Geology of the Bath area: Information sources

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This topic provides a summary of the geology of the Bath area – covered by the British Geological Survey
1:50k geological map sheet 265.

Authors: A J M Barron, T H Sheppard, R W Gallois, P R M Hobbs and N J P Smith (BGS).

Sources of further geological information held by the British Geological Survey relevant to the Bath district and adjacent areas are listed here.

Information on BGS publications is given in the current Catalogue of Geological Maps, Books and Data, available on the BGS website ( BGS maps, memoirs, books, and reports relevant to the district may be consulted at BGS and some other libraries. They may be purchased from the BGS Sales Desk, or via the bookshop on the BGS website. This website also provides details of BGS activities and services, and information on a wide range of environmental, resource and hazard issues.

Searches of indexes to some of the materials and documentary records collections can be made on the website.

Map Surveyor Date Map Surveyor Date
ST66NE Edwards 1997 ST86NE x
ST66SE Westhead 1997–2001 ST86SE x
ST67NE Farrant 1997 ST86NW Royse 2003
ST67SE Edwards 1997 ST86SW x
ST68SE Strange 1997 ST87NE x
ST76NE Wyatt, Farrant 1985, 1997 ST87SE x
ST76SE Wyatt, Edwards 1977, 1997 ST87NW Sheppard 2004
ST76NW Wyatt, Farrant 1985, 1997 ST87SW Barron 2004
ST76SW Wyatt, Edwards 1979, 1997 ST88SW Sheppard 2006 (partial)
ST77NE Sheppard 2004 ST88SE x
ST77SE Sheppard 2007 ST96SW Barron 2006 (partial)
ST77NW Sheppard 2005 (partial) ST96NW Barron 2006 (partial)
ST77SW Ellison 2002–2004 ST97SW Barron 2006 (partial)
ST78SE Sheppard 2006 (partial) ST97NW Barron 2006 (partial)
ST78SW x ST98SW x

Geological enquiries, including requests for geological reports on specific sites, should be addressed to the BGS Enquiry Service at Keyworth. The addresses of the BGS offices are given on the back cover and at the end of this section.


Geological maps

1:250 000 Sheet 51N-04W Bristol Channel, Solid Geology, 1987

Sheet 51N-04W Bristol Channel, sea bed sediments and quaternary geology, 1986

1:63 360/1:50 000

Sheet 250 (Chepstow), 1972

Sheet 251 (Malmesbury), 1970

Sheet 264 (Bristol), 2004

Sheet 265 (Bath), 2011

Sheet 266 (Marlborough), 1974

Sheet 280 (Wells), 1984

Sheet 281 (Frome), 2000

Sheet 282 (Devizes), 2008

Bristol District (Bristol Special Sheet), part of sheets 250, 251, 264, 265, 280 and 281, 1962.

1:10 000 The most recent revision of the component 1:10 000 scale National Grid maps of 1:50 000 Series sheet 265 Bath are listed below, along with the surveyors’ names and dates of survey. The surveyors were A J M Barron, R A Edwards, R A Ellison, A R Farrant, K R Royse, T H Sheppard, P J Strange and R K Westhead. Amendments to some maps were made by R J Wyatt in 1977–1985. Maps which have not been resurveyed since the 1965 publication of Sheet 265 at 1:63 360 are marked with an x. These maps, together with those listed as being surveyed only in part, have been reconstituted at the 1:10 000 scale from older component maps at the scale of 1:10 560 scale of either the National Grid or County Map series. Copies of maps from these and earlier large-scale surveys are available for reference in the BGS Libraries at Keyworth and Edinburgh, and at the BGS London Information Office in the Natural History Museum, South Kensington. Copies for purchase are produced on a print-on-demand basis and are available from the BGS Sales Desk.

Digital geological map data

In addition to the printed publications, many BGS geological maps are available in digital form. Details are given on the BGS website. National coverage of digital geological map data (DiGMapGB) is derived from geological maps at scales of 1:625 000, 1:250 000 and 1:50 000. Selected areas also have digital geological data derived from 1:10 000 scale geological maps. Digital geological data for offshore areas is derived from 1:250 000 scale geological maps.

Geophysical maps

1:250 000

51N 04W Bristol Channel, aeromagnetic anomaly, 1988

51N 04W Bristol Channel, Bouguer anomaly, 1988

Hydrogeological maps

1:100 000

Sheet 37 Groundwater Vulnerability of the Southern Cotswolds, 1990

Groundwater vulnerability maps are published by the Environment Agency from data commissioned from The Soil Survey and Land Research Centre and BGS, and are available from The Stationery Office (020 7873 0011).

Books and reports

Books and technical reports relevant to the district, including biostratigraphical reports, are listed in the References. Reports may be consulted at the BGS library or purchased from the BGS Sales Desk.

Documentary records collections

Detailed geological survey information, including large scale geological field maps, is archived at the BGS. Enquiries concerning unpublished geological data for the district should be addressed to the Manager, National Geoscience Data Centre (NGDC), BGS Keyworth.

Borehole and trial pit records

Borehole records for the district are catalogued in the NGDC at BGS Keyworth. Index information, which includes site references, names and depths for these boreholes, is available through the BGS website. Copies of records in the public domain can be ordered through the same website, or can be consulted at BGS Keyworth.

Hydrogeological data

Records of water wells, springs, and aquifer properties held at BGS Wallingford can be consulted through the BGS Hydrogeology Enquiry Service.

Geophysical data

These data are held digitally in the National Gravity Databank and the National Aero-magnetic Databank at BGS Keyworth. Seismic reflection data from coal and hydrocarbon exploration programmes is available for the north of the district. Indexes can be consulted on the BGS website.

BGS Lexicon of named rock units

Definitions of the stratigraphical units shown on BGS maps, including those named on Sheet 265 (Bath), are held in the BGS Stratigraphical Lexicon database, which can be consulted on the BGS website. Further information on this database can be obtained from the Lexicon Manager at BGS Keyworth.

BGS photographs

The photographs used in this Sheet Explanation are part of the National Archive of Geological Photographs, held at BGS in Keyworth and Edinburgh. Part of the collection can be viewed at BGS libraries at Keyworth and Edinburgh, and on the BGS website. Copies of the photographs can be purchased from the BGS.

Materials collections

Information on the collections of rock samples, thin sections, borehole samples (including core) and fossil material can be obtained from the Chief Curator, BGS Keyworth. Indexes can be consulted on the BGS website.

BGS addresses

The addresses of the main offices are given on the back cover.

BGS Hydrogeology Enquiry Service

British Geological Survey, Maclean Building, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, OX10 8BB. Telephone 01491 838800; fax 01491 692345.

Geology of the Bath area — contents