BGS and UKHO announce new sea bed geology data products

British Geological Survey (BGS) and The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) have signed an agreement to work together to produce new digital seabed geological maps covering the United Kingdom Continental Shelf (UKCS).

The maps will complement existing national geological map products available from BGS and will provide an order of magnitude higher resolution detail of seabed character and bedforms.

For the first time, BGS and UKHO will combine all their data to underpin new detailed maps of the seabed of the UK Continental Shelf. Much of this data has only recently been released. The geological components of the new maps will be based on seabed samples, boreholes, seismic data, mulibeam and extensive sidescan data held at BGS and UKHO. The project will utilise the detailed bathymetric elevation model produced by SeaZone and will extend to the coastal zone. The new maps will be released as an essential reference layer within SeaZone’s marine geographic information product SeaZone Hydrospatial.

The new products will provide the reference information on seabed characteristics that is used as essential input to the creation of marine habitat maps. More accurate, wide-scale and consistent mapping of the seabed is needed to underpin sustainable development of the UKCS and to support marine spatial planning for activities such as marine aggregate extraction, renewable energy development, fishing and coastal defence.

BGS and UKHO see these products as a key stage of collation and interpretation of existing data prior to the proposed National Seabed Survey programme which will be based primarily on multibeam data.

The initial phase of the project is underway and will help refine and develop standards for the interpretation of data and the definition of seabed and coastal zone characterisation. The first areas to be released will cover part of the East Anglian coast out to around 20 km and will be based on analysis at 1:50,000 or larger scales. Future progress on the project will be governed by user demand and the rate of progress will be governed by stakeholder support.

For further information, please contact:

Robert W Gatliff
Marine, Coastal & Hydrocarbons Programme

Tel 0131 6671000
Fax 0131 6684140
Email Contact
John Pepper
Head of Commercial Development

Tel 01823 377900
Email Contact
Mike Osborne
Managing Director

Tel 0870 013 0607
Fax 0870 013 0608
Email Contact

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