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New paradigms in subsurface prediction by Michael S Rosenbaum and A Keith Turner The catchily titled New Paradigms in Subsurface Prediction - characterisation of the shallow subsurface - Implications for urban infrastructure and environmental assessment , is a 400 page tome from Euroconference 2001.

The authors explain how characterisation of the shallow subsurface has gained importance as geotechnical engineering has become more dependent on a precise definition of geomechanical and geohydrological properties.A better understanding of the subsurface conditions offers wide-ranging benefits, they say.

Subsurface modelling techniques have matured since the 1980s along with modern database concepts.The evolution of the internet and web-browser technologies has expanded and subsurface models are being integrated with decision-support systems to provide predictions of technical and economic performance.

Yet the authors point out that even the most sophisticated of these models leave some uncertainty in geological interpretation.A variety of techniques for assessing uncertainty has been developed and is being evaluated.The book is priced at £69.ISBN 3 540 43776 2 Britain beneath our feet The British Geological Survey has released an Atlas illustrating the digital data it holds for the subsurface of the UK.It describes the geology, land and water quality, hazards and resources.

There are 48 themes in the book and each is illustrated with a double page spread containing an overview map of the UK, a thumbnail map showing where the data is and an inset revealing what the digital data looks like at high resolution.

The Atlas is £5, available from all BGS offices, tel:0115 936 3100, or can be ordered online at www. bgs. ac. uk

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