To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what funds have been allocated, or what proposals exist for such funding, to the British geological survey for an improved seismic monitoring network; and if he will make a statement.
[holding answer 24 April 1990]: The British geological survey's (BGS's) programme of monitoring and studying earthquakes has been supported principally by grant-in-aid from my Department to the natural environment research council (NERC) for the past 20 years. The BGS's work has been supplemented by seismographic stations established by Department of the Environment (DOE), Department of Energy (DEng) and others.In 1989–90, the NERC and the DOE consolidated the BGS work within the framework of the United Kingdom seismic monitoring and information service, co-sponsored by a customer group of Government Departments and commercial organisations, to support the improvement of the seismic monitoring network. In 1989–90, funding amounted to £400,000—70 per cent. contributed by NERC grant-in-aid. The cost of upgrading to a uniform network at 70 km spacing is estimated at £1 million spread over three years, with total running costs of about £1 million per year. Further efforts are being made to enlarge the customer group in order to achieve this.