Technology Applications

The application of geophysical methods to earthen dams and related structures, such as levees, impoundments, tailings, and canals, requires highly technical and proficient service providers. These earthen structures comprise over 70 percent of all dams in the United States today. Many of these dams can be over 100 years old, built using diverse historical technology and modified throughout their lifetime. Each structure is unique, often with unknown construction and maintenance history. The proper selection and application of geophysical techniques to gain sufficient and actionable information on these structures cannot be overstated.


Dam assessment success or failure lies in the appropriate choice and application of geophysical technologies.


Choosing a geophysical method that is appropriate for applications on earthen structures depends on the size, age, location, method of dam construction, type of construction material used, cover, substrates, and internal infrastructure, just to name some of the variables to be considered. All of these parameters, and more, affect which geophysical technologies are selected and how they are applied. Each geophysical assessment method has different limitations, equipment requirements, and sensitivities to be considered if the survey is to be successful and, more importantly, useful to the engineer.


hydroGeophysics, Inc. (HGI) has the in-house expertise, historical success, and state-of-the-art equipment to accomplish characterization and assessment of earthen structures. HGI’s services and experience are perfectly suited for dam assessment and characterization of structure and subsurface fluid pathways. We have been a leading service provider for geophysics and geophysical applications for multiple decades. HGI’s methodologies and technologies have been developed through our history of unique and challenging projects performed for a broad range of clients, fostering an environment in which high-performance products are conceived, developed, and applied to create cutting-edge solutions. Our greatest accomplishments are the successful project completions we have provided for our clients in a diverse, fast-changing industrial marketplace.


Visit our application pages in this section to learn about the many different structures geophysics can be applied to.