Feasibility of SIP measurements for UXO detection

3D numerical feasibility study and test measurements

Thesis details
Feasibility of SIP measurements for UXO detection
  • 6 months
  • M.Sc.
  • 90% Programming
  • 80% Field work
  • 10% Lab work
  • 60% Theory
  • 70% Processing
  • 60% Interpretation
  • 50% Geology
Contact person
Florian M. Wagner's profile picture
Univ.-Prof. Dr. sc.
Florian M. Wagner

While most people are well aware of the danger from ongoing wars in Europe and around the world, the serious hazards from previous wars must not be forgotten. Each year numerous people are injured or even killed due to unexploded ordnance (UXO) from previous wars. In Germany, unexploded aerial bombs from the Second World war are a major concern owing to their highly destructive nature. Given the resulting high risk for human life, infrastructure and nature, extensive surveys are to be conducted before construction work can be carried out. Geophysical methods are applied to locate potential UXO during such surveys. Currently, magnetics, time-domain electromagnetics (TDEM), and ground penetrating radar (GPR) are usually utilized for these surveys as they are sensitive to the metallic shell of UXOs. However, there are numerous scenarios in which these methods fail to securely locate UXO. For that reason, it is instrumental to examine other geophysical methods for their potential to locate UXO.

Last year, Simone Probst showed in her IDEA League Master thesis a promising approach using spectral induced polarization (SIP) to detect UXO. Now, the grid configuration and their sensitivities are to be investigated in more detail. In a first step various IP configurations will be tested using pyGIMLi in 3D and a set of optimal configurations will be identified that are most suitable for different size, location, orientation, and condition of the UXO as well as type and condition of the soil. These optimal configurations identified through experimental design will be tested in controlled surveys on an UXO detection test site and if possible even in cases of a real UXO survey in Germany. The results of these surveys will be used to further pinpoint the best set of IP grid configurations for UXO detection and will contribute to assess the benefits and limitations of SIP for UXO detection.

Your tasks:

  • Set up synthetic 3D SIP-studies using pyGIMLi and identify optimal sets of configurations for the given geometries.
  • Apply the optimized survey designs under controlled environments ona a test site as well as during a real UXO survey.
  • Analyze the results of the performed measurements and create a guideline for SIP survey design for UXO detection.
  • Optionally, an inverse modelling study can be added by the student to further explore the approach for estimating size, depth, aspect ratio and direction of UXOs. Such inverse modelling can aid real life surveys by predicting the model type and condition, thereby optimizing the subsequent excavation work.

Supplementary Documents

The M.Sc. thesis by Simone Probst (2023) will be made available to interested students.

This thesis topic is offered in cooperation with assistant professor Dr. Norbert Klitzsch from CG3 - Computational Geoscience, Geothermics and Reservoir Geophysics and Dr. Jan-Philipp Schmoldt from Tauber Geo-Consult.
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