GPR in Volcanic Environments

GPR In the field See also: Introduction to GPR

GPR has become an increasingly popular tool for field-based volcanologists. Being able to map and characterise the three-dimensional internal stratigraphic/spatial variance of deposits, at metre-scale resolutions, is providing researchers with new insights into the emplacement process and dynamic controls that affect deposit formation.

GPR can be used to characterize the nature, geometry and spatial distribution of sub-surface volcanic materials and complement field observations, especially in those areas where information obtained from the surface is restricted due to poor exposure. Thanks to rapid data collection and the possibility to image large areas in short time scales, GPR has found application to a range of deposit types from welded ignimbrites to block-and-ash flows.

Some Useful References

  • Abrams L.J. and Sigurdsson H., 2007. Characterization of pyroclastic fall and flow deposits from the 1815 eruption of Tambora volcano, Indonesia using ground-penetrating radar, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 161, 352–361.
  • Cagnoli B. and Russell J.K., 2000. Imaging the subsurface stratigraphy in the Ubehebe hydrovolcanic field (Death Valley, California) using ground penetrating radar, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 96, 45–56.
  • Cagnoli B. and Ulrych T., 2001a. GPR studies of pyroclastic deposits: Subsurface information where there are no outcrops, The Leading Edge 20, 242-248.
  • Cagnoli B. and Ulrych T.J., 2001b. Downflow amplitude decrease of ground penetrating radar reflections in base surge deposits, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 105, 25-34.
  • Cagnoli B. and Ulrych T.J., 2001c. Ground penetrating radar images of unexposed climbing dune-forms in the Ubehebe hydrovolcanic field (Death Valley, California), Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 109, 279-298
  • Cassidy N.J. and Calder E.S., 2006. GPR-Derived Characterisation of Pyroclastic Flow Deposits, Lascar Volcano, Chile, 11th International Conference on Ground Penetrating Radar, June 19-22, 2006, Columbus Ohio, USA.
  • Cassidy N., Gertisser R., Nuzzo L., Charbonnier S. and Preece K., 2009. Characterising Pyroclastic Flow Deposit Architectures with Ground Penetrating Radar: A Radar Facies Approach, VMSG 2009 Annual Meeting, Bournemouth House, Landsdowne Campus, 4-6 January 2009.
  • Conyers L.B., 1996. The use of ground penetrating radar to map the archaeology and paleogeography of the Ceren Site, El Salvador. Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR ’96), September 30–October 3, Sendai, Japan, 89–94.
  • Gertisser R., Cassidy N.J., Nuzzo L., Charbonnier S.J., Preece K., 2008. GPR facies analysis of block-and-ash flows at Merapi volcano, Central Java, Indonesia, 2008 AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA, 15-19 December 2008.
  • Gertisser R., Cassidy N., Nuzzo L., Charbonnier S. and Preece K., 2009. Imaging the deposit architecture of block-and-ash flows using ground penetrating radar, VMSG 2009 Annual Meeting, Bournemouth House, Landsdowne Campus, 4-6 January 2009.
  • Gomez C., Lavigne F., Lespinasse N., Hadmoko D.S. and Wassmer P., 2008. Longitudinal structure of pyroclastic-flow deposits, revealed by GPR survey, at Merapi Volcano, Java, Indonesia, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 176, 439–447.
  • Gómez-Ortiz D., Martín-Velázquez S., Martín-Crespo T., Márquez A., Lillo J., López I. and Carreño F., 2006. Characterization of volcanic materials using ground penetrating radar: a case study at Teide volcano (Canary Islands, Spain), Journal of Applied Geophysic 59, pp. 63–78.
  • Gómez-Ortiz D., Martín-Velázquez S., Martín-Crespo T., Márquez A., Lillo J., López I., Carreño F., Martín-González F., Herrera R. and De Pablo M.A., 2007. Joint application of ground penetrating radar and electrical resistivity imaging to investigate volcanic materials and structures in Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain), Journal of Applied Geophysics 62, 287–300.
  • Nuzzo L., Gertisser R., Cassidy N.J., Charbonnier S., Preece K., 2008. GPR facies analysis of block-and-ash flows, Merapi volcano, Central Java (Indonesia): new insights into deposit architecture and emplacement mechanisms, 27 Convegno Nazionale GNGTS, Trieste (Italy), 6- 8 October 2008.
  • Russell J.K. and Stasiuk M.V., 1997. Characterization of volcanic deposits with ground-penetrating radar, Bulletin of Volcanology 58, 515–527.
  • Rust A.C., Russell J.K. and Knight R.J., 1999. Dielectric constant as a predictor of porosity in dry volcanic rocks, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 91, 79–96.
  • Rust A.C. and Russell J.K., 2000. Detection of welding in pyroclastic flows with ground penetrating radar: insights from field and forward modelling data, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 95, 23–34.
  • Rust A.C. and Russell J.K., 2001. Mapping porosity variation in a welded pyroclastic deposit with signal and velocity patterns from ground-penetrating radar surveys, Bulletin of Volcanology 62, 457-463.
  • Sutawidjaja I.S., Sigurdsson H. and Abrams L., 2006. Characterization of volcanic deposits and geoarchaeological studies from the 1815 eruption of Tambora volcano, Jurnal Geologi Indonesia 1, 49-57.
  • Tohge M., Karube F., Kobayashi M., Tanaka A. and Ishii K., 1998. The use of ground penetrating radar to map an ancient village buried by volcanic eruptions, Journal of Applied Geophysics 40, 49–58.


See also: Introduction to GPR