Ground‐penetrating radar (GPR) and continuous seismic‐reflection profiling (CSP) on shallow rivers, lakes, and ponds are efficient and economical ways of obtaining subsurface hydrologic and geologic information for environmental and engineering studies. These methods are similar in that they produce continuous subsurface profiles, are easy to use in some applications, and the records can occasionally be straightforward to interpret. They are dissimilar in that GPR cannot penetrate electrically conductive water or subsurface sediments, and CSP usually cannot operate in water less than 5 feet (ft.) deep.
GPR records collected on a lake in New Hampshire have been interpreted to estimate the depth to bedrock and to evaluate the grain‐size characteristics of the underlying stratified drift at the lakeshore boundary. In a pond in Massachusetts, CSP and GPR were used to determine depth to bedrock and the grain‐size characteristics of the subbottom materials in part of the pond. Water‐column multiple reflections, depth and conductivity of water and subsurface materials, and diffractions degraded the quality of the GPR records. CSP records collected in the Connecticut River near Hartford, Connecticut were used to estimate the depth of till and bedrock interfaces and to evaluate grain‐size characteristics of subsurface materials. Interpreted CSP records also can indicate bedding planes within consolidated rock units. Water‐column multiple reflections and very shallow water degraded the quality of the CSP records. GPR and CSP methods have been used to delineate infilled scour holes near bridge piers. Scour holes that were filled with up to 8 ft. of loose sand were mapped during engineering scour studies near a bridge in Connecticut.
Because GPR and CSP operate on different physical principles, the two geophysical methods complement each other. Depending on the required depth of penetration and the degree of resolution needed, one or both of these methods can be used to acquire accurate and reliable subsurface hydrologic and geologic information critical to environmental and engineering studies.
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Use of ground-penetrating radar and continuous seismic-reflection profiling on surface-water bodies in environmental and engineering studies|
|Series title||Journal of Environmental & Engineering Geophysics|
|Publisher||Environmental & Engineering Geophysical Society|
|Contributing office(s)||Office of Ground Water|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|