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Invasive surveys (e.g., penetrometers, drilling, trenching, etc.) are probably still the mainstay of geotechnical investigative methods. Geophysics is generally used to interpolate between and/or support the information from boreholes. For geotechnical projects which are usually cost or equipment constrained, or where environmental factors prohibit drilling, geophysics alone has been used in some rare cases.
However, as sites become less accessible and various factors prohibit drilling, geophysics could take on an increasingly dominant role. Examples include inside narrow tunnels, deepwater foundations or highly urban environments. In the not too-distant future, expeditions to other moons and planets will certainly rely on nondestructive testing. For shallow soil mapping on Mars, the power …