Home - Discipline - Applied Earth Sciences
Applied Earth Sciences
The Earth Sciences Laboratory comprises Geophysics, Earthquake Engineering, Isotope Hydrology and Vibration Technology Divisions. The laboratory undertakes studies for foundation evaluation, source and path of seepage, seismic surveillance and seismic design parameters for major projects.


The Geophysics division involves in geophysical studies to offer site specific solutions to the engineering geotechnical problems referred by clients in India and neighbourhood. It undertakes studies related to foundation investigations of civil structures like hydro electric, thermal, nuclear power plant, ports and harbours and other irrigation projects (pre and post construction stages). This includes delineation of bedrock profile and its quality, evaluating dynamic elastic moduli; seismic tomography studies for delineation of weak zones; dredgeablity estimation for soft sediments under water; locating subsurface cavities and measuring earth resistivity for earthing purpose; delineation of subsurface oil leaks buried tanks.

Scope of study:

  • Reconnaissance stage: Assessment of suitability of construction of the proposed structure in the selected site.
  • Preliminary phase: Study of technical feasibility of the structure and reservoir competency.
  • Detailed study: Obtaining complete information about foundation conditions at site.


Delineating bedrock topography, rippability, thickness of overburden, slip zones and their quality.

Dynamic Young’s and Shear Moduli

Tomography, cross hole and Liquefaction studies

Mapping the thickness of subsea bottom layers, morphology of bedrock in reservoirs and coastal environments for maritime structures

Studying pre and post dredging of subsea .

Diagnosing the health of dams (pre and post rehabilitation)

Earth resistivity for Earthing systems

Mapping seepage paths

Archeological and Environmental Studies



48 and 24 Channel Signal Enhancement Seismographs.

High resolution under water CHIRP sub-bottom seismic reflection system.

Electrical Resistivity Imaging System.

Ground Penetrating Radar.

Compressional and shear wave cross-hole system, with sparker source and Deviation Probe

Portable Ultrasonic Non-destructive Digital Indicating Tester (PUNDIT)


VISUAL SUN_T software for reflection data analysis

RESIS 2D software for Electrical Imaging data analysis

SeisImager/SW software for Surface wave data analysis

Reflex 2D

Surfseis for MASW data analysis

Geotom for Seismic Tomography data analysis

Highlights and Achievements

3.1 Client Sponsored:

Specific studies under taken in the area of work for different projects are given below in a nutshell

  • Bedrock delineation: Tarapur, Karwar, Sardar Sarovar, Omkareshwar, Project Victor, Rail-cum-Road bridge at Jogighopa, Amochu HEP. Punatsangchhu HEP, RKHEP
  • Rock Quality for water conductor system: Kalinadi, Kasheli, Pench, Koyna, Loharinag-Pala, Tapovan-Vishnugad, Lata Tapovan
  • Dynamic Young’s and Shear Moduli: Kota, Kudankulam, Tarapur, Kaiga
  • Cross-hole seismic tests: Kaiga, Tarapur, RKHEP
  • Buried river course : Narayanpur, Gosikhurd, Sipu
  • Liquefaction potential of soil : Kayamkulam, Subansiri
  • Earth resistivity for Earthing systems: Kaiga, Kakrapar, Rajashtan Atomic Power Project, Vishunagda Pipalkoti HEP.
  • In-situ density and porosity: Vindhyachal, Kayamkulam, Mangalore Super Thermal Power Project <o:p>
  • Sub-bottom stratigraphy in sea: Jawaharlal Nehru Port, Tuticorin, Ennore, Maroli, Dabhol, Visakhapatnam, Tarapur APS
  • Health of old masonry and concrete dam: Murbadi, Rihand, Vijayawada, Dimbhe, Manikdoh
  • Efficacy of grouting: Salal, Dudhganga, Rihand
  • Source and path of seepage: Pench, Jakham, Dudhganga, Pawana, Talabira, Nangal Hydal Channel
  • Leakage through canals: Bhind, Kakrapar, Indira Nehar Pariyojna, Nangal Hydal Channel
  • Reservoir compentency: Yeshwantsagar, Yavatmal
  • Archeological Studies: Kelshi, Rakhigiri

3.2 Other Assignments

Other assignments include following:

  • Prepared BIS standard for Seismic Refraction Survey and Electrical Resistivity Methods
  • Technical memorandum: 3 No

