Narrator: This is Science Today. The same sonar technology used to detect images in the ocean is being utilized to locate objects and structures buried within the earth. John Hildebrand of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography developed a new device called ground-penetrating sonar to offer a conservative way to find buried objects.
Hildebrand: There are archeologists who are investigating sites because it's a particularly important, cultural place and then there are other archeologists who are investigating sites because this area is about to be destroyed by some sort of development. And so both of those approaches rely on the same technology which is a shovel, which is destructive.
Narrator: There's another non-destructive approach using radar, but it doesn't work as well in soils that are wet - that's where the acoustic approach, or sonar, works best.
Hildebrand: So I'm trying to work in areas where the conventional means of looking into the ground, mainly radar right now, don't work well and using a technique that we've sort of developed by working in the ocean where acoustics really is your only choice.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.