Skip to content

Understanding cultural marine archaeology and identifying UXOs for offshore wind development

Identifying and managing UXOs 

In addition to cultural marine archaeology, the identification and management of UXOs is a critical aspect of the site investigation phase. UXOs are remnants from munitions training and test sites and past conflicts, and include unexploded bombs, mines, or shells present in the marine environment. These UXOs pose risks to both the construction and operation of offshore wind farms, as well as to the safety of marine life and personnel. 

While typical site-characterisation surveys are performed for permitting, siting and design of the wind development area and potential offshore export cable corridor routes, UXO surveys require a greater density of data to mitigate any risk during construction and installation. This includes tighter line spacing, and increased ping density of sensors to identify targets. 

TerraSond, a geo-services brand in Acteon’s Data and Robotics division collects data, conducts analysis, and reports for as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP) UXO certification. An array of towed magnetometers identify potential targets and analysis of the data informs the quantity, type, and location of potential UXOs across the site for later identification with an ROV to determine appropriate mitigation actions. 

If UXOs are found, specialised teams are engaged to assess and safely dispose of them following established protocols. This process ensures that construction activities can proceed safely.


Cultural marine archaeology plays a crucial role in offshore wind development by safeguarding our historical and cultural heritage. It ensures that archaeological sites and artifacts are identified, assessed, and appropriately managed, minimising any potential impact from construction activities. Likewise, the identification and management of UXOs are vital to guarantee the safety and success of offshore wind farms. 

Through the integration of site characterisation surveys, offshore wind developers can strike a balance between renewable energy generation and the preservation of the subsea environment. By understanding and respecting the underwater cultural resources and addressing potential hazards, we can continue to harness the power of offshore wind sustainably and responsibly. 

Geo-services render only - Cropped
Access exclusive content


We are transforming data into critical insight driving key design and construction decisions.

Discover more about our solutions to real customer challenges and explore our full range of services to help you achieve project efficiencies.

Learn more