The extended key for the engineering geology maps of the United Kingdom

Dearman, William R.; Dobbs, Marcus R.; Culshaw, Martin G.; Northmore, Kevin J.; Entwisle, David C.; Reeves, Helen J.. 2011 The extended key for the engineering geology maps of the United Kingdom. 1:1 000 000. British Geological Survey.

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Engineering geology is a broad discipline within geology that is defined by the International Association for Engineering Geology and the Environment (IAEG) as: “... the science devoted to the investigation, study and solution of the engineering and environmental problems which may arise as the result of the interaction between geology and the works and activities of man as well as to the prediction of and the development of measures for prevention or remediation of geological hazards.” Engineering geology is important, therefore, in the maintenance of public health, safety and welfare during development and redevelopment of the earth’s surface and shallow subsurface, in safeguarding the geological aspects of the environment and in delivering economic benefit. Two engineering geological maps of the UK have been produced at a scale of 1:1 million. One map shows the engineering geological characteristics of the bedrock, that is, those soils and rocks that were in place before the Quaternary Period. The second map shows the engineering geological characteristics of the superficial deposits emplaced during approximately the last 2 million years in the Quaternary Period. The reason for this separation is that Quaternary materials cover about 60% of the UK’s surface and hence mask large parts of the earlier geology. However, they are often relatively thin (less than 10 m) so the bedrock is frequently intersected during building and construction. These maps should not be used for site specific purposes, their intention is to provide an introduction to the engineering geology of the UK by presenting a broad overview of how engineering geological conditions change across the country. They provide the first stage to understanding the consequences of the interaction between human development, the ground and the natural processes acting upon it. For further information regarding engineering geological hazards, GeoSure products and other BGS datasets visit the BGS website or contact BGS Enquiries enquiries@

Item Type: Publication - Map
Programmes: BGS Programmes 2010 > Land Use, Planning and Development
Scale: 1:1 000 000
Geographical Extent: The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Date made live: 10 Sep 2012 13:28 +0 (UTC)

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