Cumbria gets first marine geophysical surveys

The 1st marine geophysical surveys that will support to search for a right site for nuclear waste disposal in the UK has initiated in Cumbria.

A 92 metre vessel holding specialist acoustic equipment is being set up 5km – 20km off the coast of Copeland, with the non intrusive surveys, carried out by Shearwater GeoServices, collecting data to give a improved acknowledgement of the rock structure.

The technology is all to do with sound waves, similar to ultrasound scans utilised in medicine, which are reflected as an echo from different geological layers.

This gives the ability for a 3D picture of the elemental rocks to be gradually constructed up, without disturbing the seabed, with surveys of this type common in the offshore wind, carbon capture & storage also other infrastructure sectors.

Detailed analysis of the data collected will be undertaken over the next year and conclusions will be shared with communities to support discussions about the potential of an area to host a geological disposal facility (GDF).

“We are looking forward to the first surveys beginning over the weekend off the south west coast of Copeland, with specialists at Shearwater GeoServices, NWS Senior Project Manager Chris Eldred stated.

“The information we gather will help us to further consider the suitability of the geology beneath the seabed, to host a GDF and support informed dialogue with the communities that are at the heart of the siting process.”

Cumbria gets first marine geophysical surveys

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