The rocks beneath your house

1:50 000 scale Geology Map - Melton Mowbray sheet 142

If you are interested in finding out about the rocks beneath your house, there are several ways to do it:

For general interest

Use our Geology of Britian viewer to view the superficial and bedrock geology at 1:625 000 or 1:50 000 scale. The geology data is also available via several web services.

Alternatively, search the GeoIndex. Zoom into your area or enter your postcode, name of village or town. See the underlying rock types (superficial/drift or bedrock/solid) at 1:625 000 scale.

Then look at the BGS Lexicon to find a full description of the named rocks.

Make-a-map is an educational tool that also gives a generalised overview of the geology of the UK.

For world geology, try the OneGeology Portal. It shows the rocks beneath your house in a similar way to Google Earth.

Further map and data viewers provide more geological and hydrogeological information.

For a more detailed look

Refer to the relevant 1:50 000 scale paper map or the more detailed 1:10 000 map.

First locate your area via the map index or map search facilities on the online bookshop, decide which map you require and order online. The geology of the 1:50 000 scale maps is explained in detail in our memoir or sheet description books.

Before you buy, check if your local library has a copy of the map or memoir you require. 1:50 000 sheets cost £12 and 1:10 000 sheets cost £80 plus postage and packing.

Find out about the geology at depth using our free online borehole viewer where you can view scans of (site-specific reports) borehole records held at the BGS.


You could purchase a Geological Map Extracts report via GeoReports online ( £30 +VAT). This includes up-to-date extracts of BGS digital geology at a scale of 1:50 000.

If you are interested in a more detailed, site-specific report containing a description of the rocks to a depth of around 30 m including a geological cross section to show their relationships, the map extracts and detail on the geohazard potential (swelling clay, compressible ground etc.). Have a look at the sample Geological Assessment: Area reports.

The standard report (£270 +VAT) for your property includes work researched and written by a geoscientist with specialist knowledge of your area.

BGS data resellers

Low cost geology map extracts (using BGS data) geology data extracts and reports are available for instant selection and download in PDF format from these websites:

3D geology models

LithoFrame 1M is a 3D geological model of the UK at 1:1 000 000 scale. It shows the subsurface geology — the 3D equivalent of the geological map.

Download a 3D PDF or animation of the UK 3D geological model at LithoFrame visualisations or learn more about 3D Geology.

Contact Enquiries

British Geological Survey
NG12 5GG
Telephone: 0115 936 3143
Fax: 0115 936 3276