Medusa Explorations BV

SME partner


Medusa develops methods for complete and efficient mapping of the composition and the structure of soil and sediment. By planning, performing and interpreting surveys and by supplying the systems and software, Medusa delivers geo-information to help its clients make informed choices in their important decisions.

Medusa Explorations BV was formed as a spin-off of the University of Groningen nuclear accelerator institute in 2000. The company originally focused on mapping underwater sediment composition using sensors that measure (natural) radioactivity. Is has been long known that minerals can be characterized by their specific concentration of naturally occurring radioactive trace-elements (isotopes of potassium, uranium and thorium). The exact nature of the relationship between mineral composition and trace- element concentration has, however, only been quantified during the last 10-15 years. Highly improved sensor systems and data analysis methods now allow for quantitative derivation of soil properties (e.g. mineral composition) from radionuclide distribution. Medusa as a company has developed those methods “in house” as a result from its survey activities.

In the starting years, survey works were often carried out for dredging companies, harbour authorities and other parties involved with water-related projects. The geophysical Medusa method – yielding a data point virtually each second while surveying an area – provides a wealth of information on soil properties at a density that can never be obtained by using traditional sampling. Clients such as described above use this information to better plan infrastructural or environmental works. During the company’s life, the survey activities have shifted from underwater sediment mapping into mapping of “dry” soils; for environmental, mining and agricultural purposes. In parallel with this development, the company has also adopted other geophysical methods to broaden the “information package” it delivers. Sensor integration, using a multitude of soil sensors on a single measurement platform, improves data quality and reduces survey costs.