Single Onshore Boreholes Index (SOBI)

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Dataset Description:

The BGS’s Single Onshore Boreholes Index (SOBI) data is an archive of over 1,000,000 records of boreholes, shafts, and wells compiled from BGS’s historical investigation activities. The archive covers onshore and near shore boreholes across Great Britain, dating back to at least 1790, and ranging from one to several thousand metres deep. It is constantly updated with the results of new drilling, leading to thousands of new records being added each year.

The borehole records are produced from a geologist or surveyor’s observations of the rock core extracted from the ground. They typically include:

  • Geographic coordinates/Locality
  • Lithological descriptions with depth and thickness, starting from the ground surface and proceeding with depth to the extent of the drilling
  • Water level measurements and geochemistry data, where measured

In addition to the digital SOBI data, where applicable scans of the original paper borehole record documents are hosted online and a URL link is included as an attribute.


Dataset Thumbnail:


Dataset Specification:

Product Name:

Single Onshore Boreholes Index (SOBI)

Data Provider:

British Geological Survey (BGS)




Great Britain (and nearshore)

Data Structure:

Vector (points)


Esri Shapefile, Esri File GeoDatabase, MapInfo TAB, MID/MIF, Autodesk DWG, OGC KML, OGC GML, CSV (attribute data only) (links to scanned images)



BGS Licence

Update Frequency:

Dataset Resources:

Product site
Borehole scans site
Abbreviations used in borehole records (pdf)
What is a borehole (pdf)