Capacitive Resistivity Imaging (CRI)

Figure 1. CRI MkII prototype

New technology has been developed by the Geophysical tomography team for imaging beneath engineered surfaces in the built environment as well as on dry or frozen ground.

The original research was undertaken between 2000 and 2003, and was funded by a grant from the NERC/EPSRC URGENT (Urban Regeneration and the Environment) Programme (grant reference GR/M89584).

Unlike ERT, non-contacting capacitive electrodes permit continuous towed data acquisition on highly resistive engineered surfaces in the built environment (e.g: on roads, pavement) where invasive DC coupling is both difficult and undesirable. A real-time kinematic global positioning system provides accurate navigation and location recovery.

This BGS-designed technology has significant potential for commercialisation. To protect this innovation, a NERC patent application was filed with the US Patent Office. This has now been granted(Patent No. US 7,492,168 B2).


CRI image of a mineshaft

The CRI system has been used successfully to detect abandoned mineshafts (see Figure 2) but the technology has great potential for the rapid mapping of soils, superficial deposits, permafrost, or the non-destructive testing of roads and engineered structures.

High-density resistivity scans can now be obtained with centimetric resolution. Further application studies are required to prove this innovative technology.


For further information please download our CRI flyer, or contact:

Dr Oliver Kuras
Project Leader
Tel: +44 (0)115 936 3416
Email: Dr Oliver Kuras

Dr Jonathan Chambers
Team Leader - Geophysical Tomography
Tel: +44 (0)115 936 3428
Email: Dr Jonathan Chambers