Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Title

Proceedings of SPIE - the International Society for Optical Engineering


Sustainable use and management of natural resources require strategic responses using non-destructive tools to provide spatial and temporal data for decision making. Experiments conducted at John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC) demonstrate ground penetrating radar (GPR) can provide high-resolution images showing depth to water tables. GPR data at KSC were acquired using a MALÅ Rough Terrain 100 MHz Antenna. Data indicate strong correlation (R²=0.80) between measured water table depth (shallow monitoring wells and soil auger) and GPR estimated depth. The study demonstrated the use of GPR to detect Holocene and Pleistocene depositional environments such as Anastasia Formation that consists of admixtures of sand, shell and coquinoid limestone at a depth of 20-25 ft. This corresponds well with the relatively strong reflections from 7.5 to 13 m (125-215 ns) in GPR images. Interpretations derived from radar data coupled with other non-GPR data (wells data and soil auger data) will aid in the understanding of climate change impacts due to sea level rise on the scrub vegetation composition at KSC. Climate change is believed to have a potentially significant impact potential on near coastal ground water levels and associated water table depth. Understanding the impacts of ground water levels changes will, in turn, lead to improved conceptual conservation efforts and identifications of climate change adaptation concepts related to the recovery of the Florida scrub jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) and other endangered or threatened species which are directly dependent on a healthy near coastal scrub habitat. Transfer of this inexpensive and non-destructive technology to other areas at KSC, Florida, and to other countries, may prove useful in the development of future conservation programs.



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