Forensic and Archaeology Subsurface Targets (FAST)

Two people walking in an open field with a GEM2.

The Forensic and Archaeology Subsurface Targets (FAST) geophysics program uses non-invasive, near-surface geophysical methods to address research problems. Geophysical methods have been recognized in these fields for their speed, cost-efficiency, and reliability in detecting buried targets and features. The forensic and archaeology geophysics research program focuses on combining different types of near-surface geophysical methods to locate unique targets, in particular (but not limited to) bone remains and prehistoric features.

Archaeological and forensic targets range in depth of burial, size of the target, physical properties, and age since burial. This means that no single geophysical method can be used to locate or detect these types of targets. However, by using multiple geophysical methods, important archaeological features such as foundations, earthworks, ditches, graves, house features, and hearths have been located. These non-invasive methods help archaeologists to delineate targets before an excavation or at sites where excavation is not allowed, to monitor site preservation, or to help protect a site or feature from future disturbances. In forensic investigations, geophysical methods can be used to locate graves or buried evidence.

Please contact Dr. Blair Schneider ( for more information.