Our professionally licensed geologists won't let our clients get stuck between a rock and a hard place. Our clients know they can count on us to provide appropriate recommendations concerning the geological condition of their site.

Background

United Consulting has in-house capabilities to perform subsurface studies by the ground penetrating radar technique. We utilize a GSSI SIR-2 system and the latest software technology to locate metallic and nonmetallic underground objects. Our site studies provide accurate focal depths, location and geometry of buried objects.Applicability Using traditional methods for mapping and detecting subsurface features can be time consuming and costly. The ground penetrating radar technique is quick, easy, accurate and cost effective. Information, which was formally difficult to obtain, can now be acquired rapidly through this non-destructive technique.

Applicability

Using traditional methods for mapping and detecting subsurface features can be time consuming and costly. The ground penetrating radar technique is quick, easy, accurate and cost effective. Information, which was formally difficult to obtain, can now be acquired rapidly through this non-destructive technique.

Procedures

United Consulting performs the ground penetrating radar survey using state-of-the-art GSSI SIR-2 system and software support. During each study, data can be displayed in real-time or a color display stored on an internal hard drive or can be printed on a thermal plotter for the spot answers. A variety of different antennas operating on varying frequencies are utilized to perform investigating ranging in depth from 6 inches to 120 feet. United Consulting’s ground penetrating radar services provide subsurface profiling and location for:

  • Buried drums, trenches and pipes
  • Boundaries of abandoned landfills
  • Detects bedrock, buried boulders and soil profiles
  • Detects water table
  • Locates rebars, conduits and voids in concrete
  • Maps contamination plumes
  • Detection of voids in dams
  • Sedimentation studies
  • Profiles: tower and building
  • Renovations
  • Foundations
  • Examine damaged foundations

Unexpectedly encountering rock during site development can be very costly to a well-balanced job budget. United Consulting utilizes the seismic refraction technique to assist our clients in avoiding this costly encounter by providing “up-front” information as to where rock and/or partially weathered rock may affect grading activities.

Applicability

The seismic refraction technique allows for rapid site reconnaissance, data collection, and “in-house” data analysis. Data can be acquired throughout the site with minimal hand clearing in the areas where data is to be collected.

Procedures

The provided diagram is an example geologic-cross section produced by the RimrockÓ Software Program. To accurately interpret the subsurface conditions, three sound source areas must be established (forward, center and reverse shots). The letters A, B and C on the ground surface indicates these three shot points. A total of 12 geophones is present on this cross-section and is represented with squares on the ground surface. Our seismic refraction process utilizes the elastic body waves (compression waves) generated by a sledgehammer blow at the surface (at the three shot points). These waves pass outward as ever expanding hemispheres through the underlying horizons. That portion of the seismic energy, which passes downward, is bent or refracted at each change of density below the alignment and returns to the surface. The time required for these waves to pass downward, refract and return to the surface is recorded at the surface by the vibration sensitive geophones. Data concerning the arrival times is compiled in the field and converted into characteristic material velocities, expressed in feet per second (fps). Additional calculations are performed to determine depths at which these materials (or horizons) occur below the geophone/source alignment. The seismic process is limited in some respects. The primary one is that if a layer of lower velocity (softer) material underlies a higher velocity (harder) material, the softer material will not be detected. In addition, seismic refraction can reflect groundwater as a high velocity zone. The depth of investigation using the seismic refraction process is roughly equal to one-third the length of each individual seismic spread. Borings and/or test pits are often used in conjunction with seismic refraction to offset these limitations.

United Consulting is specialized in blast, noise, air overpressure and vibration consulting. We perform all data analysis and comparison in accordance with the standards and specifications as listed in the “Georgia Standard Blasting Act” and applicable United States Bureau of Mines publications and bulletins.

Two different types of instruments are available for this work. An Instantel DS-477 system and Thomas Instruments VMS 400 seismographs are utilized for our studies. Both types of instruments have capabilities for long term monitoring in the continuous strip chart mode and single event modes. This allows flexibility for monitoring of blasting, pile driving or heavy construction and compaction operations where vibration levels are of concern. The DS-477 system allows for extensive vibration analysis utilizing the 467/567-software package and both instruments provide the USBM RI8507 and OSMRE analysis plot after each event.

