Offshore Wind Zone Core Samples Donated to Science
The wider scientific community is set to benefit from offshore wind developer Forewind’s years of surveys and research, as the organization donates all the core samples collected on Dogger Bank to a national science facility Monday, June 8, 2015.
The core samples, cylindrical soil sections extracted from the seabed, will be entrusted to the National Geological Repository (NGR), located at the British Geological Survey headquarters in Nottinghamshire, for use by anyone with an interest, from consultants and contractors to academics and students researching within a wide range of earth sciences.
They represent the most comprehensive collection from across the North Sea’s Dogger Bank and were collected as part of Forewind’s four years of research undertaken to identify boundaries for offshore wind farm development.
Contractors carried out detailed geophysical (seabed and sub-seabed) surveys; seabed sampling and video traverses; geotechnical testing, and meteorological, oceanographic and wind monitoring to select the most appropriate sites.
As part of the work, contractor Fugro GeoConsulting undertook 71 borehole tests, extracting core samples from the seabed for analysis. The data obtained will be used to help ensure the selection of the most cost-effective foundation designs.
Forewind Head of Engineering, Mark Legerton said that these core samples encapsulate the history of Dogger Bank over tens of thousands of years including its period as a land mass, so it is fitting that they become part of UK's biggest core storage and examination facility, and safe-guarded for future generations.
The NGR collections are an invaluable source of material for use by industry, in research, and to support university teaching,” he said. “Our addition to the existing collection means the core samples will not only be preserved, but also accessible for anyone wanting to research changes in climate and sedimentary composition during Dogger Bank’s history,” he said.
Universities and students will be able to view them to further their understanding of the geology, archaeology, sea level rise information and chemical signatures that act as indicators for past climate change.”
The NGR maintains a unique collection of borehole cores, cuttings, samples, specimens, and related subsurface information from the UK landmass and continental shelf, which is being progressively scanned and digitised for posterity.
Graham Tulloch, Scottish Collections Administrator from British Geological Survey said that the donation of the cores and samples collected by Forewind will augment those currently held in the NGR.
“The addition of a large number of boreholes within a closely defined area will add to the unique asset held by the British Geological Survey,” he said. “Additionally the sample locations will be added to the web based geographic information system, which will make them highly visible to researchers studying this area.”
“The BGS is grateful to Forewind for the opportunity of retaining these samples for the nation.”
Huub den Rooijen, Head of Offshore Wind at The Crown Estate, which manages the UK seabed, said that developing our knowledge and understanding of the offshore environment is by its very nature difficult and expensive.
“By industry and academia working together to develop and share data, surveys and samples, we can help build up a better picture of this natural resource for different marine users and contribute towards the sustainable development of the seabed over the long term.”