Geotechnical and geophysical properties and processes

A key role of this team is to characterise UK rock and soil formations in terms of their lithological and engineering properties. In addition to our own investigations and testing programme, we collect information from a wide range of sources to build a physical model of the subsurface of the UK.

With academic and industrial partners, we are also developing new geophysical techniques to investigate changes in natural and artificial ground.

Our outputs, including reports, publications, maps and attributed 3D geological models assist ground engineers and planners in undertaking feasibility studies, optimising site investigation design, and assessing ground conditions at local and regional scale.

Current research projects

National geotechnical properties database National geotechnical properties database

Database of geotechnical information extracted from British site investigation records provided by clients, consultants and contractors and from field and laboratory testing carried out by the BGS.

Physical properties and behaviour of UK rocks and soils Physical properties and behaviour of UK rocks and soils

Investigating the geotechnical properties of geological formations in the UK and how their behaviour affects buildings and infrastructure.

Download free maps showing the engineering geology of the UK and free reports on the Gault Formation, Mercia Mudstone Group and Lias Group.

Geophysical baselines Geophysical baselines

The project undertakes the maintenance and delivery of non-seismic UK geophysical data together with relevant research on geoscientific, environmental and resource applications.

Ground information for sustainable development Ground information for sustainable development

3D modelling for a variety of purposes and at different scales. 3D models of Britain’s subsurface geology (Lithoframe), superficial deposit thickness models, download 3D models.

Transport geotechnics and geophysics Transport geotechnics and geophysics

Geotechnical and geophysical research on railways. Information on our test sites at Leominster and East Leake. 3D models for route appraisals.

Petrophysics Petrophysics

Characterisation and prediction of physical properties and ground stability of UK geological formations, including superficial deposits. Innovative non-invasive geophysical techniques and a newly developed rapid geophysical probing suite.


Contact Dave Gunn for more information.