Ground-Penetrating Radar Surveying in Support of Archeological Site Investigations


In April and July of 1996, ground-penetrating radar (GPR) surveys were conducted in support of archeological investigations at Flagstaff, Arizona and Sebastian, Florida, respectively. A GSSI SIR System 8 radar unit with a 500-MHz monostatic antenna was used for both surveys. The Flagstaff, Arizona survey was conducted at Elden Pueblo Ruins. The site is located in a coniferous forest and characterized by a myriad of surficial and subsurface features. Surficial features consisted mostly of pottery shards and the remnants of rock walled structures. The subsurface features consist mostly of rock lined pits, stone walls, and grave sites covered by a soil layer of variable thickness. The soil is derived from volcanic elastics and the underlying Kaibab Limestone bedrock. GPR profiles were acquired across various locations, some of which had been previously excavated and backfilled by archeologists. The main objectives were to determine the utility of the GPR technique with respect to locating subsurface features of archeological interest, determine the optimum field parameters in the area, and direct further field work. The Sebastian, Florida survey was conducted along the Atlantic coastline. Data were acquired along five beaches and one coastal sand dune. The beaches and dunes of the area are composed of a medium to coarse grained sand, containing quartz grains and carbonates. The principle objective of the Sebastian, Florida survey was to locate wreckage from a Spanish treasure fleet. A secondary objective was to determine the utility of GPR in a near shore marine environment.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Archeological Investigation; Coniferous Forest; Ground-penetrating Radar; Near Shore Marine Environment; Archaeological Site

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Article - Journal

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© 1997 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Dec 1997