Did you know... Bureau Veritas helps preserve some of the world’s most amazing natural sites?

12/03/07

The Dwejra Arch, or “Azure Window” as it is known, is a natural sea arch located on the Maltese island of Gozo. It is so spectacular that it has been made a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But did you know it is starting to collapse? Bureau Veritas has been asked to help prolong its life.

 

The Dwejra Arch, like all sea arches, was created by waves moving against a rocky surface and wearing away the weakest rocks. With time, so much rock will be destroyed that the arch will collapse. The Ministry For Gozo wants to keep its important tourist attraction standing for as long as possible. This will give it time to promote other great natural features of the site, such as an attraction known as Fungus Rock, before it eventually loses its arch.

 

How Bureau Veritas helped

 

The Ministry chose Bureau Veritas to analyze the situation. It was asked to find a method of protecting the rock to slow down erosion, without spoiling the beauty of this natural site.

 

Andrew Coleman one of the team of engineering geologists from Bureau Veritas UK began by conducting a survey of the arch area. A close visual inspection was carried out, followed by a survey to determine the orientation of the fractures in the arch to determine how the arch was collapsing. This information was then used to decide how to delay the collapse and where the most urgent work needs to start.

 

 A safe and cost effective solution

 

After inspection, Bureau Veritas proposed carrying out most work from the top of the arch. This will be safer for contractors working on the site, as the most hazardous areas are found below the arch. It will also make the job less costly to complete. And of course tourists will still be able to enjoy their views, as the area where the work will take place is not visible to the public.

A helping hand
 

Bureau Veritas has worldwide expertise in rock stabilization. It has worked on some of the world’s most well known sites, including the White Cliffs of Dover in the south of England. It also benefits from a good local reputation in Malta, having already helped protect other sites like the Grand Harbour Cliffs. The firm is proud to be able to give nature a helping hand to preserve the most beautiful sites in the world.

 

Contact us

Bureau Veritas

+33 (0)1 42 91 52 91

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