Article Loss Prevention

Depositing geotechnical records with the BGS

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The British Geological Survey (BGS) collects borehole records, borehole materials and site investigation reports which are maintained by the National Geoscience Data Centre (NGDC). The Survey has statutory rights of access to information and samples from certain mineral exploration and water supply boreholes. The BGS also welcomes donations of information from anywhere in Great Britain in various formats, including analogue, digital and material collections. If digital files are available these are preferred, and in particular in AGS format data.

The AGS supports the aims of the BGS and encourages its members and their clients to donate their geological records, particularly where in AGS data transfer format in order to propagate its use, to the benefit of member companies, industry and for the general public good.

Most of the collections are part of the public record and are made available through a not-for-profit cost enquiry service, and scanned copies of borehole logs can be accessed for free using the BGS website’s GeoIndex. If specified on the BGS standard deposition form, data can be held as commercial-in-confidence for 4 years before it becomes open-file. Special arrangements need to be made with the BGS for longer periods.

It is therefore important that the ownership of the information itself and that of the copyright and other intellectual property rights must be clearly established before data is deposited, and the AGS recommends that members and their clients discuss this issue at an early stage in the commission. It is recommended that members ask their clients to confirm in writing that the member can donate the records to the BGS at the end of the commission. Alternatively, members could include in their standard conditions a clause stating the information will be donated to the BGS on the due date for payment of their final invoice unless otherwise informed in writing by their client.

The BGS offers advice and guidance about clearing intellectual property rights including copyright. Further information can be obtained from the BGS website

The Loss Prevention Working Group of the AGS is collecting the experiences, comments and views of its members and their clients on the submission of information to, or the requesting of information from, the BGS and whether they have submitted or requested information in AGS format. Please contact the AGS at

Article Data Management

Depositing AGS Format Data with the NGDC

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The National Geoscience Data Centre (NGDC) contains data gathered or generated by the British Geological Survey (BGS) as part of its national strategic mapping programme, alongside data provided by many external organisations. One of the most significant datasets is the borehole records collection, which includes borehole records deposited with the BGS under legislation relating to the following acts:

  • The Mining Industry Act 1926

  • The Petroleum Production Act 1934

  • Water Resources Act 1991, Water Act 1945 and Water Act (Scotland)

Additionally, a large majority of borehole records are given to the NGDC on a voluntary basis by organizations within the site investigation industry. Though there is no legislation requiring them to do this, there are clear benefits, including:

  •  Data security (secure accommodation and back-up);

  • Reduced storage costs;

  • Easy identification of available data – using the BGS Internet Geoscience Data Index at ;

  • Easy access to data for site-specific enquiries via: ;

  • Improved geological maps – supporting industry, education, and the general public;

  • Better decision-making, based on a more complete information base.

The major benefit to the BGS is access to modern data to help improve the geological synthesis of the country. Until recently all borehole records were deposited in paper form. However, data are now starting to be deposited digitally in AGS format. This trend is encouraged at the NGDC, as it allows more rapid processing and use of the data. Where data are received for use within the cost-recovery, Borehole Ordering Service (, borehole logs can now be made available to industry more efficiently. AGS format data can simply be sent to the BGS by e-mail, addressed to (up to 10 MB file size). Alternatively copies of the digital files can be posted directly to the NGDC Data Collection Officer (see below for contact details). The BGS welcomes donations of data from anywhere in Great Britain, and NGDC staff are happy to receive your information in various formats, including analogue, digital and material samples for addition to appropriate National collections. For further advice and information on depositing data, please contact the Data Collection Officer: Tel. +44 (0)115 936 3021 Fax: +44 (0)115 936 3276

National Geoscience Data Centre (NGDC) British Geological Survey Kingsley Dunham Centre Keyworth, Nottingham NG12 5GG UK