Our professional engineers and geologists have extensive experience in performing pre-construction structural condition surveys. We are aware of the areas most likely to exhibit damage from blast and vibration activities.

During a pre-construction survey we examine the exterior and interior portions of a structure to note existing flaws. Hand written notes are made of all noticed defects and photographs of selected defects are recorded utilizing digital cameras. The digital photographs allow for long-term storage and easy incorporation into reports and documents. Our in-house structural engineers are also available to review any structural defects that may be considered hazardous. We also provide damage assessment evaluation for any claims made due to construction activities.

United Consulting is experienced in providing installation and monitoring of various types of geophysical/geotechnical instrumentation systems. These include inclinometers, settlement cells, load cells, strain gauges and monitoring wells. We also have the experience to perform down-hole surveys and logging utilizing electric, gamma, resistivity and cross-hole techniques.

Our surface geophysics capabilities are full range as well including the use of ground penetrating radar and magnetic and electromagnetic instruments.

  • Inclinometers (Vertical and Horizontal)
  • Piezometers
  • Settlement Cells, Load Cells and Pressure Cells
  • Soil Strainmeters
  • Borehole Extensometers
  • Strain Gauges

Low Strain Integrity Testing

  • Seismic Coefficients; Aa and Av
  • "S" Factor
  • Performance Category Rating
  • Soil Liquefaction Potential
  • Site Shear Wave Velocity Values

Corrosion is an electrochemical reaction based on universal laws of nature. All metallic structures corrode. It is just a question of how quickly.

Corrosion engineers determine the best technique to slow down or halt this process. Included in the techniques available are material selection, coatings, inhibitors and cathodic protection.

Cathodic Protection of structures such as pipelines, underground storage tanks, and water storage tanks is common. Facilities containing hazardous materials are governed by regulations that require periodic verification that the corrosion prevention system is working. Our NACE certified Cathodic Protection Tester can determine that your Cathodic Protection System is operating properly to protect your investment by periodically recording and interpreting the following data:

  • Structure-to-electrolyte potential
  • Rectifier voltage and current outputs
  • Current output of galvanic anodes
  • Magnitude and direction of current through mitigation bonds
  • Resistance of groundbeds
  • Integrity of rectifiers, isolating joints, electrical bonds
  • other physical features associated with the corrosion control system

Our inspector is certified and experienced from a variety of technical disciplines including: structural engineering, cathodic protection, construction inspection, and bridge inspections. We also have a vast array of laboratory and field testing equipment. All of United Consulting’s testing equipment is calibrated on a routine basis in accordance with both national and international standards, and is ready to be put to use at a moment’s notice.

United Consulting has used Electrical Resistivity Imaging (ERI) to further explore the subsurface conditions at project sites in the southeastern United States in areas that are underlain by Karst geology.  Electrical Resistivity Imaging (ERI) is a technique used to map the resistance to electrical flow in the ground at varying depths and lateral locations.  Electrical current is introduced into the earth by two transmitting electrodes.  The apparent resistivity of the subsurface is obtained by measuring the drop in potential between the transmitting and receiving electrodes along the test alignment.  The depth of investigation is proportional to the separations between the transmitting and receiving electrodes.  Additionally, the size and detail of the features depicted in the inverted resistivity cross section is based on the distance between each electrode.  The electrodes must be spaced a minimum of 3 feet apart but can be spread up to 33 feet apart.  By varying this separation, as well as the separations between the two transmitting and the two receiving electrodes, different depths and locations along the line can be sampled to develop an apparent resistivity profile of the subsurface.

United Consulting utilizes an Advanced Geosciences, Inc. SuperSting-R8 IP resistivity system.  The SuperSting-R8 IP is a multi-channel portable memory earth resistivity meter that incorporates the resistivity meter and data logger, while the unit configures and switches the various electrodes used during the data acquisition process.  The data collection process begins by hammering 18 inch metal rods into the subsurface soils at the measured electrode locations.  The Multi-channel Swift Duel Mode Automatic Multi-electrode cables are then laid out, the electrodes are attached to the rods and the survey is performed.  The SuperSting-R8 IP is utilized in the field by attaching the cables to a switch box which allows for the use of multiple cables of various electrode spread lengths.  The field flexibility of this instruments configuration allows for data collection on both small and large sites with varying depth and detail based on the client’s needs.