True Stories

(Just a few to illustrate how geophysics saves time and money)

  • Grading for a new school building encountered an unexpected ridge of rock, leading to a six month delay and $400K cost overrun. We do seismic surveys all the time to prevent exactly this.

  • A large recreational facility was sited on a former landfill – the architect was designing it to withstand intense seismic shaking. A seismic site classification study showed that it could be built to a lesser standard, saving millions of dollars in construction cost.

  • Regular microgravity surveys in an industrial facility detect sinkhole activity just as it begins – allowing remediation before any structures or machinery are damaged.

  • The first monitoring well on a former industrial site penetrated floating hydrocarbon product – instead of drilling or pushing dozens of other wells to delineate the plume, an electrical resistivity survey found the outline which could then be confirmed, monitored, and recovered with far fewer strategically-placed wells.

  • A seemingly-unnecessary utility survey of a homeowner’s wooded lot prior to minor re-grading found an unmarked and un-mapped high-voltage power main – possibility preventing accidental injury or worse.

  • Pre-construction scanning of a proposed swimming pool detected regularly-spaced subsurface anomalies that probably represent an un-marked historic cemetery.

  • A pre-construction bathymetric survey beneath a bridge revealed that water depths would be too shallow for the necessary construction barges and that the planned access route between the staging and work areas would not be navigable at low tide. Determining this prior to mobilization prevented huge delays and re-mob costs.

  • Borehole geophysical logging identified an open fracture in a water well that was producing brine at artesian pressures. Locating this zone allowed installation of exactly the right length of grouted casing to protect the shallow fresh aquifer tapped by a nearby municipal wellfield.



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