Evaluation of Subsurface Exploration Programs


This paper presents a decision support system for the evaluation of geologic exploration programs in underground construction. This system can be used to quantify the economic value of different subsurface investigation alternatives and provides owners and designers with a solid basis for making the associated technical and financial decisions. The description of the system includes the methodology for encompassing all the existing geologic information about a site into a consistent geologic prediction model that can be used for design, and construction planning and estimating. It illustrates how to account for the context and reliability of this information, how to predict its effect on design and construction decisions and how to arrive at a monetary measure of its value. Finally, it describes the methodology for using simulation to arrive at an estimate of the expected value and the standard deviation of the value of sampled geologic information. The evaluation of a pilot tunnel as an exploration alternative for the water discharge tunnel of the Seabrook Power Station is presented as an example application.


Photios G. Ioannou

Civil & Environmental Engineering Department

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2125, U.S.A.

e-mail: photios@umich.edu


Evaluation of geologic exploration, value of information, decision support system, tunneling, subsurface exploration, geologic exploration, geologic prediction, probabilistic geologic modeling, Markov process.


Ioannou, P.G., "Evaluation of Subsurface Exploration Programs", Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, ASCE, Vol. 115, No. 3, 339-356, Sept. 1989.