3D geology services

LithoFrame model coverage at scales of 1:1M (grey), 1:250K (red) and 1:50K (green)

Using GSI3D in problem solving

We have an experienced team of scientists at the BGS who use their specialist skills to build bespoke 3D models.

BGS geologists have a unique breadth of experience in geological settings which enable them to create accurate and specific 3D models.

The adjacent map of Britain shows our coverage of current geological models at varying resolutions.

We can build customised 3D geological models for specific areas of interest that can include your own data.

Contact Enquiries for more information about licensing an existing model or for commissioning custom 3D geological models.

The models are an excellent tool to visualise the subsurface setting and properties such as engineering type and permeability can be added to each of the geological units.

3D models are beneficial because they can easily show:

  • properties of each geological unit
  • cross sections across any part of the model
  • predictive boreholes from the data in the model
  • horizontal slices through the ground to show the geological conditions at any particular depth

We have built bespoke models for a range of users such as the engineering and construction sector, the Environment Agency, utility companies and local authorities.

These models have been used in all aspects of subsurface management such as the assessment of groundwater resources, conceptualisation of contaminant pathways, risk assessments of buried infrastructure and management of planning permissions.

Sample models are available for download.

Case studies

A 3D modelling study of the Holderness area commissioned by the Environment Agency concluded:

'The 3D model has revealed extensive sand and gravel units both beneath and within the main till sequence, plus a deep sand and gravel-filled buried channel that cuts into the Chalk bedrock in the Holderness coastal area. A morainic deposit, consisting of intermixed sand and gravel with till, in places extending down to bedrock, was identified in the previous study carried out for the Hull area. These more permeable units are likely to impact on groundwater in the area.'

Read the case study: 3D superficial model of Holderness

A 3D assessment of the aquifer vulnerability of the Knowsley Industrial Park in the North West of England enabled:

'the development of a hazard identification and prioritisation scheme for future improvements to the buried sewerage network serving Knowsley Industrial Park'

Read a research paper presented on the work.

In Scotland, BGS is developing integrated and attributed shallow-earth 3D models in partnership with Glasgow City Council and other organisations. The CUSP project states that:

'The 3D models and related GIS layers are the potential keys in Glasgow to helping planners and developers in key decision making, understanding problematic ground conditions and optimising developers’ site investigation budgets'

Read the article in GeoConnexion about the work in Glasgow.


For more information contact enquiries@bgs.ac.uk