Groundbreaking: Current Methods and Applications in Geophysical Surveying

Geophysical Surveying

Geophysical SurveyingGeophysical surveying is an integral part of any industrial project. Surveying tools allow site engineers to study the features of the site to determine if development is viable. Today, engineers use sophisticated surveying tools that are capable of providing information about subsurface and other physical conditions.

These tools are also non-invasive, and they can interpret data in just a short span of time, making the surveying part of project planning more efficient. From metal detection sweep to full site of data collection of thousands of georeferenced points, these concepts and tools in geophysical surveying are definitely “groundbreaking.”


Gravimetry is a method used to measure how the earth’s gravity field changes over subsurface media, as well as to map structural features such as voids and sinkholes. It is one of the most sophisticated methods in investigating and exploring mineral environments.

Time Domain Metal Detection

Concerned with electromagnetics, this method locates ferrous and nonferrous metal objects, such as tanks, waste pits and landfills. It allows the surveyor to detect shape anomalies and lateral extents of a tank.

Ground-Penetrating Radar

This tool measures electromagnetic radar travel time in subsurface media and is used for mapping subsurface structural features and stratigraphy. It also identifies disturbed zones, depth to groundwater and bedrock, and conductive or resistive groundwater plumes.

Seismic Refraction

This operation involves measuring seismic energy travel time in subsurface media and mapping subsurface stratigraphy in bedrock, as well as in low velocity unconsolidated materials and structural features. It is also useful for finding depth from groundwater to bedrock.

Direct Current Resistivity

This method is suitable for identifying disturbed zones, especially in conductive and resistive groundwater. It involves applying an electrical current to the ground with a series of surface electrodes to calculate resistivity.

Other than site and plant construction, Total Scan and Survey notes that these methods and tools also have valuable applications in meteorology, seismology, disaster risk reduction management, mining, waste management and more.

Increasingly, engineers are finding new applications to traditional and new geophysical surveying tools. Thanks to these ground-breaking technologies, we can now collect, interpret, map out and describe geological structures deep within the earth’s crust.