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The application of microgravity geophysics in a phased investigation of dissolution subsidence at Ripon, Yorkshire.

By D. Patterson, J.C. Davey, A.H. Cooper and J.K. Ferris


Dissolution subsidence affords some of the most difficult ground conditions with which engineering geologists have to deal. Within the UK, areas underlain by gypsiferous Permo-Triassic strata, most notably around Ripon in Yorkshire, are prone to dissolution structures and resultant building failures are well documented. \ud \ud Conventional drilling of such unstable sites is often a ‘hit and miss’ affair and most geophysical techniques do not provide sufficient resolution to offer adequate confidence in the results. Proposals for the redevelopment of a site within the urban area at Ripon could not rely on such frequently inconclusive methods and it was necessary to implement a phased approach to site investigation. Following a desk study, high-resolution microgravity geophysics was carried out both inside and outside the existing building. This indicated a major negative anomaly of peak amplitude -74 µGal. Subsequent static core probing, rotary drilling and trial trenching confirmed the existence of a potentially unstable breccia pipe which could therefore be taken into account in the engineering design. \ud \u

Topics: Earth Sciences
Publisher: Geological Society of London
Year: 1995
DOI identifier: 10.1144/GSL.QJEGH.1995.028.P1.08
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