UK geology: Northern Ireland

BGS Geology and Landscape at the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland (GSNI) is made up of four teams:

Environment and hazards

This team provides advice and guidance on the impact of development on the natural environment.

GSNI datasets and maps support the production of baseline geological and hydrogeological reports which are used widely by the general public, environmental consultancies and industry.

We also operate as specialist advisor to local government on groundwater and planning issues.

Energy and minerals

Cliff face

GSNI undertakes multidisciplinary research to promote the natural mineral and energy resource potential of Northern Ireland. The results are used to underpin government policy, help formulate planning strategies for energy and sustainable development, and encourage inward investment in the exploration sector.

Our research is carried out in partnership with government departments and agencies, universities and commercial companies.

Information delivery

At GSNI we have a unique archive of geological mapping, borehole drilling and natural resource exploration and extraction dating from the early 1800s. Records include databases of over 25 000 boreholes and 2000 mine shafts and adits.

Digital editions of bedrock and superficial geology maps, mineral and petroleum exploration reports, and detailed geochemical and airborne geophysical survey data are available. We actively encourage the use of these data for sustainable development of natural resources, environmental management and monitoring, and land-use planning and research.

Geology and landscape

Northern Ireland's geodiversity encompasses nearly one billion years of Earth history. This variety of rocks and deposits shapes the spectacular landscapes for which our area is famous such as the Giant's Causeway and the Mourne Mountains.

GSNI provides a range of popular, non-technical and technical information through publications and maps. We also enhance the public understanding and appreciation of earth sciences through our 'Landscapes from Stone' brand and the European Geoparks Network accredited by UNESCO.


Contact Mark Cooper for more information.