The full potential of geophysics in engineering investigations is still to be realised. The many available techniques can provide important information about the ground, its mass properties, its small-scale variations, and its anomalies of structure or content. The advantage of a geophysical survey is that it enables information to be obtained for large volumes of ground that cannot be investigated by direct methods due to cost. The applications of geophysics in the characterisation of contaminated land are still developing, but have great potential for example in the distribution and migration of pollutants in the ground and groundwater. Geophysics is still insufficiently or inappropriately used in engineering and the newer capabilities are not appreciated, so there is a need for up-to-date guidance about how to apply geophysical investigations.This report is published in co-operation with the Geological Society and presents a logical guide through the process of using geophysical investigation methods in site characterisation. It explores the roles of geophysical methods and provides the background to geophysics as an investigative tool.The procurement, management and reporting frameworks for a geophysical investigation are set out, and the importance of the involvement of a recognised geophysics specialist adviser with the work is emphasised.
The report explains the need for a conceptual ground model to enable appropriate investigative methods to be chosen. The underlying science and current practices of the main techniques are explained as well as the processes of data acquisition, handling and presentation. The different targets determinable by geophysical methods are considered in separate sections for geological, geotechnical, geo-environmental and structural engineering applications. The report concludes with recommendations for practice. The guide is aimed at geotechnical and civil engineers, geologists and engineering geologists, specialist geophysics contractors, contractors, consultants and clients.