(Foundation for Research & Technology, Hellas (FORTH), Rethymno, Crete, Greece)

Outline: The objective of the paper is to provide a review of the methodological application of geophysical techniques in the surveying within urban environments.  Examples will be drawn from urban centers of Greece and will examine the application of geophysical methods in various case studies, dealing with the stability of building, the survey of properties, the construction works, the risk management of monuments within cities.

Abstract: Geophysical techniques have been increasingly applied within the complex urban fabric for addressing a number of questions related to the location of architectural monuments or the conservation status of buildings. Still, modification of geophysical techniques is needed, whereas only a limited range of them, such as GPR, soil resistance and 2D/3D ERT, can be employed in order to acquire valuable information and within the “urgent” time limitations that sometimes exist due to the course of construction works. Anthropogenic noise, disturbed geological settings and modern interventions contaminate the geophysical signals which sometimes produce ambiguous results and interpretation of the data turns out to be a difficult task. Furthermore, each method needs to be adapted to the questions addressed by the survey questions and the monuments involved.

The particular paper will manifest the significance of the application of geophysical surveying in various urban centers of Greece.  Examples will be drawn in the context of civil and private construction works, surveillance of monuments, examination of standing buildings and monuments and the analysis of regional risk assessment of monuments via the use of geophysical methods.  In each case, the application of geophysical techniques, sometimes in close consideration to other information such as older testimonies and maps, has resulted in valuable conclusions with respect to the stability status of monuments or the subsurface localization or expansion of relics.

Keywords: Geophysics, urban centers, Greece, GPR, ERT