Seafloor-imagery

Geohazard studies

Our geohazard assessment service includes identification, analysis, risk assessment, mitigation and solution engineering applied to land and marine exploration, development and construction projects. Our experienced team of geologists, geophysicists, environmental scientists and geotechnical engineers apply their considerable knowledge and experience to minimise the impact of geohazards on cost, safety and environmental integrity.

Reducing the impact of geohazards

Our approach centres on integrating multidisciplinary datasets within a framework of knowledge, based on our vast global experience in all types of environments. 

The combination of remote sensing data – including seismic, acoustic and laser imagery – and geological and geotechnical samples often forms the basis for our work. Specialist logging, testing and analysis provide further detail. Total integration of all information enables us to determine geohazard risk and complete site-specific probabilistic and post-event analyses.

When geohazards can’t be avoided they must be mitigated and their impact reduced to an acceptable level. We provide the platform for geohazards specialists to work seamlessly with geotechnical engineers to address these risks. As well as informing and guiding the engineering design process, based on the sensitivities and parameters of soil units, we advise on the design of remedial actions to rectify immediate issues and mitigate against future potential risks.

If you’re selecting the optimal location for a structure on land or on the seabed, the risks of exposure to quantified geohazards will be a constraint. The same is true if you’re choosing a route for a linear installation, such as a pipeline or road, where there will also be installation constraints to consider. 

By applying sophisticated probabilistic approaches to assess the relative importance and sensitivity of individual constraints, we can address these concerns and help guide your decision-making process towards the lowest-cost solution.

Our geohazard services include:

  • Identification, evaluation, analysis, modelling and mitigation of land and marine geohazards
  • Regional and wellsite drilling geohazard assessment and geopressure prediction
  • Sediment transport and erosion assessments
  • Debris flow and turbidity flow modelling
  • Enhanced marine slope stability analysis, including probabilistic modelling using GIS based analytic tools
  • Landslide hazard assessment and seepage studies
  • Qualitative and quantitative risk assessment
  • Geohazard core logging, geological mapping and trench logging
  • Route optimisation and site selection

Geohazards represent a significant risk to land and marine construction and development projects. They can have an impact at all stages of a project, from design and construction right through to working life and decommissioning. 

Based on our expertise and proven track record in this area, we know that the key to addressing these risks lies in early identification and analysis, followed by updating and refinement as new data is collected and the project passes from one stage to the next.

Unstable slopes

Unstable slopes are a common hazard on a wide range of developments, on land and in the marine environment. On hillsides they present a serious hazard to nearby buildings. That’s why, when we design a mitigation solution, we always make sure it’s based on a full understanding of soil conditions and their geotechnical parameters. Submarine slopes as shallow as 1 degree can be unstable. Our experts accurately assess the risks, armed with a thorough understanding of historical geological processes such as debris flows, mass wasting and turbidity currents.

Shallow gas

Shallow gas pockets are a common hazard to offshore drilling in all water depths. Our experts identify shallow gas from high resolution seismic reflection data. We can also assess their impact on drilling engineering boreholes and the top hole sections of oil and gas wells. This assessment is crucial to the safety of offshore exploration.

Sediment transport and erosion

Unstable and mobile sediments pose a serious risk to structures in land and marine environments, in any water depth. For example, interaction between the seafloor and pipelines or cables will determine the speed and depth of their burial, which will in turn have a direct bearing on their performance and working life. Sediment scour around marine and in-water foundations can be severe and takes place within very short time frames, seriously compromising the integrity of your assets. 

Our approach to geohazard assessment centres on interpreting and integrating multiple data types, and the application of sound geoscience principles. Geohazard assessment identifies past occurrence and predicts the potential reoccurrence of geohazard events. It also puts geohazards into a spatial and temporal context by determining:

  • The location of the geohazard feature
  • The potential magnitude of associated hazardous events
  • The potential for these events to reoccur during the life of the development

Our engineering geologists combine all the evidence obtained from geological studies and, where appropriate, a customised geological testing and age dating programme. They use sophisticated modelling techniques to determine whether the processes that led to past geohazard events will continue or reoccur during the lifetime of the development. In developing a mitigation solution, our engineering geologists interact closely with our geotechnical engineers to provide you with an outcome that considers all the geoscience and engineering factors.

Our approach provides the following benefits:

  • Working closely with you from the outset, allows you to act on our findings as early as possible to plan mitigation cost effectively and reduce project risk
  • We make maximum use of existing datasets to keep costly data collection programmes to a minimum
  • By identifying potential geohazards early, when investigative programmes for new data collection are required, they can be optimised and costs kept to a minimum
  • With seamless access to our global network of geoscience and engineering specialists, we’re able to apply world-class expertise to solving your problems in the most technically competent and efficient way
  • We promote regular exchange of technical information and pride ourselves on delivering results and guidance with no surprises, so you can plan your project efficiently and execute them effectively

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