GeoSure : a bridge between geology and decision makers

Walsby, Jennifer. 2008 GeoSure : a bridge between geology and decision makers. In: Liverman, D.G.E; Pereira, C.P.G.; Marker, B.R., (eds.) Communicating environmental geoscience. London, UK, Geological Society of London, 81-87. (Special Publications, 305).

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How many people understand a geological map and use it to assess the ground on which they live or plan to develop? How many town planners, house owners or insurers know that geologists can identify areas prone to flooding, radon gas emissions, landslides and subsidence? Do decision-makers understand the relevance of geology? Concerned about these questions, geological and geographic information system (GIS) professionals at the British Geological Survey (BGS) have created datasets that make information about geological hazards (‘geohazards’) easy to obtain, use and understand. The term ‘geohazard’ is emotive. Many people think of natural hazards as being large-scale disasters, such as tsunami and major earthquakes. Appropriate terminology is required to explain the relevance of factors such as the potential cost and health implications of the usually less dramatic British geohazards. Using the vast data holdings and geoscientific knowledge within BGS and building on past thematic mapping activities, a series of national geohazard datasets has been developed. GIS datasets with ‘plain English’ descriptions have been created for natural gas emissions, landslides, swell–shrink clays, compressible and collapsible deposits, soluble rocks, running sands and groundwater flooding. Geological information is thus brought before a wider audience and in a form that reveals to the British public and industry how geology can be used in conjunction with other information and why it is relevant to their lives.

Item Type: Publication - Book Section
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: BGS Programmes 2008 > Information Products
ISBN: 9781862392601
NORA Subject Terms: General > Science Policy
Date made live: 27 Aug 2008 10:44 +0 (UTC)

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