2012 Summer Newsletter

2012 Newsletter

Resolving Karst Features

karst-featuresMost people are aware of the presence of solution features such as caves within limestone. ESP have recently assessed a series of solution features within the Marginal Facies above the Carboniferous Limestone at three locations in Llanharry, including two school sites.

Notable sections of voided, soft/loose and unstable material were identified which represented infill soils that has collapsed into an underlying buried sinkhole or karstic system. This system is inferred to have become re-activated recently and created three separate features which are aligned. Remedial treatment works, involving bulk material injection, have been implemented to stabilise the soft ground conditions and voids to ensure that the unstable ground conditions do not propagate vertically and laterally. The possibility of further features potentially in close vicinity to or even beneath existing buildings cannot be discounted and is part of on-going consideration. Our investigation and treatment work enabled re-occupation of the buildings and a reduced risk of future subsidence beneath new structures.

Innovative Treatment of Mine Shafts

Earth Science Partnership were instructed by Leadbitter Construction and Bridgend County Borough Council to investigate and treat two deep mine shafts which were located at the flagship Gateway to the Valleys Project at the new Ynysawdre Secondary School. Careful research and intrusive investigation identified two shafts 4.6m and 2.4m diameter, that were formerly part of the Adare Colliery (1850 to 1890). The shafts had been partially filled and extended to >100mdepth.
An innovative solution to mitigate the risks of shaft collapse was agreed with the Coal Authority which involved grouting the shaft to stabilise the upper zone materials with the construction of a new 450mm thick reinforced concrete cap at the soil/rock interface. Reinforced concrete ground beams were constructed to span beyond the shaft caps to support new buildings and constructed on piles located beyond the shaft edges. This solution effectively ‘bridged’ the filled shaft and prevented any structural loading of the underlying materials.


ESP are currently involved with a number of other projects involving old mine entries, which are often poorly recorded or not even recorded at all, posing an unacceptable risk to future development.

19th Hole League: The Inaugural Year

golfers2012 is the opening year for the 19th Hole League, which is coordinated by Giles Sommerwill at ESP. The league comprises a mix of corporate Host Members including Engineers, Developers, Solicitors and Insurance Specialists. Each host has an entry to the league table, and invites the other league members to attend their round. Whilst host membership is closed for 2012, there are always places available for Pool Members where you can actas a substitute for a host where they are unable to attend a round. Setting the early pace is Paul Bradley, with a little help from a few friends.

19-hole-logoRumours that Rory McIlroy will represent Paul in the rounds following the Open at Royal Lytham later this month are to be substantiated.

Please see the Newsfeed page of our website for round by round updates, or email us for further details on 19thhole@earthsciencepartnership.com

ESP News

New and Improved Website

We have recently upgraded our website to a format which contains a great deal of information on us, our project experience and current activities (see the Newsfeed section)

SAFEcontractor Accreditation

Following previous advances and certifications (ISO, AGS etc.), we are now approved under the SAFEcontractor scheme. SAFEcontractor is the fastest growing health and safety accreditation scheme in the UK and weshare a mutual dedication to higher standards of health andsafety practice throughout our project commissions. Geological Society Specialist Groups ESP Director Matthew Eynon has been co-opted onto the committee of the Engineering Group of the Geological Society. The Engineering Group is the largest of the Society’s Specialist Groups and is the main focus for Engineering Geology in the UK. The Group maintainslinks with learned societies, professional bodies and the Society’s Regional and other Specialist Groups.

Team ESP Continues Growth

We are pleased to announce the recent addition of three new members to the ESP team in Cardiff:

Jeremy Hucker

Jeremy Hucker joins us as a Principal Environmental and Engineering Geologist and brings more than 25 years of experience of the particular ground issues prevalent in South Wales as well as across the rest of the UK. Recently returning to Wales after working in south and east England, Jeremy will be responsible for technical direction on selected projects and heading up business development initiatives feeding in to our strategy for future development.

Daniel Thomas

Daniel Thomas joins us as a Project Engineer after recently completing a specialist geo-environmental research position at the University of Wales, Cardiff. Be aware that when you call us there are now two Dan’s; Danilo and Daniel, in the Cardiff office.

Tom Walby

Tom Walby joins us to act as our Resident Engineer at the Barry Waterfront Development, as the scheme moves into the infrastructure phase, where all of his local knowledge and international experience will bring great value.

Extreme Sponsorship!

James Wilkie - Extreme SponsorshipEarlier this year, ESP provided sponsorship and equipment to James Wilkie of Energy and Power in his endeavour to complete the arduous Marathon des Sables. The event is considered the toughest foot race on Earth: Competitors must carry all personal belongings and food for the entire six day, 156 mile event in their backpack. It is not for the faint-hearted! We’re glad to say James was successful and we look forward to hearing about his plans for future adventures soon.

Do you need more information or maybe you have questions? Contact us today and let us see how we can help you.

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