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Ground-penetrating radar and swept-frequency seismic imaging of shallow water sediments in the Hudson River

Roelof Versteeg, Columbia University, NY, NY
Eric A. White, U.S. Geological Survey, Storrs, CT
Karl Rittger, Brown University, Providence, RI

Abstract

Ground-penetrating radar and swept-frequency seismic sub-bottom data were collected on the Hudson River between Kingston and Saugerties, New York, in April, 1999, as part of a pilot project to create a comprehensive benthic map of the Hudson River. The radar and seismic data were collected simultaneously to evaluate the usefulness of each method for shallow-water stratigraphic mapping. The data were used in preparation of a benthic map and for creation of a facies distribution map.

The results show that in shallow water (less than 20-feet deep) in the Hudson River, the radar method obtains better penetration and resolution than the seismic method. Virtually all radar data collected in shallow water shows detailed sub-bottom structure, whereas 65 percent of the seismic data does not show any sub-bottom penetration, due to the presence of methane gas in the sub-surface and (or) a hard water bottom.

The majority of the interpreted facies show sub-bottom deposition that formed in a relatively low energy environment. Significant changes do occur over relatively short distances however. This allows a GIS-based interpretation of the mapping of the spatial distribution of the facies and the recognition and differentiation of sedimentary regimes in the river.


Final copy as submitted to Symposium on the Application of Geophysics to Engineering and Environmental Problems for publication as: Versteeg, Roelof, White, E.A., and Rittger, Karl, 2001, Ground-penetrating radar and swept-frequency seismic imaging of shallow water sediments in the Hudson River: in Symposium on the Application of Geophysics to Engineering and Environmental Problems, Denver, Colorado, March 4-7, 2001, Proceedings: Wheat Ridge, Colo., Environmental and Engineering Geophysical Society, CD-ROM.


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