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Ground-penetrating radar: A tool for mapping reservoirs and lakes

October 1, 1991

Ground-penetrating radar was evaluated as a tool for mapping reservoir and lake bottoms and providing stage-storage information. An impulse radar was used on a 1.4-ha (3.5-acre) reservoir with 31 transects located 6.1 m (20 feet) apart. Depth of water and lateral extent of the lake bottom were accurately measured by ground-penetrating radar. A linear (positive) relationship existed between measured water depth and ground-penetrating radar-determined water depth (R2=0.989). Ground-penetrating radar data were used to create a contour map of the lake bottom. Relationships between water (contour) elevation and water surface area and volume were established. Ground-penetrating radar proved to be a useful tool for mapping lakes, detecting lake bottom variations, locating old stream channels, and determining water depths. The technology provides accurate, continuous profile data in a relatively short time compared to traditional surveying and depth-sounding techniques.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1991
Title Ground-penetrating radar: A tool for mapping reservoirs and lakes
Authors C.C. Truman, L.E. Asmussen, H.D. Allison
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Soil and Water Conservation
Series Number
Index ID 70185806
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Toxic Substances Hydrology Program