Desk Study

Published: September 13, 2021 | Last updated: July 5, 2023

What Does Desk Study Mean?

A desk study is part of a geotechnical site investigation and involves the study and review of existing information about a site through resources such as maps and paper records. It is carried out at an early stage of site investigation.

Previous use of land, such as a history of contamination, can make an impact on its future use. Details obtained from the reconnaissance survey are thoroughly studied in sync with the desk study in order to understand the site topography and decide the next steps of investigation.


Trenchlesspedia Explains Desk Study

Data for a desk study can be obtained from sources such as:

  • Local municipalities.
  • Libraries.
  • County records offices.
  • Survey offices.
  • Utility and service providers.
  • Commercial databases through the internet.

Geological maps, old plans and photographs can be obtained from the survey and records department.

A desk study includes:

  • Determining the presence of:
    • Licensed water abstraction and discharge consents.
    • Landfills..
    • Waste disposal sites
  • History, if any, of hazardous incidents.
  • Quality of surface water and groundwater vulnerability.
  • Past local borehole records.
  • Presence of mines.
  • Historical mapping.
  • Buried and overhead supply and utility lines.


Data and Map Study

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