Surface Geophysical Surveys

Surface geophysical surveys are applied at the surface to provide a rapid reconnaissance of the hydrogeologic conditions at the site, such as depth to bedrock, degree of weathering, and the presence of clay lenses, fracture zones, or buried waste. In addition, surface geophysical surveys can be used to detect and map inorganic contaminant plumes, obtain the flow direction, and estimate the concentration gradients (Benson et al. 1985).

Surface geophysical surveys include electromagnetic conductivity, electrical resistivity, seismic refraction, and ground-penetrating radar as described in Pitchford, Mazzella, and Scarbrough (1988); Benson, Glaccum, and Noel (1984); and the U.S. EPA desk reference guide on subsurface characterization and monitoring techniques (1993a). A description of the most commonly used surface geophysical surveys follows.

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