Pells Sullivan Meynink

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Internationally recognised expertise

Innovative, practical and efficient specialist solutions to complex issues:

  • Engineering geology
  • Forensic investigations
  • Monitoring
  • Photogrammetry
  • Borehole imaging
  • 3D modelling
  • Discrete Fracture Network (DFN) Modelling.


Engineering geology

Industry leader in tunnelling, road and railway infrastructure, dams, and mining in Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Russia, and Central and South America.

Services include:

  • Site investigation programs (design supervision and completion)
  • Engineering geology, geomorphological and structural mapping
  • Geological and structural modelling
  • Geological hazard assessment including landslide and earthquake hazard and related phenomena (i.e. liquefaction)
  • Adverse ground conditions advice.

We use sophisticated tools and techniques, including:

  • Remote sensing including the latest photogrammetry techniques and drones to inspect and photograph difficult access sites
  • GIS applications for mapping, geohazard assessments, and modelling
  • Televiewer and geophysical data interpretation
  • 3D geological and structural models
  • Discrete fracture network analysis (DFN)
  • Drainage analysis to infer large scale structural and geological conditions
  • Neotectonic and paleoseimolgical techniques.

engineering geology

Forensic Investigations

Meticulous forensic investigation of geotechnical structural failures and catastrophic collapse.

Areas of forensic expertise include:

  • Mine collapse
  • Landslides
  • Embankment collapse
  • Damage to residential and commercial buildings from ground movement, foundation and retaining wall failures
  • Damage caused by tunnelling, excavation, piling or other ground improvement works.

We also provide specialist advice in:

  • Legal disputes
  • Coronial inquests
  • Remedial design and construction.



geotechnical structural failures and catastrophic collapse

Seismic Assessments and Earthquake Engineering

A proven track record in seismic assessment and earthquake engineering in diverse geological and hazard environments in Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Mozambique, Russia and South America.

Services include:

  • Regional seismic hazard assessments
  • Seismic monitoring
  • Slope and foundations seismic analysis and stabilisation
  • Detailed analysis for specific civil and mining projects.

seismic assessment and earthquake engineering


Extensive expertise in the monitoring of geotechnical and civil structures from tunnels and open pit mine slopes to basement excavations and buildings.

Geotechnical structures monitoring, including:

  • Ground strain and deformation
  • Groundwater levels and pressures
  • Negative pore pressures
  • Soil pressure.

Manufactured structures monitoring, including:

  • Deformation
  • Strain
  • Stresses and loads
  • Tilts
  • Water inflows.

Tailored monitoring ranges from simple prism-based to complex real-time systems. PSM innovations include:

  • Robotic real-time monitoring (Hume Highway overpass at Glenfield)
  • Development and construction of a large displacement inclinometer
  • Digital crack pin monitoring
  • Laser convergence logging systems

We use in-house software to interpret results, applying corrections where appropriate. We frequently use verification monitoring of designs undertaken during construction to optimise design,  improve production rates and reduce costs.

Our easy to implement monitoring plans incorporate appropriate triggers and responses to effectively monitor risk of ground movement.

monitoring of geotechnical and civil structures


Photogrammetry enables us to recover exact positions of surface points.  We then use digital stereo image pairs to develop a 3D model from which we acquire structural and lithological information. This information is incorporated in the overall geotechnical design of a project.


Oblique view of digitised structures across the modelled face. Defects colours by dip direction in image.


Borehole imaging

In excavated slopes the orientation and characteristics of structures is crucial in slope stability.

PSM uses borehole imaging in core loss zones and poor rock massses to:

  • Obtain reliable data
  • Detect bedding orientation
  •  Prepare a break-out analysis
  • Inspect casing
  • Take high-resolution caliper measurements.

Borehole imaging produces a 360 degree oriented image of the borehole wall using an optical televiewer (OTV) and acoustic televiewer (ATV).

OTV is a direct image of the borehole wall using a ring of lights and a charged-coupled device (CCD) camera. OTV can only be collected in air or clear water intervals.

ATV is a pseudo image of the borehole wall derived from a high-density grid of ultrasonic acoustic measurements. The amplitude of the reflected acoustic signal is recorded as photographic-like images and the transit time used to calculate detailed caliper logs. ATV can only be collected in borehole intervals where there is gas-free fluid.borehole imaging

3D geological modelling

PSM’s 3D modelling is a powerful geology visualisation tool which enables us to query data, rotate, hide and review geological conditions.

3d geological modelling

3D model showing extrapolated solids amid Andesite host block before truncation


3d geological modelling

3D model showing triangulated surface profile of valley topography and lake bathymetry. Dam model and representative water level for scale and reference.


3d geological modelling

3D model showing boreholes displaying lithological units and downhole optical televiewer (OTV) structural halos.


3d geological modelling

3D model showing imported sections and georeferenced in space using control grid

3d geological modelling

Discrete Fracture Network (DFN) Modelling

  • A discrete fracture network (DFN) approach involves numerical modelling that explicitly represents how defects may be spatially distributed through a rock mass.
  • The approach utilises structural data in stochastic analyses to give a range of possible models that provides a tool for visualisation of a rock mass and indicates the potential large-scale slope or tunnel performance and stability.
  • PSM have over 10 years of experience in the application of DFN modelling for geomechanical purposes. Example applications include pit slope stability, civil and mining underground tunnels, shaft development and understanding rock bridges for dam foundations.

3d modelling using discrete fracture network

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