C.6 Hydrological information

Surface water flow and run-off data is collected by the environment agencies, water companies, private water undertakings and occasionally by local authorities or academic researchers. Since 1985, both surface water flow data and groundwater level data have been published jointly by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) and the British Geological Survey (BGS) through the National Hydrological Monitoring Programme (see http://www.ceh.ac.uk/data/nrfa/nhmp/nhmp.html for further information [last viewed 24 June 2015]).

Evapotranspiration and soil moisture information is issued weekly by the Meteorological Office as part of the MORECS (Meteorological Office Rainfall and Evaporation Calculation System) service, which includes data on potential evapotranspiration over Great Britain. All enquiries concerning MORECS should be addressed to the Meteorological Office.

C.7 Aerial photographs and satellite imagery

There are many collections of aerial photographs for the United Kingdom extending back over several decades. These are not centrally archived and there is no complete index available. In order to establish availability for a particular area of the country, it might be necessary to contact several sources.

The key national archives of aerial photographs in the UK are:

  • a) for England — English Heritage Archive;26)
  • b) for Wales — Central Register of Air Photography for Wales;27)
  • c) for Scotland — Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS);28)
  • d) for Northern Ireland — Land and Property Services, Department of Finance and Personnel Northern Ireland.29)

Dedicated acquisition of remote sensing data from aerial platforms is principally available via commercial organizations such as:

  • 1) The Environment Agency Geomatics Group;30)
  • 2) GetMapping;31)
  • 3) BlueSky.32)

Each of these organizations can acquire a range of remote sensing data including LIDAR, thermal imaging, and multispectral and hyper-spectral imagery, and derivative products such as elevation models.

Remote sensing imagery (airborne and satellite) is also available via platforms such as NASA's Whirlwind. These online systems are versatile tools for viewing recent and past images online, and basic functionality is provided to digitize linework.

While vertical photographs from conventional aircraft were once the dominant source of imagery, recent very high resolution (VHR) satellite imagery, e.g. from SPOT, Pleiades, RapidEye, IKONOS, etc., is proving a viable alternative. Photographs and imagery derived from remotely piloted air systems (RPAS), sometimes also referred to as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are also becoming a standard tool in surveying with many suppliers in the UK.

C.8 Seismological information

Computer listings and maps of earthquakes occurring in the United Kingdom and elsewhere can be obtained from the Global Seismology Group of the BGS, based in Edinburgh.33) The information, which is accumulated from the World Network, and the seismographs and seismographic arrays in the United Kingdom, includes time of occurrence, epicentral distance, focal depth and magnitude. The listing includes historical references from a wide range of sources from both the United Kingdom and elsewhere. On request, the data can be converted to a quantitative assessment of the seismic hazard at a site, including the probability of a particular ground acceleration being exceeded (per year).

C.9 Information related to voids

Several publications are available giving guidance on sources of information for mine-related desk studies. The principal sources of information specific to voids are listed below:

  • BGS mining portal;
  • Natural Cavities database held by Peter Brett Associates and the BGS34);
  • UK Coal Authority databases35) including the Catalogue of Abandoned Coal Mines, Coal Mining Referral Area Maps;
  • Review of Mining Instability in Great Britain prepared by Ove Arup on behalf of the Department of the Environment;
  • the Cheshire Brine Subsidence Compensation Board database (regarding solution mining of salt in Cheshire);
  • catalogue of Plans of Abandoned Mines for Minerals other than Coal and Oil Shale, held by Local Authorities (formerly held by The Health and Safety Executive);
  • local enquiries to mining and quarry firms, mining consultants, local authorities, or even individuals can often produce information about abandoned mines and quarries that is unobtainable elsewhere; and
  • plans and records of refuse tips associated with abandoned mines and quarries maintained under the Mines and Quarries (Tips) Act 1969 [168].

C.10 Other sources of information

Other sources of information include:

  • a) the maps of the Second Land Utilization Survey of Britain;36)
  • b) records of mines and mineral deposits (see C.9);
  • c) maps published by a number of individuals before the establishment of the Ordnance Survey. Copies of these can often be found in public libraries and local museums;
  • d) UXO bomb damage maps; and
  • e) Goad insurance maps.

The Transport Research Laboratory Report 192 [10] is another useful source of information.