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Applied geomorphology

Digital terrain modelDigital terrain model for the Suki Kinari Region, PakistanGeomorphology is the study of earth surface landforms and processes and provides an understanding of landform change and evolution, as well as the processes and materials involved. Geomorphological information captured as maps or models can be incorporated into developing broader ground models for a site or project. Such models are used to target further investigations, delineate ground hazards and aid identification and quantification of risk.

The techniques utilised include interpretation of aerial photography or satellite imagery, 3-D analysis and visualisation of areas plus direct field mapping of ground surface landforms. These can be combined into project geographical information systems to integrate data across the project environment and allow a user friendly interface with all geomorphological information for the whole of the project team.

Geomorphological mapGeomorphology of the railway embankment at Wheatsheaf Lane, EssexApplied geomorphology can be used at all stages of a project from pre-feasibility through to design and implementation and construction. Examples of applications include identification of preferred routes for linear infrastructure such as highways, railways and pipelines, or locations for buildings or developments, and to understand temporal changes in landforms such as landslides at preconstruction, construction and post construction phases.

Mott MacDonald has extensive experience carrying out applied geomorphological studies in a variety of environments for a wide variety of engineering projects. We’ve completed geomorphological studies to develop risk based solutions for infrastructure, aerial geomorphology studies of mountainous areas to identify large landslide complexes within possible dam sites and identify the nature and extent of coastal erosion hazards.

Geomorphology has applications on all projects, both large and small, and is a proven method for improving understanding of the ground conditions and natural terrain hazards and risks. Applied geomorphology is a particularly cost-effective method and plays an integral role in most civil engineering projects.

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