Abstract

Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) surveys were acquired of rocks on the highly fractured summit of Turtle Mountain in Canada. In 1903 a disastrous rock slide occurred at Turtle Mountain and it still poses a geologic hazard. Dips, shapes, and penetration depths of fractures are important parameters in slope-stability analysis. Determination of fracture orientation at Turtle Mountain has been based mostly on areal geologic mapping and, most recently, on data collected from boreholes. The purpose of GPR surveys was to test, confirm, and extend information about fractures and bedding planes. Data acquisition was complicated by the rough terrain; because slopes are steep and uneven. This also complicated analysis of the data. Measurement of in situ velocity — an important value for migration — was impossible. Instead, data were migrated with different velocities and data results were chosen that were considered to be reasonable. Analysis and interpretation of the data, resulted in confirmation and extension of the a priori information on orientations of fractures and bedding planes at Turtle Mountain. Despite the rough terrain and highly fractured rock mass, GPR surveys provide reliable information about the shapes and density of fractures — information important for slope-stability evaluation. The most reliable migration results obtained for velocities were considerably less than the standard velocities recorded for limestone, the dominant lithofacies at Turtle Mountain. We interpret this observation as an indicator of water within the rock. However, thorough investigation of this conclusion remains a project for future work.

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