The near-surface layer of the earth is of great interest and importance to humanity as we learn about our past, monitor natural resources and anthropogenic processes, extract resources and engineer structures for the present, and search for and protect groundwater for future generations. This special section of The Leading Edge covers a broad range of terrestrial and marine applications of near-surface geophysics ranging from engineering to archaeology. The articles include field studies, results of laboratory and modeling experiments, and reports on hardware and software developments by leading geophysicists across the globe.

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