OR/15/048 Introduction

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Bearcock, J M, Smedley, P L and Milne, C J. 2015. Baseline groundwater chemistry: the Corallian of the Vale of Pickering, Yorkshire. British Geological Survey Internal Report, OR/15/048.

This study concerns the Corallian aquifer of the Vale of Pickering. The aquifer crops out over the Cleveland Hills, Hambleton Hills, Howardian Hills, and North York Moors, and they underlie the superficial deposits which are found at the base of the low-lying Vale of Pickering (Allen et al., 1997[1]

While the River Derwent, which flows through the Vale of Pickering, is a very important source of potable water in the region, there is 'no water available' for increased abstraction (Natural England, 2015[2]). The Corallian aquifer was developed in this region after proposals to build a regulating dam in the North York Moors were rejected in 1970 (Reeves et al., 1978[3]). As a result it is locally important to Scarborough and the surrounding areas. The upper reaches of the River Derwent provide recharge to this aquifer near to Scarborough (Natural England, 2015[2]), and downstream the River Derwent itself is predominantly groundwater fed (Environment Agency, 2013[4]).

The main use of water within the Derwent catchment is for aquaculture, accounting for two thirds of the water abstracted. This water is mostly non consumptive and therefore classed as throughflow. Public water supply accounts for about a quarter of the total licenced volume within the Derwent catchment (Environment Agency, 2013[4]). Groundwater is also abstracted for spray irrigation, industrial, domestic and agricultural uses.

This report characterises the groundwater chemistry in the Corallian aquifer of the Vale of Pickering, describing available information on spatial and temporal variability.


  1. ALLEN, D J, BREWERTON, L M, COLEBY, L M, GIBBS, B R, LEWIS, M A, MACDONALD, A M, WAGSTAFF, S and WILLIAMS, A T. 1997. The physical properties of major aquifers in England and Wales. British Geological Survey, WD/97/34 (Keyworth).
  2. 2.0 2.1 NATURAL ENGLAND. 2015. National Character Area Profile: 26. Vale of Pickering www.gov.uk/natural-england.
  3. REEVES, M J, PARRY, E L, and RICHARDSON, G. 1978. Preliminary investigation of the groundwater resources of the western part of the Vale of Pickering. Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology, Vol. 11, 253-262.
  4. 4.0 4.1 EA. 2015. What's in your backyard? Interactive maps http://www.environmentagency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/37793.aspx Accessed 10/7/15. [cited 10/7/15].