Characterising the shallow subsurfaces is important to civil and geotechnical engineering and environmental applications that depend upon precise definitions of geomechanical and geohydrological properties. The conference will not only address problems facing Europe, but also provide impetus for global applications of European research. Research in subsurface characterisation is dispersed among scattered institutes. The goal is establishment of a network and one or more centres that provide the critical mass needed to realise the full potential of co-operation, synthesis, integration, and innovation for better predicting subsurface conditions.
Over the past decade, the pace of technological innovation has outstripped the ability of many researchers and potential users to evaluate and adopt promising new characterisation methods. Current methods are based on fundamental data models developed in the 1970's and 1980's - an era with a very different computer technology. The changes in information technology, and the evolution of our concepts concerning information management, dictate a new evaluation of these fundamentals. Yet an important question remains; how can subsurface characterisation methods be made easier and more productive?
The conference will utilise lectures, poster sessions, demonstrations, discussions, and focus groups to provide multidisciplinary dialogues while exploring five major topics: (1) Data Acquisition; (2) Information Processing and Management; (3) Evaluating Uncertainty; (4) Visualisation and Dissemination, and; (5) Modelling, Prediction, and Simulation. An important aspect of the conference will be discussions within small focus groups, and their subsequent reports to all participants. Young researchers will be involved in these discussions and will be encouraged to share their specialised research knowledge and experience through participation in lectures, demonstrations, and poster sessions.