Examples of Successful GPR Surveys  

The following are just a few examples of GPR surveys that were successful in reflecting buried features of interest.

Petra, Jordan:

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Comb Wash, Utah:

This project was part of a master's thesis by Tiffany Osburn. The kivas in the Comb Wash area were believed to be Great Kivas based on surficial appearance. The GPR data, however, showed them to be regular-sized kivas, giving much greater insight into the cultural history of this area. Data were collected using a 400 MHz antenna by Tiffany Osburn.

Also check out: http://www.du.edu/~lconyer/tiffany_comb_wash_kivas.htm

Ft. Garland, Colorado:

This was a project prospecting for the buried walls and foundation of a Civil War bunkhouse at Fort Garland in southern Colorado. This survey was collected using a 900 MHz antenna by Jennie Sturm and Lindsay Amanti.


Ft. Sill, Oklahoma:

This survey is an example of how combining geophysical methods can quickly and efficiently map a large area to locate features of possible cultural interest.

Michele Koons collecting GPR data at the Ft. Sill golf course.

This project combined GPR and EM (Electromagnetic) surveys to prospect for a Civil War-era campsite of General Custer on the Ft. Sill Golf Course in Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. The campsite was not found (and may have not existed here!) but maps of features on the golf course, both on the surface and buried, were created. The EM surveys were collected using an EM-38, by Michael Grealy and Sara Gale. The GPR surveys were collected using a 400 MHz antenna by Jennie Sturm and Michele Koons.

The EM surveys were done first over a very large area to locate anamolous features. Selected areas were then chosen to perform GPR surveys for higher resolution mapping:


Albany, New York:

This project sought to prospect for historic features underneath a parking lot in downtown Albany. The processed radar slice maps were compared to the Sand Born Fire Insurance Maps for the city in three years--1890s, 1908, and 1934. By doing this, features that appear in the radar data could be correlated to features found on the maps, and thus age-dated. Since the slice maps are showing 3D stratigraphic deposits going deeper into the ground, the law of superposition means we can compare the architectural history of this area to layers of subsurface. GPR data collected by Michael Grealy.


Radar Slice Maps with Fire Insurance Overlays, From Left to Right:

1890s, 1908, 1934



One of the most common types of surveys geophysical archaeologists are asked to do is to locate graves and burials. GPR can be quite successful at locating them:

Reflection profile from a survey done in a military cemetery. Each hyperbola is a burial.



Amplitude Slice Map showing burials and marked tombstones from Kansas.




This survey successfully mapped a buried standing wall from the Hippos Site in Golan Heights, Israel.