Jodie McNeil

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Geological and Environmental Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. William A. Sauck

Second Advisor

Dr. Estella Atekwana

Third Advisor

Dr. Duane Hampton

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The Crystal Refinery in Carson City, Michigan was the site used to test the hypothesis that Ground Penetrating Radar can locate LNAPL plumes. The contamination at the site is in the form of two tree product plumes and a dissolved plume. Three Ground Penetrating Radar antennas were used, a 100 MHz, a 300 MHz and a 500 MHz. Borings with a hand auger were made on some of the GPR lines. Gravel and coarse sand along with product in the form of residual stain and tree product were found in some locations. A vertical electrical sounding and a resistivity profile were made. The area over the tree product plume showed low resistivity values. Previous studies by others have suggested that the tree product plume should produce a change in the quality of the water table reflector. The GPA profiles show neither a consistent brightened or diminished water table reflector. Instead, the GPA reflection was altered by four other factors: (1) the oil/product stain on the sand lying several feet above the present day tree product level; (2) the trees effect on the radar signal in the vadose zone; (3) the occurrence of disturbed or filled surficial layer soils; and (4) the effects of grain size changes in primary sedimentary structures. Since GPA was unable to locate the hydrocarbon plume unequivocally at this site the value of this thesis lies in reminding the GPA user to be aware of the many possible types of interference, and the danger of entrusting a hydrocarbon plume delineation investigation to a single geophysical method.


Additional files attached.

Ground Penetrating Radar Profiles Cemetery Property Figure 6

Ground Penetrating Radar Profiles Cemetery Property Figure 10

Ground Penetrating Radar Profiles Cemetery Property Figure 14

Ground Penetrating Radar Profiles Cemetery Property Figure 16

McNeilFig6_9.tif (217940 kB)
McNeilFig10_13.tif (215622 kB)
McNeilFig14_15.tif (238395 kB)
McNeilFig16_18.tif (221901 kB)

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