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The internal structure of sand bars on the Colorado River, Grand Canyon, as determined by ground-penetrating radar

Open-File Report 2001-425

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Abstract

High-resolution, subsurface imagery from ground-penetrating radar (GPR) has revealed the internal structure of sand bars at seven sites on the Colorado River, Grand Canyon. Based on reconnaissance-level surveys, we recognized three stratigraphic units and several intervening unconformities. Unit A, which exhibits hyperbolic reflections and always occurs at the base of the section, is interpreted as bedrock and/or talus. Unit B is a commonly observed sand deposit that overlies unit A and is characterized by reflections that gently dip down toward the river axis. Unit C is a sand deposit up to 2 m thick that always occurs at the top of the section and may represent a flood deposit from 1983. This study demonstrates the utility of GPR for non-destructive investigation of sand-bar thickness and the stratigraphic record of flood events in the Grand Canyon.

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Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
The internal structure of sand bars on the Colorado River, Grand Canyon, as determined by ground-penetrating radar
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
2001-425
Year Published:
2001
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Contributing office(s):
Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description:
HTML Document
Country:
United States
State:
Arizona
Other Geospatial:
Colorado River;Grand Canyon