Virtual boreholes: new innovation in advanced GI techniques
13 December 2016
Geophysical data acquisition
Virtual boreholes are an innovative addition to site characterisation and foundation design. Formulated from combined geophysical techniques, they provide information on soil stiffness, in-situ Gmax values and elastic moduli. Initially employed for site characterisation to allow risk profiling at tendering stage, these non-intrusive assessments provide early stage/pre-FEED geotechnical information that can follow through to design stage.
Developed by APEX Geoservices based on extensive correlations with direct investigation, virtual boreholes can be applied to any investigation where geotechnical information is required, particularly where options for drilling are limited. Lack of geotechnical information results in unnecessarily high levels of risk at design and construction stage. The incorporation of this non-intrusive, cost effective investigative approach into a phased ground investigation limits risk, resulting in significant cost saving through increased data coverage and optimisation of targeted direct investigation.
Physical parameters are analysed to provide estimated geotechnical properties (SPT, RQD, Su) focused at the point of investigation (e.g. turbine foundation centre) along with information on soil type, depth to bedrock, rock type and excavatability. This process also provides lateral risk profiling for voids, karst, soft ground, and peat or legacy landfill and allows micrositing of structures to avoid potential construction risks.
Virtual boreholes can be integrated with other ground investigation data (e.g. boreholes, trial pits, and LIDAR data) to provide fully integrated ground models for use in different design packages e.g. Civils 3D. APEX Geoservices are currently engaged in an Intertrade Ireland sponsored FUSION project developing Civils 3D and BIM compatible products.
APEX Geoservices is the largest geophysical consultancy in Ireland and an established Geoscience Ireland partner. Using the latest technologies, its qualified and experienced geophysicists have completed over 1,500 national and international investigations as specialist providers to geotechnical engineering consultants, councils, Government bodies and private companies as well as co-operating with local stakeholders and communities. All investigations are carried out under the supervision of registered professional geologists (PGeo).
APEX Geoservices works closely with academic institutes in researching and developing new applications both onshore and offshore. A recently completed research collaboration in association with the University College Dublin School of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering has successfully applied surface wave technology to the marine environment. This new capability for determining engineering properties of shallow marine sediments adds to the offshore capabilities of APEX Geoservices.http://www.engineersjournal.ie/2016/12/13/virtual-boreholes-new-innovation-in-advanced-gi-techniques/http://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/APEX.jpghttp://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/APEX-300x300.jpgSponsoredgeoscience,Geoscience Ireland