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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Ground penetrating radar applications in hydrology Rea, Jane Mary Anastasia


The goal of this thesis is to develop techniques for using ground penetrating radar (GPR) to characterize aquifers for groundwater modelling. GPR is a shallow geophysical technique which can be used to image up to 30 m into the subsurface. This technique is sensitive to many of the same parameters that affect the hydraulic properties of geologic material. In addition it is a rapid, relatively inexpensive means of obtaining high resolution images of the subsurface. For these reasons GPR is well suited for providing the information needed to constrain ground water models. I have developed three different techniques for analysing and interpreting GPR data for ground water modelling. The first is a method of obtaining the correlation structure of the subsurface through geostatistical analysis of GPR data. The second technique involves analysing the attenuation of radar data to estimate the electrical conductivity of the geologic material being imaged. The final technique is a method of dividing the radar data into separate units, called radar architectural elements, which can be used as building blocks for a ground water model. This technique has been tested by applying it to a shallow unconfiried aquifer in south-western British Columbia. The research presented in this thesis leads to a new integrated approach to GPR interpretation in which the same data set can be used to provide different types of information to constrain ground water models.

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