Title

Integrating Ground Penetrating Radar and Traditional Stratigraphic Study in an Undergraduate Field Methods Course

Document Type

Presentation

Publication Date

10-2009

Abstract

Georgia Southern University maintains an emphasis on field experience for geology majors seeking BS or BA degrees. Traditional means of gathering and recording field data (e.g., Brunton compasses and notebooks with sketches) have been integrated with Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) in an introductory field methods course. Students were introduced to GPR basics via a lecture and a demonstration of a MALA GPR system locating utility conduits on campus and interpreting the resulting profiles. Training in GPR profile interpretation continued with the identification of radar elements and surfaces on relatively simple profiles of sandy strata followed by an exercise requiring construction of fence or block diagrams from orthogonal profiles. The next phase was a field exercise at Middleground, a nearby, accessible roadcut with sufficient exposure and lithological heterogeneity to integrate geological and geophysical investigations. Student field teams measured, described, sketched and photographed 20 meter sections of the roadcut recording as much data as possible from the 2-dimensional exposure. Students also conducted GPR profiles oriented parallel and perpendicular to the roadcut using both 250 MHz and 500 MHz antennae. Fence or block diagrams were required in the final report and the GPR profiles were essential for determination of true orientation of inclined beds. The integrated exercise promotes development of 3-dimensional visualization and improves understanding of geophysical applications and limitations in field investigations.

Sponsorship/Conference/Institution

Geological Society of America Annual Meeting

Location

Portland, OR