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28 November 2014 |   ByIan Finnie
Fugro Author

Fugro’s global network of geoconsulting specialists prides itself on its unparalleled range of premium geoscience solutions. An integrated, multidisciplinary approach to data acquired offshore is a primary focus of the group.

The traditional approach, which separates elements of a project – such as geotechnical site investigations, geophysical surveys and their interpretations – into discrete work packages, risks overlooking the intrinsic value of integrating these elements.

Integrated Geoscience
Geotechnical design expertise from the team in Perth, Australia.

Advanced Geomechanics’ reputation as a powerhouse of geotechnical design expertise was clear from the outset. What quickly became evident was the talent of their integrated geoscience team and their unique knowledge of local conditions. This expertise is especially significant to future developments in the Timor Sea and Australia’s North West Shelf, including the Browse Basin.
Peter Burger, Managing Director, Advanced Geomechanics
Ceduna Sediment
Calcareous soils pose unique challenges.

Fugro has championed the benefits of data integration in offshore development projects during the planning and design phases and applies its specialist geological, geomorphological and geotechnical knowledge to produce a coherent and intuitive ground model hosted using tools such as GIS. As new information emerges throughout the operational life of the project, the model is further refined and developed to enhance the understanding of the geology.

Fugro provides these integrated interpretive geoscience and geohazard analysis studies, site investigation and survey support as well as engineering and development design and planning consultancy. Its expertise has been enriched with experience gained from completed projects, especially those in the calcareous soils that pose unique challenges to the global offshore industry. Collaboration and interaction with academic institutions across the globe has steadily reinforced Fugro’s capabilities.

Data Acquisition - The Cornerstone of Detailed Multidisciplinary Integration

Acquiring sufficient and suitable multidisciplinary data, particularly over the life of a development project, requires significant investment, both financially and in terms of time. It is also a complex undertaking but unlocking additional value and information within acquired data through integration can significantly enhance the safety of infrastructure over its lifespan.

The integration of geotechnical, geophysical, meteorological, oceanographic, paleontological, sedimentological and seismological data can reveal otherwise hidden information, facilitating the production of a valuable multi-faceted data ground model. The model can be constructed and interpreted to provide an interactive way of interrogating and visualising the correlations or disagreements (each perfectly valid and valuable) between multidisciplinary datasets to assist planning and designing seafloor infrastructure or assessing risk.

A further dimension can be added by comparing previous datasets, i.e. adding time or 4D perspectives to the data. A 4D approach can help to quantify the rate of movement or development of a surface or subsurface feature and even provide information about the hydrodynamic regime in a localised area.

If a feature is related to localised stress in the crust, or is situated on the top of an escarpment or shelf break, information on the local or regional seismicity is essential in determining the risk of sediment or slope instability, or seismic risk to the planned infrastructure. This type of study will contribute to a broader seismic source model and Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Assessment (PSHA) which will address the potential risk of seismic activity and its potential effects on a development.

The Big Picture - Using all Available Information to Understand the Geological Context

With opportunities to acquire a vast range of data the adequate design of a survey is critical. It is essential to consider all information requirements for a project, addressing short-term and long-term objectives in order to optimise and futureproof the data acquisition programme. Data acquisition should reflect the engineering needs and consider the appropriate interpretations and analyses required for optimal engineering design  and field layout geometries.

An additional consideration is the way data is acquired, standardising the geodesy and spatial relationships to achieve data integration. Quality control will ensure that the data resolves the information needed, particularly with respect to geohazards. The consequences of poor data quality can echo throughout the lifetime of a project, as data  is continually revisited.

Integration - The Foundation for Successful Engineering

The success of a survey, and acquiring appropriate data types with sufficient quality, can be influenced by human, environmental, mechanical and technical elements. When all elements are executed correctly, the results can optimise information for design and engineering solutions.

Fugro lays a solid foundation from which integrated models can be derived and successful projects completed. With a team of geoconsulting specialists, its capabilities and expertise provide premium advice and solutions across the globe.


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