3D Helicopter GPR surveying a rock glacier
- Authors: Alan G. Green, Kaspar Merz, and Hansruedi Maurer
- Reviewer: Seogi Kang, Douglas Oldenburg, and Lindsey J. Heagy
Extreme heterogeneity and rugged mountainous terrains characterized by steep slopes and bouldery surfaces make rock glaciers amongst the most difficult geological features to explore using surface-based geophysical techniques. Conventional ground-penetrating radar (GPR) surveys have produced valuable subsurface information for many rock glaciers, but usually only along sparse lines because of the generally challenging to treacherous recording conditions (Fig. 397 c and d). Surface-based GPR surveys of other rock glaciers have failed to yield anything meaningful. In an attempt to provide useful subsurface information for a greater number of rock glaciers and to supply reliable images of their entire 3D structures, we conducted the first ever 3D GPR survey of a rock glacier using a helicopter mounted system. Helicopter GPR (H-GPR) has previously been employed for mapping conventional glaciers. Our results suggest that the H-GPR technique would be a practical means for exploring many other difficult to access terrains.