Acquisition of a subsurface radar imaging facility at Penn State

Project: Research project

Project Details




This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5).

This grant supports acquisition of ground penetrating radar (GPR) equipment, a real-time kinematic GPS system, 3-D visualization software and field hardened notebook computers. The equipment will support research and research training in the Department of Geosciences at Penn State University that will benefit from the capability of GPR to image the near subsurface. Specific equipment to be purchased includes a GPR system with multiple borehole antennas (at frequencies of 50, 100 and 200 MHz) to support stratigraphic, tectonic and hydrologic studies and a high frequency pulsed GPR system to be deployed for imaging the thickness, internal structure and basal contacts of glaciers. The equipment will support a range of PI and student research including studies of the dynamics of rivers of ice draining the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, studies of the movement of solutes through ground water systems, morphodynamic investigations of meandering and braided river systems, studies of pedogenesis and hill slope processes, and paleoseismological investigations of buried faults near active plate margins. In particular, research use of the GPR systems for study of the response of polar continental ice sheets to climate change is of profound and timely societal interest. GPR, in conjunction with seismic reflection techniques, offers the means to image glacial structure at high resolution to hundreds of meters and to probe the structure and nature of underlying deposits that serve to lubricate or slow glacial advance toward the sea. Students trained in GPR operation, data analysis and interpretation are well poised to gain employment in a host of civil engineering and environmental consulting fields that increasingly rely on GPR as a tool for near subsurface imaging.

Effective start/end date8/1/097/31/11


  • National Science Foundation: $164,000.00


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