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Chapter 8: Near-Surface Seismology: Surface-Based Methods

John R. Pelton
John R. Pelton
Department of Geosciences, Boise State University, Boise, Idaho 83725; Email:
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January 01, 2005


Seismic methods are geophysical techniques that involve the generation and recording of seismic waves for the purpose of mapping the subsurface. Each method is based on the propagation of waves from an artificial source to a set of receivers, followed by an analysis of the recorded wavefield in terms of subsurface properties. Although seismic methods are conceptually not limited to any particular macroscopic scale, the emphasis here is on source-receiver separations that range from a few meters to a few hundred meters, and on depths of investigation that fall approximately within the same range. These linear dimensions define the domain of near-surface seismology, and focus attention on a portion of the uppermost crust that is of great importance to other geologic disciplines, especially geotechnical engineering and hydrogeology. Site characterization and the delineation of aquifers constitute the primary practical applications of near-surface seismology, thereby explaining the many references to engineering and groundwater methods in the applied geophysical literature.

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Investigations in Geophysics

Near-Surface Geophysics

Dwain K. Butler
Dwain K. Butler
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Society of Exploration Geophysicists
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Publication date:
January 01, 2005




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