Passive Seismic Surveying
A new and cost-effective site-assessment tool for the quarrying industry
Good quarry design and efficient operation depend upon a ground model that reliably defines the quality, volume and spatial distribution of resource and waste. Most ground models are based on boreholes, sometimes with additional 2D or 3D control provided by ‘traditional’ geophysical surveys such as microgravity, resistivity and active seismic. However, for logistical and economic reasons, these may not always be practical options for site investigations.
This article showcases ‘passive’ seismic survey as a rapid and versatile alternative means of imaging the subsurface, using the Phase 2 extension area of Aggregate Industries UK Ltd’s Bardon Hill Quarry in Charnwood Forest, Leicestershire, as an example. The technique can be used to generate results comparable to traditional high-resolution seismic refraction surveys, but has the distinct advantage over these (and other geophysical techniques) of not requiring extraneous cables, power supplies or artificial seismic sources. Hence, it can be easily deployed by a single operator even at sites that are sensitive or difficult to access, rendering it an especially cost-effective option for the quarrying industry.