Last edited 25 Feb 2021


The term geophysics relates to: ‘Quantitative physical methods, especially seismic, electromagnetic and radioactive, for exploring beneath the Earth’s surface.’

Geophysical surveys are: ‘Survey methods that produce images of features (such as archaeological and geotechnical) that are hidden below the ground surface. Techniques most commonly applied to archaeological geophysical surveys are magnetometers, electrical resistance meters, ground penetrating radar (GPR) and electromagnetic conductivity measurement.’

For more information see: Geophysical survey.

Ref Culvert, screen and outfall manual, (CIRIA C786) published by CIRIA in 2019.

NB BIM for Heritage, Developing a Historic Building Information Model, published by Historic England in July 2017, defines geophysics as: ‘The application of physics to study the earth and detect past human activity beneath the ground that plays a vital role in the discovery and understanding of archaeological sites.’

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