The first phase of any ground investigation is the execution of a Desk Study. Typically, legislation will consider a Desk Study Report to be the minimum requirement when submitting a planning application.

The study should include a review of historical mapping, aerial photographs, utilities searches, consideration of the geological, hydrogeological and hydrological conditions, mine workings, previous land use, and other pertinent information. The Desk Study will identify potential hazards such as ground instability, mining activity, landfill, and potential sources of contamination and pollution incidents.

The main objective of the Desk Study is to evaluate ground conditions based on existing information, and to plan the scope of the investigation. The Desk Study allows a conceptual model of the ground to be developed, which is then progressively refined during each success stage of the project. The aim of the study is to help identify and provisionally quantify the potential risks associated with geotechnical, environmental or contamination hazards on the site. The Desk Study Report can be commissioned as a standalone entity, or more commonly can form part of the full ground investigation scope of works and may be used to inform subsequent intrusive works on the site.

Desk Studies



The Preliminary Sources Study Report serves to collate the findings of the Desk Study Report and then assess the viability of the proposed site development. A geotechnical risk assessment is carried out alongside a preliminary engineering assessment of the site. Typically, the PSSR Report will be used to identify the scope of intrusive ground investigation works required across the site. Furthermore, a budget estimate for the full ground investigation works can be produced at this stage.