Detection of Abandoned Mineshafts and Mine-Waste by Capacitively-Coupled Resistivity Imaging (CCRI)

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  1. To design and develop a towed capacitively-coupled resistivity imaging (CCRI) system for the 3D imaging of buried mineshafts and waste-products in the built environment.
  2. To integrate modern Real-Time Kinematic Global Positioning Systems (RTKGPS) with the resistivity measurements to accelerate data-capture and accurate positioning in real-time.
  3. To apply 2D/3D imaging schemes (Occam inversion) to improve image reconstruction, target resolution and recognition.
  4. Undertake field trials at well-characterised ex-mining sites to assess performance of CCRI, RTKGP and imaging software against ground-truth.
  5. Disseminate the results via publications, conferences. Prepare a Technology Implementation Plan to cover exploitation of any derived technology, software or results.




The project will comprise 5 main workpackages:

Workpackage 1: Instrumental design and development of capacitive electrode arrays.

Workpackage 2: Develop interfacing software to link a commercial RTKGPS positioning system to the CCRI unit to allow towed or random surveying.

Workpackage 3: Adapt Finite-Element modelling code for 2D/3D inversion of CCRI survey data and tomographic image reconstruction.

Workpackage 4: Field experiments at selected test sites in the West Midlands to calibrate the CCRI measurements against ground-truth.

Workpackage 5: Project Management.

Start date/duration

October 1999 Three years

Lead Organisation

University of Nottingham


The proposed system aims to improve the detectability of physical and environmental hazards associated with abandoned mines and to minimise the cost of intrusive sampling in highly heterogeneous ground conditions. The principal beneficiaries, therefore, will be the construction and engineering industries, planning authorities and environmental protection agencies. Contaminated and unstable ground is not just a threat to health and safety but also has a blighting influence on property values, planning and economic re-generation. Rapid, high-density scanning of the shallow surface will improve confidence that the land is fit for purpose and arbitrary protection zones could be reduced accordingly.


Scott Wilson Kirkpatrick & Co Ltd


Wardell Armstrong

Mine Investigation & Stabilisation Ltd

The Coal Authority

Further details

Further information is available from the following contacts:

Lead Researcher: Dr R D Ogilvy

Tel: 01159 363359, Fax: 01159 363261, email:

URGENT Science Co-ordinator: Graham Leeks

Tel: 01491 692203, Fax: 01491 692313, e-mail: