RSK Group - Geophysics Focus newsletter

Editorial

TOP

Welcome to the first issue of Geophysics Focus, the quarterly digest of news and views from RSK Group’s geophysics team.

Unlike many of its competitors, RSK Geophysics generally defied the recession in 2009. This is largely down to the STATS brand becoming more integrated with the RSK Group via the formation of three new companies: RSK STATS Ltd (materials and structures consultancy), RSK STATS Environment Health & Safety Ltd (asbestos, legionella, air quality, environmental management systems, permitting, auditing, and health and safety services) and RSK STATS Geoconsult Ltd (geotechnical and contaminated land consultancy, including geophysics).

As a part of this integration step-change, all STATS personnel have moved to a new, fully integrated office in Hemel Hempstead.

Through becoming more closely aligned with the UK’s largely privately-owned, multi-disciplinary environmental consultancy, a wealth of opportunities have opened up for RSK Geophysics including exciting new international opportunities and the launch of a new specialist utility detection and mapping arm, SafeGround.

2010 promises to be an exciting year for RSK Geophysics, and we are determined to build on our position as one of the UK’s most experienced, reliable and innovative geophysical service providers.

Thank you for your ongoing support! Here’s to a prosperous decade ahead and we look forward to working with you in the future.

George Tuckwell, RSK Geophysics director and team-leader

Latest news

New utility mapping and detection service launched

TOP

RSK STATS Geoconsult Ltd has launched a new utility mapping and detection service to complement its acclaimed geophysics team.

The service is applicable to projects that require focused, quick and cost-efficient awareness of subsurface utilities.

It will function as a one-stop shop for everything from the clearance of borehole locations to producing a detailed topographic drawing that documents underground service locations.

Utility surveys are available for a range of levels ranging from standard radio detection to full-site coverage using ground-penetrating radar scans.

“We are now one of the few companies in the UK offering a continuous spectrum for this type of site investigation,” said RSK STATS Geoconsult director and geophysics team leader, George Tuckwell.

The Hemel Hempstead-based service is headed by Gerwyn Leigh, who presided over the field and office teams at Subtechnics, widely regarded as one of the UK’s leading underground service investigation specialists.

Leigh also has the ability and experience to support the geophysics team with its more complex project work.

Contact George Tuckwell or Gerwyn Leigh for more information, or visit www.safe-ground.co.uk

safeground logo

SafeGround offers a one-stop shop for everything from clearing borehole locations to producing a detailed topographic drawing that documents underground service locations

 

 Example SafeGround CAD plan showing accurate location of all buried services and buried obstructions

Example SafeGround CAD plan showing accurate location of all buried services and buried obstructions

RSK Geophysics in the UAE

TOP

Last year RSK STATS Geoconsult Ltd provided significant input to an environmental, safety and health impactassessment (ESHIA) for the development of a drilling and oil-production training centre in Abu Dhabi’s Musaffah industrial area.

Taking place in the desert some 20km from the centre of Abu Dhabi, the project included extensive noise assessment and geophysics surveys.

Work was undertaken on behalf of Weatherford Oil Tool ME Ltd, part of one of the world’s largest oilfield services group, and delivered via RSK Environment llc, RSK Group’s Middle East-based company.

Over the course of three weeks, RSK Geophysics overcame temperatures soaring above 45°C, and operational restrictions caused by Ramadan, to obtain essential data. Techniques employed included the use of microgravity to identify the presence of natural voids in the limestone bedrock beneath the site.

“It is great to get our geophysics services out to the UAE as there is a lot of work to be done here,” said RSK STATS Geoconsult director and geophysics team leader, George Tuckwell.

The past few years have seen RSK Group build an impressive track record in the UAE through notable commissions from the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (which presides over the groundbreaking Masdar Initiative), the Abu Dhabi Airports Company, and Dolphin Energy Ltd, a powerful consortium responsible for one of the largest energy ventures in the Middle East.

For more information contact George Tuckwell.

