Monday, December 7, 2009

Geology in the UK

Via BBC, I just found out that The British Geological Survey (BGS) has gone online with its Open GeoScience website. I have only spent a couple of minutes browsing, but it looks like one could easily spend a couple of centuries. From The BBC article,
At the 1:50,000 scale, geological details down to about 50m on the surface can be resolved - essentially street level. The BGS says this is a world first in terms of releasing country-wide information.

Those who live in Edinburgh, for example, can see how their city is built on top of an ancient volcano. Glaswegians on the other hand will notice that their city is built on the remains of an ancient tropical forest, evident in the coal measures and fossil trees that can be seen today.

Regular drivers of the M1 motorway between Leicester and Loughborough might be interested to study how their route passes across some of the oldest rocks in England that preserve the remains of soft-bodied animals which once lived in an ancient sea.
The BBC also has a gallery of photos selected from the new site, and here is one photo, of the approximately 50,000 released, that struck me as particularly delicious-looking:
The description reads "Atar sheet. Sodalite-syenite." I don't know the word "atar," but I know sodalite and syenite, and I like.

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