain , and one of the world's largest producers of maps.The name reflects its creation together with...

 for many years. In 1965, it was merged with the Geological Museum
Geological Museum
The Geological Museum is one of the oldest single science museums in the world and now part of the Natural History Museum in London...

 and Overseas Geological Surveys, under the name of "Institute of Geological Sciences". On the 1st January 1984, the latter was renamed British Geological Survey (BGS), a denomination still carried today.


The BGS advises the British government on all aspects of geoscience, as well as providing impartial advice on geological matters to the public, academics and industry. BGS is a component body of the UK Natural Environment Research Council
Natural Environment Research Council
The Natural Environment Research Council is a British research council that supports research, training and knowledge transfer activities in the environmental sciences.-History:...

 which is the UK's leading body for fundamental, strategic and applied research and monitoring in the environmental science
Environmental science
Environmental science is an interdisciplinary academic field that integrates physical and biological sciences, to the study of the environment, and the solution of environmental problems...

s. The core outputs of the BGS include geological, geophysical, geochemical and hydrogeological maps
Geologic map
A geologic map or geological map is a special-purpose map made to show geological features. Rock units or geologic strata are shown by color or symbols to indicate where they are exposed at the surface...

, descriptions and related digital databases. One of the key strategic aims for the next decade
A decade is a period of 10 years. The word is derived from the Ancient Greek dekas which means ten. This etymology is sometime confused with the Latin decas and dies , which is not correct....

 is to complete the transition from 2-D mapping
Cartography is the study and practice of making maps. Combining science, aesthetics, and technique, cartography builds on the premise that reality can be modeled in ways that communicate spatial information effectively.The fundamental problems of traditional cartography are to:*Set the map's...

 to a 3-D modelling culture. The BGS has an annual budget of £
Pound sterling
The pound sterling , commonly called the pound, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, its Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, British Antarctic Territory and Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence...

57M, about half of which comes from the government's Science Budget, with the remainder coming from commissioned research from the public and private sectors.

External links

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