In areas with poorly constrained geology, geophysics can be used for determining geological and hydrological conditions. Underground flaws such as natural voids, fractures and faults or sedimentary structures can cause significant problems if they remain undetected. In infrastructure development projects, a good knowledge of geological and hydro-geological features can help for the correct planning of the project development and for reducing the costs.
Geophysics has proven its applicability in projects related to the exploitation and the distribution of potable water. Through a thorough investigation and correlated with direct information data, geophysics can influence decisions about the position and execution of exploitation boreholes. Aquifer characteristics such as flow direction and speed, salinity and delineation can be determined with a high accuracy factor. For this kind of projects the operator mainly depends on the geological structure, on the direct information about the aquifer and on the access to the aquifer.
Methods like electromagnetic mapping, electromagnetic profiling, electrical tomography, Vertical Electrical Sounding (VES), Mise-a-la-Masse, seismic refraction and seismic reflection are used to asses near surface geology and map areas of interest. Stratigraphy, depth to bedrock, presence of voids and hydro-geological assessments are all common applications of geophysical techniques.
Geophysical exploration proved its applicability also in more accurate description and evaluation of characteristics of landslides. Trough electrical tomography and seismic refraction sliding surfaces and landslides limits on many sites have been highlighted.
Other geophysical applications: