Western Australia Chapter

The application of near-surface geophysical techniques in geotechnical engineering

Lee Tasker


Near-surface geophysics is used by engineers as a tool to measure the physical properties of the earth and provide interpretation of the geological conditions. Geophysical techniques are often used in parallel with other engineering tools such as drilling, CPTs, soil sampling and test-pitting. Some geophysical techniques have a direct application to provide geotechnical parameters and some techniques are useful for combining with geotechnical testing to fill gaps in the spatial coverage of geotechnical data. Geophysical applications include providing P-wave velocity information for use in excavatability assessment, providing Shear-wave velocity information for use in Shear-modulus calculation, the monitoring of subsurface changes in soil condition due to compaction and also defining the depth to basement material, plus many more.

This talk aims to introduce the audience to different types of geophysical techniques, the limitations of the techniques and provide example applications of these techniques to assist engineers with reducing risk in their engineering site assessments.

About Lee Tasker

Lee is the Director of Draig Geoscience and has over 10 years international geophysical consulting experience. He has worked on geophysics projects in Australia, Gabon, Mongolia, New Zealand, Pakistan and Papua New Guinea. His specialties include near-surface geophysics and environmental and engineering geophysics. Academically Lee holds a Masters in Physics from Cardiff University (UK) and a Graduate Diploma in Science in Geophysics from Victoria University of Wellington (NZ). Lee is also currently a PhD Candidate at the University of Western Australia at the School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering. Lee’s PhD research focuses on the 4D monitoring of deterioration within concrete infrastructure using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR).

Venue location

Engineers Australia members participating in AGS technical sessions can record attendance on their personal CPD logs. Members should refer to Engineers Australia CPD policy for details on CPD types, requirements and auditing guidelines.