Site characterisation

Fugro provides the representative characterisation that is deemed crucial to achieving practical and cost-effective design of a development site. Our technical specialists are highly experienced in geological studies, geophysical surveys and geotechnical site investigations - from conception, planning and onsite management through to data acquisition, analysis and interpretation.

Our site characterisation services for engineering projects, both onshore and offshore, are enriched with the global experience of our team which includes specialist knowledge of a number of non-standard soils. We are involved in many stages of site characterisation: development of localised and regional geological maps; site investigation/survey specification and supervision; interpretation of geotechnical and geophysical data to define soil and rock parameters for use in engineering design.

Maximising value, we differentiate our services in these principal areas:

  • Planning offshore geophysical surveys and onsite client representation – We utilise industry-leading software for data processing and interpretation, portraying complex data in a clear and concise format using a range of visualisation tools.
  • Planning geological/geotechnical campaigns and onsite client representation – Our geologists log recovered soil and rock samples (often using non-destructive methods) and select samples for characterisation and specialist testing at our in-house soil laboratories. Our project-specific geotechnical interpretative report follows integration of the field and laboratory results by our interpretation specialists.

Information from geophysical and geotechnical campaigns is combined effectively and, using a geographic information systems (GIS) framework, we undertake integrated studies. Our specialists perform slabbing and paleontological logging of select samples as well as both high level and detailed geohazard assessments.  We conduct detailed analysis, interpretation and state-of-the-art visualisation of geotechnical, geological and geophysical datasets for a greater understanding of infrastructure and development sites and to derive maximum value from acquired geophysical and geotechnical data.

Fugro’s range of site characterisation services includes:

  • Geological Studies – Evaluation of the effects that potential geohazards - such as landslides, earthquakes and soil and rock conditions - have on dams and levees; public works facilities; residential, commercial and industrial buildings; ports and harbours; transportation systems; offshore developments and energy facilities.  Our geologists specialise in data acquisition, consulting services, geologic hazards risk assessment and mitigation.  Our geographic information systems (GIS) capabilities enhance our effective communication of site conditions to clients, project owners and the public. GIS allows full integration of different types of data, to show multi-faceted elements of a site and to gain a deeper understanding of conditions and project risks.
  • Design of Geophysical and Geotechnical Survey Programmes – Considerable expertise in geophysical and geotechnical survey planning and management and data acquisition techniques enables us to efficiently design and help manage survey programmes. We focus on optimising execution while gathering data that addresses project-specific requirements.
  • Independent Field Supervision and Advice – With our experienced personnel onsite to focus on survey planning and execution, we ensure the efficient collection of field testing data and good quality soil and rock samples. The presence of our experienced personnel onsite to monitor and process data as well as adapt the workscope based on findings in the field assures you that survey objectives are being achieved. We also provide round-the-clock support and specialist advice from our worldwide network of offices.
  • Specification, Supervision and Interpretation of Advanced Laboratory Testing Programmes – A high quality laboratory test programme is a key aspect in the preparation of an efficient and useful geotechnical interpretive report. Our geotechnical specialists prepare and manage sophisticated, novel soil and model (1-g & centrifuge) testing programmes.  All field and laboratory test results are interpreted in a consistent manner and the results are used for characterisation and derivation of geotechnical parameters for design.
  • Interpretation and Visualisation of Geophysical (2D and 3D) and Geotechnical Data – We collate geotechnical data and create geotechnical interpretive reports to provide definition of soil profiles and interpreted engineering parameters. Our geophysicists work with a wide variety of industry standard data formats and utilise a combination of 2D, 3D and 4D data sets. A suite of state-of-the-art software and hardware tools is used to present and visualise the data.
  • Specialism in Non-Standard Soils - Fugro’s experience places us at the forefront of characterisation and engineering in non-standard soils such as carbonate sediments and permafrost.  
    • Carbonate Soil: Our knowledge of carbonate soil extends to predicting the behaviour of a variety of foundations types when installed in these materials - in particular the degradation of the intact soil strength under environmental and seismic load conditions.
    • Permafrost: Our extensive knowledge of permafrost has been gained from site investigation (including in situ tests and geophysical methods), determination of engineering properties for normal and saline permafrost (onshore and offshore), analysis for engineering foundations and the design of techniques such as thermosyphons using advanced thermal modelling.
  • Integrated Studies to Generate Tailored Site Characterisation and Engineering Recommendations – The calibration of geophysics with geotechnical information results in development of a more robust model of ground conditions and site characterisation, which can provide a deeper understanding of the ground conditions over a wider area. Alternative we can focus on a location of interest, depending on your specific project requirements.  Integrated presentation of data in the form of reports, maps, figures and interactive models is regarded as an invaluable reference tool.

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