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W-07 Near-Surface Geophysics for Archaeological and Forensic Applications

SEG Near Surface Geophysics Technical Section

Thursday, 30 September 2021, 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.  |  Denver, Colorado

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Course Content

The search and characterization of anthropogenic features is an important application for geophysical prospecting. Today, a multitude of geophysical methods exist that have been successfully used to aid archaeological and forensic investigations. Geophysical methods have become a popular tool to detect both prehistoric and historic archaeological sites, with a large proportion of this work focusing on detecting gravesites at cemeteries and other historic sites. In comparison, less research has focused on the use of geophysical methods for detecting forensic investigation targets (i.e. human burials, weapons, bunkers, etc.). This is an important field where geophysics can grow because these techniques can assist in the search and recovery of targets for legal purposes.

Another application is geophysical techniques used for hydrologic and/or environmental problems at the archeological sites, such as for preserving excavated and unexcavated sites (specifically rushing to preserve the ruins from the hydrologic hazards (groundwater rise, dam constructions, etc). In this framework, geophysical methods play an essential role to guide archeologists and hydrogeologists for the fast recoveries of the ruins or for better long-term preservation plans.

This workshop will teach participants how geophysicists can be valuable collaborators for these investigations and aid in the planning for identifying unknown sites and future excavation or preservation plans. Workshop organizers invite participants with backgrounds in geophysics, geology or earth science, and archaeology to participate in this full day workshop.

This full day summit/workshop will introduce participants to:

  • The different geophysical methods that are commonly used for these investigations
  • The types of targets that are commonly identified at these sites
  • Strategies for survey design when collecting data at these sites
  • Strategies for interpreting and/or ground-truthing the data collected
  • Best practices for working with the broader community at these sites
  • Possible funding mechanisms for national and international studies


IMAGE '21 Workshop Pass
Non-Member Fee: $229
Member Fee: $129
Non-Member Students: $59
Member Students: $39

All Postconvention Workshops will be virtual. The Workshop Pass includes access to any or all postconvention workshops.


W-07 Near-Surface Geophysics for Archaeological and Forensic Applications
Colorado Convention Center
700 14th St
Denver, Colorado 80202
United States


Blair Benson Schneider Blair Schneider 2021-2021 Organizer, University of Kansas, USA
Erik Knippel Erik Knippel 2021-2021 Co-Organizer, University of Kansas, USA