Geophysical specialisms

APS specialises in a large number of geophysical surveys which are all provided in-house. Our ability to provide high-quality professional services is recognised within the sector as our geophysical investigation team are often used by other archaeological contracting units across the country.

The technique is also extremely useful for research and voluntary and community involvement. It is often difficult to get permission to excavate known archaeological sites, but geophysics offers a safe, non-intrusive means of investigation.  Where permission to excavate has been granted, this will typically be limited to very small trenches; geophysics can help target the area likely to yield most information.

APS can offer four different types of survey:

  • Magnetometry
    Detects minute magnetic disturbances in the soil.  This is the most frequently used technique and is capable of detecting buried ditches and earthworks.
  • Magnetic Susceptibility
    Can be used to quickly detect changes in magnetism over broad areas and can define likely areas of past habitation. 
  • Resistivity
    Detects differences in the moisture content of soil by running an electric current through the ground.  This is useful when trying to locate buried walls and foundations. 
  • Ground Penetrating Radar
    GPR can be used to precisely locate the depth of hard structures like walls and pipes.  It is most useful when trying to pinpoint known or expected features in 3D.