The BGS said that the data will be a valuable resource for companies, researchers and decision-makers in their work to ensure sustainable developments of the marine environment. The information comprises geophysical data representing 800,000km of the geology of the UK marine environment, enough to wrap around the British Isles over 200 times or to the moon and back.
The data are derived from 18,500 paper records, which have been scanned and can now be viewed online on the BGS Offshore GeoIndex. This builds on the release in 2014 of geological data from around 80,000 sampling locations.
This release also includes viewable BGS digital geological map products, together with new geological maps of the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) area, produced in collaboration with the Crown Estate, which provides the geological context for the GeoIndex data.
Bob Gatliff, director of marine and energy geoscience at the BGS, said: "The free release of 800,000km of BGS single-channel shallow-marine seismic data represents another step-change in easy access to BGS data which will benefit offshore developers, researchers and government. This latest release follows a major scanning programme completed prior to the BGS Scotland move to the Lyell Centre."
As the UK national collection, the BGS said it would welcome donation of additional digital data to benefit the entire community of users.
Keith Westhead, marine geologist at the BGS, said: "The Offshore GeoIndex now includes a critical mass of open data and geological mapping, meaning it is the ‘must see/ go to' resource for UK offshore studies. The new ‘clip-zip-ship' tools make it an efficient and practical starting point for projects studying the seabed and subsurface across the UKCS."
Sam Franklin, GIS manager with LR Senergy, commented: "This is a really useful addition to the already valuable ‘Offshore GeoIndex' from the BGS. The marine sectors are under pressure to make better use of existing data and the BGS is certainly playing its part by releasing data under the Open Government Licence (OGL). Lloyd's Register is looking forward to working with the BGS to help liberate further data in future releases for the benefit of the wider industry."