Resource projects require a detailed understanding of the biophysical environment such that they can be designed to be safely constructed, operated, and eventually closed.

Our specialists in climate, water, geochemistry, and geomorphology work to assess the site conditions and provide feedback to the design engineers.

The hazards related to the local terrain can affect the risks related to transmission lines, roads, and other forms of infrastructure. Furthermore, proper seismic evaluations are critical to establishing safe long-term design criteria for whatever the project that is being considered. Knight Piésold employs industry-standard techniques to identify the risks in these areas.

Terrain Hazards Assessment

Knight Piésold has extensive terrain hazards assessment experience for hydropower and mining projects. We undertake such studies for occupied structures, such as powerhouses, construction/operation residences, and for many types of linear infrastructure, including roads, pipelines, and transmission lines.  We analyze landslide hazards and risks for a wide variety of project sites, ranging from mountainous and permafrost landscapes to subtropical settings. 

With a quantitative risk assessment approach, our team provides terrain hazards assessment services during all stages of development (site selection, preliminary/detailed design, environmental assessment, construction, operations, and closure). We have a track record of developing a range of cost-effective solutions, including debris flow/flood mitigation, as well as rock fall protection for penstocks, powerhouses, intake structures, transmission towers, and conveyors.

Specialist services include:

  • Hazard characterization
  • Terrain stability mapping
  • Debris flow and rock fall run-out analyses
  • Quantitative risk assessment
  • Design of debris flow, debris flood, and rock fall mitigation structures
  • Assessment of landslide debris dam outburst flood hazards
  • Landslide and snow avalanche displacement wave analyses

Seismic Hazards Assessment

The expert assessment of regional seismicity and the selection of appropriate site-specific earthquake design parameters are vital components of all large projects located in seismic regions. We recognize that the primary considerations for every seismic hazard assessment are to fully understand the regional seismicity, tectonics, and ground motion attenuation characteristics. We have extensive experience in providing a full range of seismological services in the following areas:

  • Review of regional seismicity and tectonics
  • Historical seismic data collection and processing
  • Selection of appropriate ground motion attenuation relationships
  • Probabilistic seismic hazard analysis
  • Deterministic seismic hazard analysis
  • Seismic site classification and dynamic response analysis
  • Evaluation of site-specific seismic design parameters
  • Development of design ground-motion time-history records