Zetica - e-news

June 2011

Volume 8, Number 1

In this issue

Useful Links & Recent Publications:

Limits of detection of unexploded ordnance - are you getting what you paid for?
White paper on physical limits of detection for surface- and borehole-based geophysical methods

WW2 bomb risk maps
Download risk maps for your region
WW2 bomb risk maps image

Measuring the risk of detonating unexploded bombs
Web-based applet to allow users to input parameters and calculate an order of magnitude risk of detonation

Limits of detection of unexploded ordnance - are you getting what you paid for?
White paper on physical limits of detection for surface- and borehole-based geophysical methods

Newsletter June 2011

Where has all the time gone?  It feels like yesterday putting pen to paper for our December 2010 newsletter. This edition is again packed full of titbits from the wonderful world of geophysics and surveying which we hope you’ll find interesting. Let us know whether you’d like particular areas addressed in our next newsletter or if you have any suggestions for improvers. We would welcome feedback!

As you know our key areas of business are:

  • SiteSafe - all matters relating to the mitigation of UXO risk
  • Rail - surveys of ballasted trackbed and formation
  • Utilities - various levels of mapping detail provided from real-time marking out to 3D CAD drawings
  • Engineering - transport and pipeline infrastructure, flood defences, foundation design, bedrock characterisation + monitoring solutions
  • Environmental - surveys to detect buried hazards
  • Topography - range of survey solutions including monitoring and 3D laser scanning
  • Archaeological - multi-sensor, high productivity surveys

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SiteSafe Alliance (SSA)

The SSA – a partnership of the UK’s leading site investigation and risk management companies - is going from strength to strength. In our last newsletter we welcomed new member Ramora UK Ltd. In June SSA members approved the membership of Aurora Health Physics Services Ltd (https://www.aurorahp.co.uk/), a renowned specialist in radiation protection services. The SSA can now help clients deal with a range of hazards associated with decommissioning defence sites.

Release of our first smart phone App

The Unexploded Bomb (UXB) Depth  Calculator for Android let's you estimate the depth that a UXB may have reached in the geology specific to your site. The UXB Depth Calculator uses MoD guidance tables for average bomb penetration depths in common UK soil and rock types for a range of bomb sizes. The tool has been available on the Zetica website for a few years, and has proved to be of great practical value for estimating likely bomb depths in site specific geology conditions.

To get the app, search for "UXB" in the Market place, visit https://is.gd/Bs8e1z or scan the QR code shown below. You will need an Android device to use this app, but if you don't have one you can still use the web version.

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Limits of detection article

An article written by Zetica entitled ‘Demystifying UXO detection’ was published in the June 2011 edition of GeoDrilling magazine. Click here to access a PDF version. We encourage all our readers interested in UXO detection to peruse this article which contains practical advice on detection and presents methods of quantifying detectability.

Zetica Rail

Projects continue to stream in from all corners of the globe. The wealth of experience gained scanning many tens of thousands of kilometres of track is feeding directly into new product development including Zetica’s Railway Asset Scanning Car (RASC).

The RASC is a multi-sensor road rail (hy-rail) vehicle-based inspection system comprising track geometry, laser scanning, rail radar and video inspection systems. RASC allows simultaneous measurement of above and below-ground railway assets at all road rail speeds.

Significantly all data gathered are linearly aligned through GPS time stamping and on-board gyroscope systems which provide a synchronized and accurately located picture of the rail network.

RASC image

The benefits of the RASC include:

  • Maximize track time – a wealth of linked information is delivered in a single pass.
  • Provide route managers and maintenance engineers with an integrated data solution to efficiently plan maintenance work strategies.
  • Generate work order recommendation reports detailing which sections of track require specific types of maintenance.
  • Generate exception reports for trackbed condition, ballast quality, structural clearances, track centers, ballast profiles and changes in the surface asset register.
  • Deliver results in customized formats to synchronize with existing management processes.
  • Host data on behalf of customers for live viewing on the web.

RASC chart

EAGE boot camp

In May 2011, approximately 40 students descended upon a site in Hampshire for the first Geophysics Boot Camp, run by the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE). Zetica’s Dr Brian Barrett provided some of the teaching input. Attendees included a mix of students from Leeds University, Edinburgh University and Imperial College London MSc as well as young professionals from a variety of companies. All undertook a deep seismic reflection survey of the oil reservoir as well as a getting hands-on experience of a handful of shallow geophysical surveys.