Collecting microgravity data in the desert – over 1,000 gravity points were collected in extreme conditions

Collecting microgravity data in the desert – over 1,000 gravity points were collected in extreme conditions

Geophysical Techniques Explored - GPR

 

TOP

In each newsletter, we will introduce a different geophysical survey technique. This issue, we bring you a favourite, and one with which you may be familiar – ground-penetrating radar (GPR).

GPR is widely used for a host of applications within the engineering and construction industry, archaeology and forensic sectors, in geological and environmental science, and for utility detection and concrete inspection. GPR is part of an ideally safe technique for evaluating concrete, and has the highest resolution of any subsurface imaging, non-invasive method. GPR collection is rapid, undertaken at walking pace, and offers complete coverage of an area.

GPR is a non-destructive technique emits a short pulse of electromagnetic energy that is radiated into the subsurface (whether into the ground or engineered structure). When this pulse strikes an interface between layers of materials with different electrical properties, part of the wave reflects back, and the remaining energy continues through to the next interface (see diagram). Materials containing metal (such as pipes and rebars) completely reflect the GPR signal thereby producing the strongest signals. Consecutive profile lines can be built up to produce a 3D model of the subsurface; this method can prove to be an invaluable approach to mapping linear features across an area (such as utilities and features in structures).

The GPR systems we deploy are highly portable and comprise a handheld control unit connected by cable to the antenna, which operates at a range of frequencies that vary according to the target type and depth of penetration required. At higher frequencies, smaller targets, as well as closely spaced targets, are more readily detected than when using alternative detection techniques.

Below is a table of antennas we use to meet many requirements within a broad range of applications (depths may vary dependent on ground conditions)

Frequency

Typical depth of penetration (bgl)*

Common applications

2600 MHz

to 0.4m (12in)

Concrete evaluation

1500 MHz

to 0.7m (20in)

Concrete evaluation; void detection

900 MHz

0–1m (0–3ft)

Concrete evaluation; void detection

400 MHz

0–3m (0–9ft)

Utility, engineering & environmental
void detection

200 MHz

0–6m (0–20ft)

Utility, geological, engineering and environmental

100 MHz

0–12m (0–40ft)

Geological, engineering and mining

50 MHz

0–25m (0–75ft)

Geological

For more information, the GPR fact sheet can be downloaded from our site at:
www.environmental-geophysics.co.uk/tech_gpr.htm

GPR is a non-destructive technique  that emits a short pulse of electromagnetic energy that is radiated into the subsurface (whether into the ground or engineered structure).

GPR is a non-destructive technique that emits a short pulse of electromagnetic energy that is radiated into the subsurface (whether into the ground or engineered structure).

 

Example data from a road clearly showing location of a water main. GPR surveys can detect utilities missed by traditional radiodetection (CAT) and reduce the chances of a costly utility strike. 

Example data from a road clearly showing location of a water main.  GPR surveys can detect utilities missed by traditional radiodetection (CAT) and reduce the chances of a costly utility strike. 

 

RSK Geophysical Services use GSSI antennas, which feature the highest signal-to-noise ratio of any antennas available in the industry – they provide the highest quality data with clear and accurate results.

RSK Geophysical Services use GSSI antennas, which feature the highest signal-to-noise ratio of any antennas available in the industry – they provide the highest quality data with clear and accurate results.

FREE Reference Guide to Geophysics

TOP

RSK Geophysics’s manual, A Reference for Geophysical Techniques and Applications, is a first point of reference for increasing numbers of industry professionals, and has been adopted as a reference text for three MSc courses.

Find out what all the fuss is about by downloading your free copy here.

Hard copies are available free of charge. Email us for more details.

RSK Group: the one-stop-shop for environmental support services

TOP

RSK Group is the UK’s largest privately owned environmental consultancy providing over 200 individual services across 17 broad categories. The company employs 750 consultants across 35 worldwide locations, and last year reported a turnover of £63m.
 
For more information, visit www.rsk.co.uk