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Terrestrial Geology Collections - Information about datasets

The terrestrial geology collections are held in the British Antarctic Survey’s (BAS) main rock store, palaeontology laboratories and offsite storage facility. These contain over 150,000 specimens collected primarily from Antarctica and the sub-Antarctic Islands over the last 60 years. There are a wide range of samples collected for a variety of geological disciplines such as petrology, mineralogy, sedimentology and palaeontology. Preparations derived from the source material such as thin sections (40,000) and crushed products (25,000) are also held.

The location and field identification details of all the specimens are maintained within the BAS geological database. This database links specimens with their associated preparations and holds analyses data such as geochemistry. There are also archival items including field notebooks and maps that relate to individual specimens.

The ‘Type and Figured’ fossil collection contains specimens that have been formally described or figured in the scientific literature. Images plus associated taxonomic and bibliographic details of over 2000 fossils can be viewed online.

Most of the hard rock specimens are stored in plastic trays and boxes while the fossils are stored in purpose built wooden cabinets. The environmental conditions are monitored to make sure the condition of the collection does not deteriorate.

Geological samples are available for loan to recognised institutions. We also encourage anyone who would like to use the specimens to come and visit to enable use of all of the supporting information and resources as well as the specimens.

For further information about the terrestrial geology collections please contact Alex Tate or Hilary Blagbrough at the British Antarctic Survey.