Analysis of the side looking airborn radar imagery of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island indicates that radar shows the topography in great detail. Since bedrock geologic features are frequently expressed in the topography the radar lends itself to geologic interpretation.
The radar was studied by comparisons with field mapped geologic data first at a scale of approximately 1:125,000 and then at a scale of 1:500,000. The larger scale comparison revealed that faults, minor faults, joint sets, bedding and foliation attitudes, lithology and lithologic contacts all have a topographic expression interpretable on the imagery. Surficial geologic features were far less visible on the imagery over most of the area studied. The smaller scale comparisons revealed a pervasive, near orthogonal fracture set cutting all types and ages of rock and trending roughly N40?E and N30?W. In certain places the strike of bedding and foliation attitudes and some lithologic Contacts were visible in addition to the fractures.
Fracturing in southern New England is apparently far more important than has been previously recognized. This new information, together with the visibility of many bedding and foliation attitudes and lithologic contacts, indicates the importance of radar imagery in improving the geologic interpretation of an area.
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USGS Numbered Series
A geologic analysis of the Side-Looking Airborne Radar imagery of southern New England