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Castle Rock, Nottingham
Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh
South stack, Anglesey
The 3D Geology of Britain viewer helps you explore the geology around where you live. Click on the heading text below to expand or collapse a help section.
The 3D Below Ground and Globe views are supported in desktop web browsers that support WebGL - a web technology standard for rendering 3D graphics
*The WebGL implementation of Internet Explorer is not optimized for memory-intensive applications and it might not work reliably when opening certain scenes.
Your computer hardware needs to have a minimum of 2 GB system memory and a video graphics card that supports WebGL. It is recommended that you have at least 4 GB of system memory. Your hardware should have a non-mobile graphics card with at least 512 MB of video memory.
The Geology of Britain is designed to work on mobile devices, however there is no current 3D support for mobile devices or iPad. When viewing the Geology of Britain on such a device only the 2D view and functionality is available.
The Geology of Britain has three different viewing modes accessed from the top right of the banner:
For more help on the 3d/2d views, see the overview videos available from the main menu
In either of the 3D modes use the navigation controls to pan, zoom and tilt. Alternatively, use the mouse (left click to pan, right click to tilt, and wheel to zoom).
In 2D mode use the navigation controls to zoom in and out or use the mouse (left click to pan, right click to rotate and wheel to zoom).
For more help on Navigation, see the overview videos available from the main menu
The Geology of Britain viewer combines a number of key British Geological Survey data products in a single viewer. To facilitate this, the viewer can operate in one of three modes:
To switch modes, use the 'Geology', 'Boreholes' and 'Earthquakes' buttons located under the banner (or at the bottom of the screen on a mobile device).
In this mode, the viewer displays either bedrock geology, superficial deposits or a combined map showing both bedrock geology and the overlying superficial deposits (the default). It is also possible to turn on a faults layer (via the main menu). More geological layers (artificial ground, and mass movements) are available through a WMS service.
For more information on the 1:50,000 scale geology data used in the viewer including definitions of Bedrock and Superficial click here.
Click on the map to bring up an information window giving details of the geology at that location. Click on the ‘More Information' link to open the BGS Lexicon of Named Rock Units.
In ‘3D Below ground’ mode it is possible to view beneath the Earth’s surface to see cross sections from the National Bedrock Fence Diagram (UK3D).
In this mode, boreholes are displayed on the map. In ‘3D Below ground’ mode boreholes sticks are displayed below the Earth’s surface. Boreholes are coloured according to whether they have depth information as indicated in the key. Click on a borehole of interest to view some basic information about that borehole and to access a link to view a scan of the borehole record.
Where boreholes are coloured black, we are unable to provide a direct link to the associated scanned borehole record. We may still be able to provide you with a borehole record via our GeoRecords Plus+ service. Please note, releasing confidential data can take significant time as the process involves third parties and may not always be successful. BGS will endeavour to facilitate the release of borehole records wherever possible.
In Boreholes mode, surface Geology layers are visible and can be changed as described in the Geology mode section.
Select ‘Earthquakes’ mode to view UK earthquakes over time. On selecting this mode, a time slider will appear at the bottom of the map. Drag the minimum and maximum date tabs to view only earthquakes between (and including) these two dates.
In ‘3D Below ground’ mode earthquakes can be viewed below the Earth’s surface located at the correct depth and with a size relative to the magnitude of the earthquake.
Click on an earthquake to return more details of that earthquake.
In Earthquakes mode, surface Geology layers are visible and can be changed as described in the Geology mode section.
Click on the Search tool on the right of the banner to be able to enter a place name or postcode and zoom to that location.
Click on the Menu button on the left of the banner to open a menu of additional functionality:
This website uses Google Analytics to help analyse how visitors use this site in order to improve the user experience. Google Analytics uses “cookies”, which are small text files placed on your computer, to collect standard internet log information and visitor behaviour information in an anonymous form. More Information
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