After some river embankment failures during recent floods in Germany, major investigation and improvement programs for river embankments have been implemented. Presently, the investigation mainly relies on existing documentation, visual inspection, and drilling and sampling. Geophysical techniques, which are applied non-destructively from the surface, have the potential to cover the gaps between sampling points and to enhance the reliability of subsurface information. This paper describes the evaluation results for resistivity, electromagnetic, seismic and GPR techniques acquired at a test site along the Mulde River in eastern Germany. The work was carried out under the government funded project DEISTRUKT. Each geophysical method has its own specific advantages and limitations. Keeping the requirements posed by current German guidelines for river embankments in mind, 2-D electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) is the method of first choice. However, all geophysical results have to be calibrated carefully using information, such as material properties and depth of structures, determined from boreholes. Although some recommendations are provided here, a set of detailed recommendations have been compiled in a handbook.

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