Geophysical Surveys in Portland, OR

A geophysical survey is an evaluation of the ground below the surface of a site. Using radar and electromagnetic technology, the survey provides a non-invasive way to find and identify any structures or other underground features that may shed light on the storage and use of hazardous materials.

Geophysical surveys are often included in a Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessment (ESA), which is a scientific test to determine whether contamination or hazardous materials are present below a property’s surface. This assessment follows a Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment when recognizable environmental conditions are found on a property.

Geophysical surveys are often recommended and included in Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessments to help locate subsurface objects such as buried tanks or drums. The surveys are also used to identify underground utilities and suitable locations for soil borings and groundwater monitoring wells.

Interpreting the results of a geophysical survey requires specific knowledge and experience. That’s why Alpha Environmental always utilizes its staff of professional geologists and environmental scientists to help you understand the findings and develop a plan if concerns are discovered.

Geophysical Survey Uses

Whether you’re in the midst of a real estate transaction or are planning a construction site, identifying underground features allows for better planning and ultimately saves money and time. Aside from locating current underground structures, a geophysical survey can offer insight into hazardous materials that may have been present in the past based on leftover pipes and utility lines.

Full knowledge of the presence or absence of underground hazards can help buyers and lenders make better decisions before developing on the land. The information gained from a geophysical survey can also protect stakeholders from the costs and headaches associated with environmental liabilities that could become problematic down the road. Unaddressed environmental concerns can greatly decrease a property’s value.

Because of their non-invasive nature, geophysical surveys may be the most cost-effective or logistically viable method available to evaluate the subsurface features of a site. They have the ability to map out large areas of a property at once, providing massive amounts of data that typically aren’t available through traditional techniques. Methods such as drilling or excavating are often used to confirm the geophysical findings.  

Depending on site conditions and the subsurface features that need locating, Alpha Environmental typically recommends ground-penetrating radar (GPR) and magnetic surveys to find and identify underground anomalies.

What is GPR?

Ground-penetrating radar is a technique used to capture images below the surface using radar pulses. Using a transmitter and receiver, GPR records echoes from subsurface objects. Variations in each echo are then used to extract insight into the object’s density, and signals are turned into images of objects and mapped using a specialized software.

The main benefit of GPR is that it’s performed in real-time, allowing experts to get an instant picture of storage tanks, utility lines or other underground objects without breaking ground.

What is a Magnetic Survey?

A magnetic survey uses a magnetometer to detect ferrous objects by measuring small variations in the earth’s magnetic field. Similar to GPR, it uses a digital receiver to measure and record magnetic information on a data logger. The data is processed in the field and a magnetic contour map is generated.  Magnetic anomalies may be further investigated with varying types of small hand-held metal detectors or with GPR.

Magnetic surveys can provide information of large areas quicker than other geophysical methods and offer additional insight into the composition of the ground below the surface.

Contact a Professional

Alpha Environmental’s non-invasive geophysical surveys can be performed rapidly, with results often available the same day. Results are qualitative, meaning it takes an experienced professional to properly interpret them. That’s why it’s important to hire a trusted expert who can offer accurate information about any existing environmental risks.

Contact us today to learn more about our geophysical survey and Phase 2 Site Assessment services!

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Why Choose Alpha Environmental

Our goal is to get the job done right while protecting our client. We are committed to ensuring you are safe in your residence, no matter what. We are fully licensed, bonded, insured, and here to help with all of your environmental needs.

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For over two decades we've been doing the dirty work, serving residential and commercial customers in the greater Portland area

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David D.
Lake Oswego, OR
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My wife and I experienced a hot water pipe busting in the crawlspace. It has been a total nightmare. However, Chris and his team provided expert quality care, with timeliness and the greatest degree of professionalism. I would HIGHLY recommend Alpha Enviornmental!
Zhanna S.
Beaverton, OR
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Can’t say enough about Alpha Environmental! Their costumer service is 10/10, they have really good systems in place, responsive, and professional. The gals in the scheduling department are always so kind! As a real estate agent, I use Alpha’s services numerous times a year. Either it’s for Mold bids, oil tank decommissioning, radon etc. They always do a fantastic job! Thank you for all the work you do!
Kristen L.
Portland, OR
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Wow where do I even begin?? We’re absolutely thrilled by the work Alpha has done for us and we’re eternally grateful to them for ridding our house of asbestos tile! They’re polite, kind, professional — from estimator Filo to manager Dame to Jake, Melvin and the other two guys on the crew (so sorry we didn’t get your names) — you guys are awesome and we so appreciate your help. Our house looks amazing. The peace of mind you’ve given us is priceless. We can’t thank you enough. We’ll certainly be in back in touch if we ever need any of your services again. Thank you thank you!!!
Jeff S.
Salem, OR
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Alpha environmental's employees were punctual, pleasant to work with and there services are reasonably priced. I highly recommend them because I would use them again in the future.
Lea C.
Tualatin, OR
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Took a water sample in for lead testing and they were so fast and helpful. Rodolfo was so nice and informative in explaining the testing and what it meant! Would definitely recommend everyone to go there and will go to them for any future needs!
Claire B.
Portland, OR
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Alpha environmental was extremely helpful in navigating me through the process of testing some leftover construction debris for asbestos so I could take it to the dump. Their office manager spent time with me on the phone discussing the options for sample collection, and was extremely friendly in answering my many questions. Sample drop off at the office was easy and the results even came back a few days earlier than expected. Will definitely return if I need more sampling done!
Jeff C.
Tigard, OR
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I would highly recommend anyone wanting, quick efficient services relating to environmental testing to check out Alpha Environmental. Not only was the staff friendly and responsive, but also professional! If I could 6 stars out of 5, I would!
Jotham P.
Portland, OR
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We used Alpha Environmental Services to conduct our home inspection, radon testing, sewer scope and oil tank decommissioning. Every part of their service was really professional. They took so many great photos of the house during the inspection and offered lots of explanation on what they found. Great team. Highly recommend!

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A trusted member of our team will reach out within 1 business day to schedule