Pipe Line Route Investigation

In many instances the route of a new pipeline is constrained by significant factors such as land access, topographic variations along the route and local planning conditions.

The geological conditions along the route are often relegated to a minor consideration to be determined by a few shallow boreholes after the route has been almost decided and land access provisionally agreed. These boreholes or trial pits are often conveniently sited at regular intervals along a pipeline route. Unfortunately, the geological conditions are often variable and carry with them cost implications. Typical examples are when a sandstone which can be easily ripped by a machine changes laterally into a more durable lithology which requires blasting, or when the depth of soil cover overlying the bedrock decrease sharply, requiring a change in the type of excavator used.

image048Thus the route planner needs assistance in targeting the boreholes and trial pits in the areas of potential sub-surface problems. These problems can easily be solved by the use of non-invasive surface geo-physical surveys.

With the advent of modem electronics and computer-assisted geo-physical interpretation methods, surface geo-physical surveys offer cost-effective assistance in the early identification of ground condition problems along a pipeline route. They assist in the targeting of anomalous areas where boreholes should be located. A number of geo-physical techniques are available, including: inductive electro-magnetic conductivity; electro-magnetic ground probing radar; electrical resistivity; seismic refraction and reflection; magnetic; and gravity.

These geo-physical techniques are based on the difference in physical properties between various geological strata and soils. The geo-physical techniques are used to determine six parameters typically required in assessing a route, namely; depth to bedrock, rippability indication; corrosivity index; depth to water-table; lateral variations in lithology, including presence of faulted underground services.

TVIPL has developed a unique integrated approach for pipeline route studies which has been used successfully in a number of projects, reducing the investigation cost tremendously, and providing information for accurate planning and budgeting of the projects.

The expertise and techniques available with us for Pipeline Route Investigations is as follows:

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