Mining Publication: Delineation of Fractures in Igneous Rock Masses Using Common Offset Radar Reflection
As part of an investigation aimed at improving the health and safety and competitiveness of the mining industry, the U.S. Bureau of Mines evaluated the application of common offset radar profiling, using a 250-MHz ground-penetrating radar (GPR) system, for the detection of fractures in igneous rock. A series of radar reflection surveys were conducted to detect and delineate the extent of fracturing at various granodiorite and gabbro quarries and outcrops located in Minnesota. The application of radar profiling for detecting joints, sheeting fractures, shear zones, and depth to water table was demonstrated to be feasible with minimal processing. Radar reflection interpretations were verified by visual inspection of the rock mass and field mapping of local structure. The radar reflection section provides a simple, rapid, and cost-effective means for mapping of shallow (less than 10 m) small-scale fractures (greater than 0.25 cm) in igneous rock masses (characteristic of velocities between 0.061 m/ns for gabbro and 0.125 m/ns for granodiorite). Depth or distance estimates to fractures are within 10 pct of the actual, and time-shift compensation is necessary only when topographic irregularities exceed 30 cm.