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Offshore Engineering Geology, Geomorphology and Geohazards Working Party

In recent decades, the rapid advancement in offshore exploration, survey and development dictates that there is both a need and an opportunity to capture good practice for the benefit of the geoscience community.

This relatively unknown environment (compared to onshore equivalents) poses challenges for site investigation and characterisation, through identification of natural hazards and risks to the prediction of ground behaviour. Uncertainties in ground conditions can lead to undue engineering risk and uncertainty.

These challenges require investigation, management and mitigation to avoid adverse impacts and consequences to engineering infrastructure throughout the project life. The application of good practice allows meaningful and reliable information for robust engineering design.

In 2019, the Engineering Group of the Geological Society of London established a Working Party to undertake a state-of-the-art review of offshore ground conditions from an engineering geological viewpoint; focusing on shallow geology and processes significant to ground engineering activities (typically <100m depth below seafloor, water depths of >10m). 

The Working Party will integrate a wealth of academic and industry experience in these challenging conditions and disseminate it to the public domain for the first time.

The resulting Engineering Geology Special Publication will provide:

  1. An overview of the industry drivers for this project;
  2. Some of the key geo-challenges facing offshore developments;
  3. The potential benefits of, and approach to, a holistic ground-model approach to site characterisation and geohazard assessment.

The Working Party will consider the following engineering geology-related topics:

  • Geological and geomorphological setting
  • Ground models and geohazards
  • Site characterisation and data integration
  • Geophysical, geotechnical and geological investigation and analysis
  • Engineering and design considerations

Finally, we invite interested parties to contribute to this multi-disciplinary publication, which aims to be a key resource to support engineering geological and geotechnical practitioners working in offshore hydrocarbon, renewables, linear infrastructure (pipelines, subsea cables, etc.) and offshore mining/resource applications.

Please contact the Working Party Chair (Chris Martin: christopher.martin@uk.bp.com) or Secretary (Gareth Carter: gcarter@bgs.ac.uk) if you would like to contribute or find out more.