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Blog - How engineers use geological maps

16 Apr 2018


No these are not the latest additions to a top of the range paint brand, but names I have come across whilst looking through some geological maps of the East Midlands. The first thing an Engineer will assess when producing a structural report is the very ground the building sits on. Different landscapes can give rise to their own particular problems, so this is the first clue – a starting point from which to focus on the building itself.


So how does the Engineer examine what can’t be seen? This is where geological maps come in. The geological maps we use are now digital, but in the ‘old days’ good old paper was used and we have many in our map cabinet. The British Geological Survey Headquarters is based in Keyworth – very handy before the age of the download as someone could simply hop in the car and pick one up when needed! The maps are works of art – beautifully drawn colour creations of the land beneath our feet that, truthfully, many of us rarely give a thought to whatsoever!


The geographical area we cover shows many different types of ground, from sandy to clay, with peat and tidal marshes towards the east. There are of course the coalfields of Derbyshire and South Yorkshire too. If you were thinking that the ‘Clown Marine Band’ might be a pop group with a fish theme, it is actually a coal seam, many of which have equally fascinating names.


Structural Engineers Reports have a 40 year history of working in the East Midlands. This provides wide knowledge and understanding of how the ground here affects the structures built upon it.  Thousands of case histories can be called upon to provide even more information about a location. All this means that when we come to look at your property you can be assured it is with a wealth of local knowledge laid down, like silty mudstone, over many years.