National Geological Screening for a GDF - Pennines region
Our work shows that we are unlikely to find enough suitable rock to accommodate all of the waste in most this subregion, although sufficient suitable rock to host part of it may be found.
Rock can be seen at the surface over much of the subregion, such as the Peak District, and in man-made excavations such as quarries or road cuttings. Combined with numerous deep boreholes and geophysical investigations in the coalfield areas, this gives us an understanding of the rocks present and their distribution.
Our work has identified no rocks in which it is likely that a GDF could be sited under most of the subregion however, there are clay-rich rock layers in a small area to the north-east of Nottingham in which it may be possible to site a GDF. We would need to do more work to find out whether these rocks have suitable properties and thicknesses.
Some of the subregion has been mined for coal and metal resources to depths below 100m, such as the Lancashire and East Pennine Coalfields, and there are also known oil and gas resources, such as around Chesterfield and to the south of Retford. In these areas the mining and drilling is likely to have affected the way in which water moves through the rock. Also possible exploration in the future in these areas means that it is more likely that future generations may disturb a facility.
The western and eastern parts of the 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 the oil or gas in these licence areas will be exploited. RWM will continue to monitor how this exploration programme progresses.
Parts of this area, around Burnley and Doncaster in particular, 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.
There are thermal springs in the Peak District which indicate that groundwater is moving rapidly from depth to the surface in these areas. This would need to be considered in the siting of a GDF in this subregion.
For further information, read the report below.
We have also produced a summary of the geological attributes of the Pennines and adjacent areas Region.