National Geological Screening for a GDF - Eastern England region
Our work shows that we may find a suitable geological setting for a GDF in most of this subregion.
Although rocks cannot generally be seen at the surface in this subregion except in man-made excavations such as quarries or road cuttings, numerous deep boreholes and geophysical investigations give us an understanding of the rocks present and their distribution.
There are clay-rich rock layers under the whole subregion in which we may be able to site a GDF. There are also layers of rock salt west of Kingston upon Hull and Driffield, and around Bridlington, in which we may be able to site a facility. We would need to do more work to find out whether these rocks have suitable properties and thicknesses.
Even where individual clay-rich rock layers are found not to be thick enough to host a GDF they may contribute to the safety of a GDF in deeper rocks as they could act as a barrier to groundwater flow from depth. This is important because movement of groundwater is one of the ways in which radioactive material could be carried back to the surface.
There are known gas resources at Saltfleetby north of Mablethorpe. In this area the drilling is likely to have affected the way in which water moves through the rock. Also possible exploration in the future in this area means that it is more likely that future generations may disturb a facility.
Parts of this subregion have Petroleum Exploration & Development Licences to allow companies to explore for oil and gas. This exploration is currently at an early stage and it is not known whether oil or gas in these licence areas will be exploited. RWM will continue to monitor how this exploration programme progresses.
Parts of this area, immediately off the coast and in the Humber estuary, are Coal Authority Licence Areas allowing companies to explore for coal. It is not known whether coal in these licence areas will be exploited. RWM will also continue to monitor how this exploration programme progresses.
For further information, read the report below.
We have also produced a summary of the geological attributes of the Eastern England Region.