Seeing into the Earth: Noninvasive Characterization of the Shallow Subsurface for Environmental and Engineering Applications
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Seeing into the Earth:
Noninvasive Characterization of the Shallow Subsurface for Environmental and Engineering Applications
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Just below our feet is an environment that supports our infrastructure, yields water, provides for agriculture, and receives our waste. Our capacity to describe, or characterize, this environment is crucial to the solution of many resource, environmental, and engineering problems. And just as medical imaging technologies have reduced the need for exploratory surgeries, a variety of technologies hold the promise for rapid, relatively inexpensive noninvasive characterization of the Earth's subsurface.

Seeing into the Earth examines why noninvasive characterization is important and how improved methods can be developed and disseminated. Looking at the issues from both the commercial and public perspectives, the volume makes recommendations for linking characterization and cost savings, closing the gap between the state of science and the state of the practice, and helping practitioners make the best use of the best methods. The book provides background on:

  • The role of noninvasive subsurface characterization in contaminant cleanup, resource management, civil engineering, and other areas.
  • The physical, chemical, biological, and geological properties that are characterized.
  • Methods of characterization and prospects for technological improvement.

Certain to be important for earth scientists and engineers alike, this book is also accessible to interested lay readers.


  • Earth Sciences — Earthquakes, Floods and Natural Disasters
  • Transportation — Hydraulics and Hydrology

Publication Info

148 pages | 6 x 9
ISBN: 978-0-309-06359-3
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Suggested Citation

National Research Council. Seeing into the Earth: Noninvasive Characterization of the Shallow Subsurface for Environmental and Engineering Applications. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2000.

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