A day in the life of a Geologist at GRM

Every day as a Geologist is different! My job has taken me all over the country, from Cornwall to Scotland, but today I’m staying local to carry out trial pitting on the site of a proposed housing development.

Trial pits are an important part of the ground investigation (GI), used to study the ground conditions, including geotechnical and chemical properties of the near-surface soils, prior to construction. The work involves a detailed visual analysis of the strata, in-situ geotechnical testing and the collection of soil samples for geotechnical and chemical analysis.

The first thing to do before any site visit is to pack my van with necessary materials such as sample containers and PPE. GRM has a fleet of vehicles for use in site work – driving the Ranger for the first time was quite an experience!
I packed the van yesterday before taking it home, so I’m all ready to go this morning. I have a pack of information including the Site Location Plan, the Proposed Exploratory Hole Location Plan, service plans, Risk Assessments and Method Statements to enable me to carry out the work.


An example of an Exploratory Hole Location Plan

Upon arrival, I head to the site office for induction. This is an important part of the day as it familiarises me with the site and the Health & Safety procedures and any site-specific hazards. I ensure I have all the correct PPE and necessary equipment so I can get to work.

I work with a site operative, who digs the pits using an excavator, while I supervise the process. Trial pits are progressed by stripping thin layers of soil from ground level to form a trench. Each stripped layer is examined in detail and samples representing the strata encountered are recovered for further detailed analysis and laboratory testing.

An example of a Trial Pit Log

Upon completion, the trial pit is backfilled and samples are taken back to the office so that logs can be produced and the sample scheduled for testing.

Tomorrow will bring new rewards and challenges. There is always something new to learn and GRM supports my training with a view to progression to Chartered Geologist.

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