As the years have progressed and technologies have improved, pipelines currently constructed and those built decennia ago are being operated under the same regulations / conditions, but do we really know where they are located and how much material is still above them?
Regulations have changed over the years, ground may have shifted, why is it so important to know the depth of cover and can we determine the exact depth and location of the pipeline?
Assumptions and poor information regarding the ground coverage on top of the pipeline can result in coating damage or even damage to the pipeline integrity by means of material loss.
This paper will illustrate different approaches/ challenges of compiling depth of cover data from an ILI –run (with XYZ) and the various methods for determining the ground surface height in the surrounding area of the pipeline using today’s technology. The widely used world Geodetic System (WSG84) is compared to local GPS coordinate systems. Options to improve ground height information using LIDAR in combination with traditional (DOC) surveying. The growing trend for high quality LIDAR information free of cost by government agencies which can be used to reduce traditional surveying cost.