Case Study: Babraham Campus

The secret garden: how a SUMO Plus + survey revealed more than anyone expected!

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 The Brief:

SUMO Geophysics was commissioned by Babraham Bioscience Technologies to conduct a SUMO Plus+ Survey at Babraham Campus, Cambridge. This is our advance level survey which combines a SUMO Utility Survey with a detailed Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey to check for other ‘anomalies’ below the ground. In this case, there was a suspected fuel tank which was unlikely to have been identified by a standard utility survey.

BURIED FUEL TANK BABRAHAM.PNG

The process and results:

SUMO surveyed a 1m orthogonal grid with our Dual Frequency Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) which combines 300MHz and 800MHz antennas. The data was post-processed, and the fuel tank was clearly located approximately 30m away from the main building. However, once we started processing the date further we located more than expected….

The Secret Garden Discovery:

Directly in front of the building an interesting ‘anomaly’ was revealed within the GPR data. The dimensions were approximately 40m x 14m and it looked very similar to previous formal gardens that we had located.

At SUMO we have one of the only high-density radar systems in the UK, this equipment takes readings every 8cm which means we could greatly improve the solution of the previous 1m x 1m survey. We deployed this to site and the results were outstanding…

GPR data formal garden.PNG
High density radar timeslice showing detailed layout of formal garden

High density radar timeslice showing detailed layout of formal garden

The above image clearly shows the areas of compacted ground or walls remaining in the grounds from the complex formal garden design. The extent of the formal garden was approximately 40m x 14m and the depth of the features was extremely shallow at 0.2m below the ground.

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This isn’t the first time SUMO Geophysics have located formal gardens. We also discovered formal garden features at a school…

Photograph of front lawns

Photograph of front lawns

High Density GPR data overlaid on photograph

High Density GPR data overlaid on photograph

Extract from 1881 Ordnance Survey map

Extract from 1881 Ordnance Survey map