Understanding the 3D geology of Singapore

Cityscape of Singapore

BGS geologists studying coastal outcrops in Singapore

BGS international work

BGS collaborates with the Geological Office of Singapore's Building and Construction Agency (BCA) on a range of projects aimed at understanding the subsurface geology of Singapore.

The city state of Singapore has a growing population (expected to rise to seven million by 2030) on a small island of around 700 km2. Sustainable use of space, including the subsurface, is therefore extremely important. Ground beneath the surface can be used for groundwater and heat resources, waste disposal, storage space and transport facilities. A three dimensional understanding of Singapore's geology is a key part of any subsurface planning.

Natural geological exposures on Singapore are limited and largely restricted to the coast and offshore islands. However, a 3D picture of the geology can be built up from older data, borehole information and geophysics combined with outcrop studies. Singapore formed in an island arc setting during the Triassic, with granites in the eastern part of the island and deformed metasedimentary rocks in the west. These are overlain by younger sediments deposited in river and coastal environments during the Cenozoic. BGS has reviewed this geology and developed a preliminary stratigraphical scheme and 3D model for Singapore.

Training and ongoing collaboration

BGS and BCA staff in the field

BGS and BCA staff leading a one-day workshop in Singapore

The BCA are currently directing a significant programme of ground investigation in Singapore, including borehole drilling and new geophysical surveys. BGS is extensively involved in provision of geological and geophysical advice through training and knowledge exchange for those involved in this programme. BGS also provides specialist geological services including geomechanical, geochronological, palaeontological, mineralogical and petrographic studies. The ground investigation programme will allow refinement of the 3D understanding of Singapore's geology, and will underpin subsurface planning to support sustainable urban development in Singapore.


Contact Marcus Dobbs for further information.