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Socotec and Brunel deliver pioneering drift-filled hollow research

Ground investigation specialist Socotec has teamed up with Brunel University London to undertake drift-filled hollow exploration in Hampshire, which has been described as pioneering.

The investigative work at Ashford Hill, which is a site of special scientific interest near Newbury, was undertaken with assistance from geotechnical equipment supplier MGS.

According to Socotec, in addition to the diverse wildlife at Ashford Hill, the site is also of great geological importance due to an underlying large, natural and undisturbed drift-filled hollow. “This geological anomaly is one of the only known areas to be untouched by man and engineering due to its location outside of central London,” said the company.

Using a Pagani TG 63-150 penetrometer rig donated for the work by MGS, four cone penetration tests (CPTs) were taken to a depth of 16m at locations across the hollow. Augering were also undertaken to 4.2m depth but stiff clays prevented taking this technique deeper.

Socotec has said that the collaboration has enhanced previous knowledge about the variability of the physical characteristics of these features.


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