Resistivity modelling and imaging methods for mapping near-surface features: Application to a site characterization at the ancient Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens

Ioannis F. Louis1, Vassilios K. Karastathis2, Antonios P. Vafidis3 and Filippos I. Louis1

1 Geophysics-Geothermic Division, Geology Department, University of Athens, Panepistimiopolis Ilissia, Athens, 15784 Greece

2 National Observatory of Athens, Institute of Geodynamics, Athens 11810, Greece

3 Applied Geophysics Laboratory, Department of Mineral Resources Engineering, Technical University of Crete, Chania, Greece

(Received 11 April 2002; accepted 19 July 2002)

Abstract: Non-destructive resistivity imaging techniques have been successfully applied at the area of the ancient Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens aiming to detect subsurface voids responsible for ground failures observed during constructive works in the ground surface. Synthetic modelling and inversion based imaging resistivity techniques identified a number of potentially features, some of which are attributed to cavities and are more likely to represent relics of an ancient underground conduit system while others are more likely to represent archaeological features such as stone walls or relics of column drums. The geophysical findings were useful for the site characterization and a remedial action plan was recommended to support and improve the ground behaviour.

Key Words: Resistivity Imaging, Site Characterization, Archaeometry