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Kansas Geological Survey, Open File Report 96-49

A High-Frequency Ground-Penetrating Radar Study of The Drum Limestone, Montgomery County, Kansas

by Joseph M. Kruger, Alex Martinez, and Evan K. Franseen, Kansas Geological Survey, Lawrence, KS


A pilot study to determine the usefulness of high-frequency ground-penetrating radar (GPR) methods in delineating geometries, erosional truncation surfaces, and internal bedding features within carbonate and clastic strata was undertaken in the Spring of 1995. High-frequency ground-penetrating radar methods are capable of resolving shallow subsurface features in great detail. These methods have the potential of allowing internal geometries and bedding features of rock units to be studied beyond outcrop faces, thereby adding stratigraphic information to databases where outcrop information is limited. This method also has potential for adding high resolution 3-D information to carbonate and sandstone reservoir analog studies. This information is necessary for a better understanding of reservoir characteristics at a scale that well or seismic information alone cannot provide. Previous GPR limestone outcrop studies have used low frequency antennas (< 450 MHz) in order to maximize signal penetration (e.g. Pratt and Miall, 1993; Liner and Liner, 1995). Although results from these studies are often satisfactory, they sometimes lack the frequency content necessary to fully resolve fine-scale stratigraphic features (< 0.5 m). The antenna used in the pilot study at this and other sites (Kruger et al., 1995; Martinez et al., 1995a, b) had a dominant frequency of 500 MHz. Although signal penetration depths were not as great as studies involving lower frequency antennas, the resolution was higher and on the order of 0.1-0.2 m.

Results from GPR imaging of the Drum Limestone in Montgomery County, Kansas are the topic of this report (Fig. 1). The Drum Limestone has received much recent attention (e.g. Feldman and Franseen, 1991; Feldman et al., 1993; Miller et al., 1995; Franseen et al., 1995; Gomez et al., 1995) because it is a surface and shallow subsurface analog for oolitic reservoirs in the Lansing-Kansas City Groups in central and western Kansas. This study continues detailed investigations of the Drum reservoir analog facies. Specifically, two perpendicular GPR profiles were acquired in the oolitic facies in an effort to generate high resolution images of geometries such as, 3-D aspects of the oolite body, bounding surfaces, and other details that may be important to understanding internal reservoir characteristics and heterogeneities. Combined with outcrop information, these images demonstrate that GPR is useful for very near-surface correlation of the cross-bedded oolitic facies, particularly where the outcrop is covered. Results from these profiles also indicate the utility of acquiring a grid of GPR profiles to generate a 3-D image of the oolitic facies and add to the outcrop information.

Figure 1--Map of eastern kansas with county outlines showing the location of the Drum Limestone GPR study site in Montgomery County.

location map

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Kansas Geological Survey, Open-File Report 96-49
Placed online Jan. 1997
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