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A series of three-dimensional (3-D) ground-penetrating radar (GPR) data sets were acquired over the central wellfield area at the Boise Hydrogeophysical Research Site (BHRS). The survey region is 30 m x 18 m and encompasses 13 wells. The goal of the surveys is to image the complex fluvial (cobble-and-sand) stratigraphy around the wellfield. These images will be used to construct 3-D models of the sedimentary architecture and to help constrain fine-scale models of hydrologic and geophysical parameters at the site. The data sets were acquired using 25 MHz, 50 MHz, 100 MHz and 200 MHz antennas. Depth of penetration ranges from -9.6 m for the 200 MHz data to -22 m for the 25 MHz data. Processing significantly improves the reliability and interpretability of the images. The images suggest that the deposit can be subdivided laterally and vertically into several distinct units or radar architectural elements; these elements are typically separated by erosional bounding surfaces. Horizontal bedding, cross-bedding and channel structures are clearly evident in the 100 MHz and 200 MHz data, and a clay layer that underlies the cobble-and-sand aquifer at -20 m depth is successfully imaged in the 25 MHz and 50 MHz data. The water table, at a depth of l-2 m, is imaged in the 100 MHz and 200 MHz data. Time slices and vertical cuts through the data volumes are used to identify the shape and orientation of the different architectural elements, and to accurately locate important hydrostratigraphic boundaries. These data are being used to construct a 3-D model of the hydrogeologic zonation of the aquifer. Hydrologic and geophysical parameter values associated with each zone will be determined from additional field measurements (e.g., hydraulic tests in wells, crosshole radar and seismic tomography, transient electromagnetics, and well logs). The 3-D GPR surveys provide valuable information about the location, scale and geometry of different stratigraphic units at the BHRS.

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This article was originally published by The Environmental and Engineering Geophysical Society (EEGS) in Symposium on the Application of Geophysics to Engineering and Environmental Problems 1999. Copyright restrictions may apply.