City Research Online

The Risk of Unexploded Ordnance on Construction Sites in London

Owen, M., McNamara, A. M. ORCID: 0000-0002-3452-0800 & Panchal, J. (2018). The Risk of Unexploded Ordnance on Construction Sites in London. Environmental Geotechnics, 8(2), pp. 116-123. doi: 10.1680/jenge.18.00049


Greater London, among many large cities, was subject to bombing by the German military in both the World Wars and was the target of many air raids during the Second World War (WW2). This was particularly the case during the Blitz, September 1940 – May 1941, when over 28,000 high explosive bombs and parachute mines were dropped on London. Post war research conducted in 1949 estimated that approximately 12,750 t of bombs, including V1 and V2 rockets, were dropped on London. The night of 16th – 17th April 1941 was one of the worst bombing raids, when 446 t of bombs were dropped on London and over 58 t did not detonate. Unexploded bombs remain buried underground today, as they were unidentified at the time or abandoned owing to difficulties in recovering them. Uncharted bombs continue to pose a potentially significant hazard for developments around London. This paper considers the probability of discovering unexploded ordnance (UXO), particularly WW2 ordnance, during intrusive groundworks in London. The prevalence of unexploded ordnance has been assessed using data obtained from governmental organisations to estimate the likelihood of discovery in London.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted version of an article published in 'Environmental Geotechnics.' © ICE Publishing 2018.
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
T Technology > TH Building construction
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of Manuscript UXO.pdf]
Text - Accepted Version
Download (294kB) | Preview


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login