Near-surface geophysical data have become an increasingly key component in the development of accurate hydrologic models, the engineering of robust structures, and the responsible exploration/exploitation of Earth's resources—ultimately improving the quality of life and stewardship of our environment and resources. Whether the objective of a geophysical survey of the near surface is estimating soil stiffness, mapping layer geometries, interpreting lithologies, or measuring material properties, the overarching goal is improving our understanding of those many shallow subsurface complexities that rarely interpolate accurately. That relatively miniscule volume of the Earth considered the near surface is commonly cursed as the bane of explorationists, hydrologists, and engineers alike because significant vertical and horizontal heterogeneities often occurring over small distances.

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