1. Monograph on “Seismic Refraction Methods for Engineering Applications”, 2008

2. Controlling Seepage Through Hydraulic Structures 2015

3. Dam Safety and Rehabilitation, 2015.

4. Contribution of CWPRS for hydropower development-hydraulic and structural aspects, 2015.

4.0 List of Clientele


4.0 Technical Breakthrough


  • Found entrance shaft of buried hanger at Dakshin Gangotri, Antartica
  • Found buried dredger at downstream of Kosi Barrage
  • Mapped artifacts at Rakhigari, Haryana
  • Found missing copper strip below construction joint at Prakasham Barrage, A.P
  • Traced Ghosikhurd buried channel


Isotope Hydrology, the erstwhile Tracer Hydrology Division was established in the year 1979, under the UNDP aided project for Applied Earth Sciences Division. In the initial phase of its functioning, this division had contributed to water resources sector through radio isotope studies. With the application of state of art equipment and techniques this division has also built up the capability for providing rapid, economical and more accurate solutions to problems related to various civil engineering structures.

Major Research Activities

Foundation studies for Dams, their allied structures and Power Plants

Insitu electrical resistivity, density, porosity, P and S wave velocities are measured to assess the strength of the subsurface formations

Studies related to health of Hydraulic Structures

Insitu density, porosity, P and S wave velocities are measured to diagnose the health of the structures and assess the post remedial efficacy.

Detection of seepage in Hydraulic Structures ( Dams and Canals)

Insitu density, porosity, variations in borehole diameter are measured and tracer techniques are applied for detection of seepage zone.

These studies are conducted using the following techniques.

Borehole Logging

Tracer studies


Bore-Hole Logging Techniques :

Typical Borehole Log

Borehole logging includes techniques of lowering sensing devices in boreholes and recording different physical parameters, which may be interpreted in terms of characteristics of subsurface formation. It provides a continuous quantitative set of data of the insitu physical properties of the geological material and man-made structures surrounding the borehole. Different logging techniques include:

· Electrical Logging : E-log measures the electrical resistivity of the formations surrounding the borehole which is useful in identification of geology.

· Nuclear Logging : Comprises ‘‘ Gamma-gamma/ density log’ and ‘Neutron-neutron log’ for determining in-situ bulk density and hydrogen content/porosity respectively.

· Acoustic logging : Sonic Log is used for determining P (compressional) and S (shear wave) wave(s) velocities and computing the mechanical properties of the formation like Poisson’s ratio, dynamic modulus of elasticity and Shear modulus. These parameters are used in assessing the strength of the foundation and serve as input parameters in assessing the health of hydraulic structures

· Calliper Logging : Caliper logs measure the variation in borehole diameter which help in identifying the location of cavities and fractures; also used to correlate with the other logs.

Tracer Techniques :



Tracer Technique uses the concept of water/dye tracing method by injecting tracer(s) (Sodium fluoroscein dye, Rhodamine-B) in the dam, reservoir or canal and monitoring the dilution of tracers in the areas of leakage, thereby enabling the delineation of path of seepage and identification of its source. The tracer techniques can be employed by utilizing two methods viz. Single Well or Point Dilution Technique and Multi-well Techniques. It is also an efficient technique to determine direction of flow and seepage velocity through porous medium. Tracer concentration is measured using a Laboratory Fluorometer. These studies are also conducted to assess the efficiency of remedial measures. <o:p>


Health of Hydraulic Structures :

Concrete dam : Dimbhe, Kolkewadi,Indira Sagar, Koyna, Omkareshwar, Popatkheda

Earthen dam : Nagarjunasagar,Upper Manner, Bhama–Askhed, Sipu, Salauli

Masonry dam : Pawna, Dudhganga, Erai,Kuttiadi, Barvi, Khadakpurna, warna, Bhatsa

Rockfill dam : Salal H.E, Sardar Sarovar, Arkavathy

Canals Indira Gandhi Main Canal, Kakrapar, Panchakula

Foundation studies:

Kaiga, Kakrapar and Rajasthan Atomic Power Project

Kayamkulam, Mangalore, Maithon, Vindhyachal Thermal Power Plants

Shivasamudram, Ghatghar hydroelectric Power Project

Tuticorin port, Bridge at Kalyani

You are Visitor No.: 343510
Last Update On: 04/25/2019
Website hosted and maintained by National Informatics Centre Contents provided by CWPRS