2006 Philadelphia Annual Meeting (22–25 October 2006)
Paper No. 26-17
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM

USING GROUND PENETRATING RADAR (GPR) TO LOCATE POTENTIAL BUILDING FOUNDATION REMNANTS AT THE "PEOPLES PARK" IN BUFFALO, NY

POCZKALSKI, Robert J.1, STOKES, Philip J.1, BAKER, Gregory2, THUMAN, Heather1, and ROGERS, William3, (1) Department of Geology, University at Buffalo, 876 Natural Science Complex, Buffalo, NY 14260, RJP4@buffalo.edu, (2) Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, (3) First Hand Learning, Inc, 2495 Main St Suite 559, Buffalo, NY 14214

The City of Buffalo, NY was one of the first industrialized cities in America, and has a long structural and architectural history which accompanies it. Foundations from some demolished turn-of-the-century structures still remain buried, and there is no reliable way to locate these structures non-invasively. Archeologists, historians, engineers and community members have interest in buried structures in both historical and structural capacities. One such property in downtown Buffalo, soon to be named “The Peoples Park,” was surveyed using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) in an attempt to locate such structures below the surface. GPR is a geophysical technique utilizing electromagnetic waves to locate anomalies in the subsurface. Using the PulseEkko 100 Sensors and Software GPR equipment, a group from the Buffalo Geosciences Program (BGP) surveyed the roughly 500 square meter area with over 20 profiles using the 100 MHz antennae in the fall of 2006. The BGP group included several underrepresented students from area high schools. These students assisted in designing the survey, collecting the GPR data, and interpreting results.

Electrical methods for surveying in the subsurface are often susceptible to interference from metallic and electrical sources, and therefore few applications in urban areas have been tested. The site presented several complications, including proximity to roads, cars, power lines, frequency interference, and had generally poor site integrity; (backfilled trenches, disturbed soils, etc.). Data were collected and processed using industry standard methods. Initial interpretation shows several features, represented by linear trending anomalous reflections. The orientation of the features appears to be at 90 degrees, and aligned with a building footprint shown on a 1946 USGS map. Due to the presence of a moderate amount of signal interference, interpretations did not identify the features specifically as foundation remnants. A shallow surface excavation performed by the group establishing the park will be observed and documented to ground truth any features found in the GPR processing. We plan for our results to supplement current archives, providing structural information for future buildings as well as an interesting historical reference.

2006 Philadelphia Annual Meeting (22–25 October 2006)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 26--Booth# 115
An Early Involvement of Undergraduates and K7–12 Students in Geological and Environmental Research (Posters)
Pennsylvania Convention Center: Exhibit Hall C
8:00 AM-12:00 PM, Sunday, 22 October 2006

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 38, No. 7, p. 78

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