Marine geophysics is a non-invasive, efficient remote-surveying technique to interpret submerged landscapes and marine cultural material such as wrecks and debris from ships and aircraft.


When marine geophysics is required

Wessex Archaeology work with clients in renewable energy (offshore wind, tide and wave), oil and gas, submarine cables, aggregates, ports and harbours, as well as Government heritage departments and local voluntary and academic research groups. Projects range in size from individual wreck site analysis to assessing large volumes of data for Round 3 Offshore Wind Farm developments. We have extensive national and international experience.

Sidescan sonar image showing the Dornier aircraft on the Goodwins Geophysical image showing a shipwreck on the seabed

How marine geophysics works

Marine geophysics uses a variety of systems to comprehensively map, measure and analyse variations in physical properties of the earth’s surface and sub-surface. In the marine environment, this allows us to interpret and characterise submerged landscapes dating from when sea-levels were lower than present day, as well as submerged objects.

We can:

  • undertake geophysical surveys where archaeology is the primary objective.
  • interpret geophysical data for coastal and offshore developments, including data acquired for archaeological, geological, engineering or unexploded ordnance (UXO) assessment.
  • provide archaeological mitigation strategies based on geophysical interpretation.
  • advise on technical specification for surveys.


The Geophysics Marine Team

Wessex Archaeology’s team of experienced geophysicists is the largest in the UK. With a range of backgrounds including archaeology, geology and geophysics, our highly qualified multi-disciplinary team undertake all aspects of geophysical data acquisition and assessment, and we pride ourselves on the high quality we deliver.

High resolution marine archaeology geophysical surveys

Archaeological interpretations of geophysical datasets

Offshore client representative for archaeological surveys

Data Quality Control and data management service

Advice on survey specifications

David Howell

How can we help?

Contact David Howell, Marine Geophysics Manager