Characterization of potential geological sites for waste disposal, that are suited to provide a high level of long term isolation and containment, is performed to meet regulatory requirements. The applicability of specific characterization technique may be limited in order to keep ground integrity.
Geophysical methods are non-destructive and non-invasive techniques to assess candidate geologic sites for waste disposal.
Some contaminated sites are due to leachate infiltration out of the disposal and related groundwater contamination. Geophysical methods are used to detect contamination plumes due to the conductive nature of most contaminant.
Geophysical techniques are recommended for detection and location of buried metallic objects (drums, tanks, cables, sewers, unexploded ordnances (UXO), or other underground structures) in different geological environments.
Geophysical methods are used for subsurface archeological imaging or mapping.
Geophysical survey is neither invasive nor destructive. Thus, survey results can be used to guide excavation or where preservation (rather than excavation) is the goal.
Geophysics is used for groundwater resource mapping, and to identify prospective drilling well locations.
These techniques are effective for surveying large areas where direct investigation methods (excavation, boreholes,...) are prohibited, impractical or constitute a major risk.