Zetica's contribution had a UXO theme. Students were asked to undertake a magnetometry survey of a small site, in order to provide a client with UXO clearance prior to an exploration program. This was particularly relevant, given that the survey area was a strategically important airfield during World War II. Prior to the exercise, we seeded the site with a number of (safe) ordnance items, but did not tell the students how many. The students were very interested to discover that no group identified a shallow smoke mortar, but further intrigued to learn that there were anomalies in their surveys that were NOT seeded targets.

The students took away an appreciation of the very real UXO risk in many countries of the world, and knowledge of the UXO risk management process, including desk study, detection surveys and target investigation that may be required. 

EAGE boot camp image and bomb


In April 2011, Dave White, Project Geophysicist at Zetica, presented leading edge research on UXO detectability at the symposium on the application of geophysics to engineering and environmental problems (SAGEEP). The symposium allowed Dave to talk about the research he did with Zetica last year as part of his MSc degree, and to meet and talk to other UXO researchers and practitioners from around the world. The conference was held in Charleston, South Carolina, USA, and had one of the busiest schedules in the event's history, with 4 parallel sessions over 3 days. Dave returned to Zetica full of inspiration and will be working on further developing the UXO detection services offered by Zetica in the coming months.

Case history – Flood defence mapping

Electrical (electromagnetic profiling, electrical resistivity imaging (ERI)) and seismic (surface wave and refraction) geophysical surveys are proving to be highly cost effective in determining changes in construction materials used in embankments and in locating poorly compacted zones with potential voiding. Self-potential methods are also being used to map leakage zones.

Click on the image below for an interactive view of the ERI section showing the location of relatively resistive granular flood embankment fill materials (in red).

Flood defence mapping image

Zetica is also involved in developing long term monitoring solutions including but not limited to fibre optics and ERI technologies.

Utility Surveys imageNCE publishes Zetica Utilities editorial

An article written by Zetica on ‘Optimising the Cost Benefit of Utility Surveys’ was published in the New Civil Engineer on the 16th June 2011. Highlights from this include:

“Best value from a utilities survey can be achieved by considering the following:

  1. Ensure that the technology used is fit for purpose and can achieve the required detection and accuracy specification.
  2. Ensure that the survey design offers a cost effective approach utilising BATNEEC principles and that the survey company has considered a broad range of survey options.
  3. Understand the limitations of the recommended survey options in the light of actual site specific conditions.
  4. Verify that the survey company is experienced in both the design and implementation of a utility survey.
  5. To maximise the value of time on site, check if the survey company can report on other in-ground hazards such as buried tanks, voids, infilled ground, contamination pathways, depth to bedrock etc.
  6. If a utilities survey is carried out at the same time as a topography survey the completeness of salient features mapped by either method could be significantly enhanced.
  7. Check that the deliverables (scaled maps) are compatible with your design systems.”

Topography surveys

Bill Wickens and his team recently carried out a very interesting comparison of different 3D and 2D laser scanner solutions available in the market. Systems tested included Riegl, Faro, Leica, Amberg, and MDL. Watch this space for some of the conclusions drawn from this exercise. Our aim is to provide our customers with cost effective survey solutions and to maximise the value of our time on site.

Topography image 1
Topography image 2

New recruit – Ashley Hayes

A hearty welcome to our newest geophysical team recruit, Ashley Hayes. Ashley joined the geophysical team in March 2011 bringing with her an MSc in Archaeological Prospection (with an MA in Egyptian Archaeology to boot) and with a rich background in magnetics, resistivity, GPR and topographic surveying. Ashley is already a very popular member of the team with an admirable self-motivation to learn new things.

Field Geophysics (4th Edition)

Field Geophysics (4th Edition) imageThe Field Geophysics guide was released in January 2011 and is already in its first reprint to replenish sold out stock! Click on the image to order your copy.

Wileys have also produced a useful companion website for students and teachers to access the figures for each chapter in Powerpoint format. This can be used for own use and teaching purposes.

Contact Us:
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web: www.zetica.com | email: info@zetica.com | Tel: 01993-886682

CEO: Asger Eriksen | Managing Director: Mike Sainsbury | Copyright © 2011