Case Studies

3D Mine Surveying International

Dataset integration for joint laser scan and sonar surveying

This successful project has assisted a local business, 3D Mine Surveying International (3DMSI) to develop a new data service product ‘Hydrographic Information Modelling’.

Through a Deep Digital Cornwall (DDC) £5k Innovation Voucher, 3DMSI have been able to purchase new software which they have used to develop a Scan to BIM service integrating above and below waterline 3D point clouds from multiple advanced sensor technologies.

The work was originally tested at Penzance Dry Dock in September 2021 as part of 3DMSI’s research funded by DDC. This demonstration and case study has directly led to further contracts for 3DMSI both at Penzance Dry Dock and from a large Ministry of Defence client.

The DDC assistance has directly increased 3DMSI’s competitiveness as a local business by allowing them to streamline their proof of concept data processing service into a functional data product.

Moon Geology

Key trace element mapping for mineral prospectivity

This exciting project has generated a long-term research collaboration between a local business, Moon Geology, and Deep Digital Cornwall (DDC) staff at the Camborne School of Mines (Robin Shail, Nick Harper, Luke Palmer) and Cornish Lithium (Chris Yeomans, Fred Jackson).

Exploratory conversations between Moon Geology and the DDC team commenced in early 2021 and resulted in an application to the DDC Grant Fund for a £5k Innovation Voucher. Moon Geology used this funding to analyse 72 Cornubian granite samples from across Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly for Fluorine (F), Chlorine (Cl) and Boron (B) data.

Advanced data reduction methods and supervised machine learning techniques were used to investigate further the Simons et al. (2016) granite classification scheme. The team discovered that the granite types can be better separated as distinct geochemical classes, further reinforcing the granite classification scheme. Supervised machine learning methods, such as random forests and support vector machines, suggest that predicting these classes should be effective when trialled on future datasets.

The project outputs are expected to include publications in high-impact journals during 2022 authored jointly by Moon Geology and the DDC team. The data and results from the machine learning analyses will be made available for exploration within the DDC Data Hub and Visualisation Suite.

GeoScience Ltd

Digital Cornwall Heat Flow Map

GeoScience’s geothermal group has successfully applied for funding through DDC to create a new digital heat flow map for Cornwall to help promote the utilisation of geothermal resources.

The high heat flow granite batholith that underlies the spine of the county forms the basis for the development of deep geothermal energy plants, but shallower geothermal resources have not yet been harnessed for low carbon heating. A key parameter in exploring for these geothermal resources is predicting the temperature at depth and to do this accurately it is necessary to understand the natural heat flow.
In 2016 Beamish and Busby re-evaluated the original temperature measurements, eliminated unreliable data and applied modern paleoclimate and topographic corrections to produce a more robust assessment of heat flow and, therefore, subsurface temperature.

But the measurements and heat flow calculations are unevenly distributed across the county, having been focused on the granite outcrops. Therefore, there isn’t a definitive set of robust empirical heat flow data for significant areas of Cornwall, including some that are likely to have high heat demand. If shallow geothermal systems are to be effectively developed it is essential that these data are available to assist with the assessment of the feasibility and design of appropriate geothermal technologies.

GeoScience aim to build on the Beamish and Busby study to develop a more comprehensive heat flow map of Cornwall using the original data, additional historical measurements from mine records, new measurements in existing boreholes and measurements in a number of new boreholes.

The new boreholes should not only verify the data close to the granite outcrops but also fill in some data gaps away from the granite, in the vicinity of towns and other populated and industrial areas where heat demand may be significant, as well as in rural areas where fuel poverty exists.

It is hoped that a digital representation of the underground temperature can be combined with the digital model of Cornwall geology, the related surface information and information on historical mining and other outputs from DDC projects to contribute to the 3D digital model of the sub-surface