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Karst, GIS and geological hazard planning and management in Great Britain

By A.H. Cooper, A.R. Farrant and S.J. Price

Abstract

The British Geological Survey (BGS) database of karst features for the United Kingdom include dolines, cave entrances, stream sinks, resurgences and building damage; data for approximately half of the country has so far been gathered. BGS makes and utilises digital geological map data, which includes lithological and stratigraphical information for bedrock and superficial deposits. By incorporating this digital map data with digital elevation slope models and karst data, BGS has generated a derived dataset assessing the likelihood of subsidence due to karst collapse. This dataset is informed and verified by the karst database and marketed as part of its GeoSure suite; the karst layer includes areas of limestone, chalk, gypsum and salt. It is currently used by environmental regulators, the insurance and construction industries plus the BGS semi-automated enquiry system. The karst database and GeoSure datasets can be combined and manipulated using GIS to make other datasets that deal with specific problems. Sustainable drainage systems, some of which use soak-aways into the ground are being encouraged in the UK, but in karst areas they can cause problems. Similarly, open loop ground source heat pumps may induce subsidence if installed in certain types of karst such as chalk with overlying sand deposits. Groundwater abstraction also has the potential to trigger subsidence in karst areas. GIS manipulation of the karst information will allow the UK to be zoned into areas suitable, or unsuitable, for such uses; it has the potential to become part of a suite of planning management tools for local and National Government to assess the long term sustainable use of the ground

Topics: Earth Sciences, Data and Information, Hydrology, Electronics, Engineering and Technology
Publisher: ISPRA (Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale)
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:nora.nerc.ac.uk:10938

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