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Ground-penetrating radar profiling on embanked floodplains

Author: Bakker, M.A.J. · Maljers, D. · Weerts, H.J.T.
Institution: TNO Bouw en Ondergrond
Source:Geologie en Mijnbouw/Netherlands Journal of Geosciences, 1, 86, 55-61
Identifier: 239929
Keywords: Geosciences · Floodplain · GPR (ground-penetrating radar) · Overbank sediments · Radar facies · embankment · floodplain · ground penetrating radar · moisture · overbank sediment · river engineering · sandbar · texture · Benelux · Eurasia · Europe · Netherlands · Waal River · Western Europe · Geological Survey Netherlands · Energy / Geological Survey Netherlands


Management of the Dutch embanked floodplains is of crucial interest in the light of a likely increase of extreme floods. One of the issues is a gradual decrease of floodwater accommodation space as a result of overbank deposition of mud and sand during floods. To address this issue, sediment deposits of an undisturbed embanked floodplain near Winssen along the river Waal were studied using ground-penetrating radar (GPR). A number of radar facies units were recognized. Boreholes were used to relate radar facies units to sedimentary facies and to determine radar velocity. The GPR groundwave is affected by differences in moisture and texture of the top layer and probably interferes with the first subsurface reflector. The architectural elements recognized in the GPR transects confirm earlier reported insights on human-influenced river behaviour. This is testified in the development of sand bars during flood regimes that are probably more widespread than previously established.