British Geological Survey (BGS) Back to Partners

Founded in 1835, the British Geological Survey (BGS) is the world's oldest national geological survey and the United Kingdom's premier centre for earth science information and expertise. The BGS provides expert services and impartial advice in all areas of geoscience. Their client base is drawn from the public and private sectors both in the UK and internationally.

BGS aims to advance our understanding of the structure, properties and processes of the solid earth system through interdisciplinary surveys, monitoring and research for the benefit of society.

MAREMAP represents just one such interdisciplinary research effort, to fill the gaps in UK marine mapping and to make information available across the public sector and industry. BGS provides objective and authoritative geoscientific data, information and knowledge for wealth creation, sustainable use of natural resources, reducing risk and living with the impacts of environmental change. Their work makes up an integral part of MAREMAP.

At the core of the BGS offshore mapping activities is the need to collect data from the coastal zone around the UK. The large ships used in the 1970s and 1980s meant that the zone within 3 miles of the UK coast was left un-surveyed, leaving a gaping hole in the data known within marine circles as the 'white ribbon'.

In order to fill this gap, and provide a platform for nearshore surveys, the BGS purchased a small survey vessel, aptly name the White Ribbon. The White Ribbon is an 8.3m catamaran fitted with twin 90bhp engines and is equipped with an array of cutting-edge geophysical equipment, including a Konsberg EM3002D multibeam echosounder system.

'The use of multibeam echosounder systems to map the sea floor is delivering a new generation of geological maps and science outputs' Alan Stevenson, MAREMAP Coordinator, BGS

Alan Stevenson of the BGS is the lead coordinator of MAREMAP and lends a wealth of knowledge and experience of seabed mapping and Quaternary geology to the programme.

For more information on the work of the British Geological Survey, please visit their website.