GB3D — 3D geological model for Great Britain v2012

Dataset title National Bedrock Fence Diagram of Great Britain - GB3D_v2012
Dataset creators British Geological Survey
Dataset theme Geoscientific Information
Dataset abstract

The 3D cross section or fence diagram, comprising the GB3D_v2012 dataset complements the existing BGS 1:625 000 scale map sheets utilising the same colour schema and geological classification. The model covers the onshore area of Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) and the Isle of Man and comprises 121 cross-sections with a total linear length exceeding 20 000 km built to depths varying between 1.5–6 km.

Whilst the fence diagram is compatible with the geological linework of the 1:625 000 scale bedrock mapsheets, UK North and South, some of the detail of faulting, minor intrusions and lithological variations within individual units have not been included in the cross-sections. The same stratigraphical schema has been followed and 341 units including intrusions and metamorphic suites are distinguished in the fence sections.

The sections have all been constructed in the GSI3D software many with the aid of raster backdrops of both maps and sections derived from existing bedrock models at resolutions varying from 1 : 1 Million to 1:10 000 and published literature. Additionally, short trimmed excerpts from sections depicted on the margins of the BGS 1:50 000 scale mapsheet series have been used to ensure that the geology depicted by the fence diagram is also consistent with the map sections. The result is a framework of sections that have been constructed intelligently by using all the available data. As a result, the fence diagram should contain a high degree of spatial accuracy as it is keyed into many previous interpretations themselves based on available data from deep boreholes and seismic lines. The fence diagram units have also been attributed with a variety of hydrogeological properties in England and Wales.

The dataset provides a useful educational resource for geoscience students and the general public and also the bedrock geology context and structure for national, regional, basin-wide and catchment scale studies.


Lithostratigraphical classification: The organization of rock bodies into units on the basis of their lithological properties and their stratigraphical relations.

Lithological: The description of the macroscopic features of a rock, e.g. its texture, structure, mineralolgy.

Stratigraphical: Classification of sedimentary rock units in terms of the age and order of depostion.

Fence Diagrams: Fence diagrams are used for representing geological data in three dimensions.

Hydrogeological: dealing with the occurrence and distribution of underground water

Dataset content dates 2009–2012
Dataset spatial coverage Great Britain
Dataset supply format 3D pdf, Google Earth layer (KMZ) and as part of a free BGS Lithoframe model viewer
Dataset language English-United Kingdom
Dataset discovery metadata record Discovery Link to the dataset's BGS Discovery Metadata record.
Also available as ISO19115/19139 XML.
Dataset publisher British Geological Survey
Dataset publication date December 2012
Dataset digital object identifier (DOI) doi:10.5285/f60c6923-0bd2-4469-bc7a-9c0775453ac8
Dataset citation text National Bedrock Fence Diagram of Great Britain - GB3D_v2012
Constraints and terms of use The GB3D geological model for Great Britain is available for free as a digital download; either as a 3D pdf, as a Google Earth layer (KMZ) or as part of a free BGS model viewer:
The GB3D downloads are delivered under the Open Government Licence, subject to the following acknowledgement accompanying the reproduced BGS materials: "Contains British Geological Survey materials © NERC [year]".
Free for commercial, research and public use. Acknowledge the material.
Access the dataset Version 2012 of the National Bedrock Fence Diagram of Great Britain is available on request from BGS Enquiries. The updated version 2014 is available to download.
Further information GB3D — 3D geological model for Great Britain v2012