Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Ground-Penetrating Radar to explore spatial variations of thaw thickness and internal structure in the active layer of Tibetan Plateau based on Reverse time Migration Method

Version 1 : Received: 20 August 2018 / Approved: 21 August 2018 / Online: 21 August 2018 (09:13:59 CEST)

How to cite: Lu, X.; Song, A.; Xiao, J.; Ma, Z.; Qian, R.; Wu, Q. Ground-Penetrating Radar to explore spatial variations of thaw thickness and internal structure in the active layer of Tibetan Plateau based on Reverse time Migration Method. Preprints 2018, 2018080374 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201808.0374.v1). Lu, X.; Song, A.; Xiao, J.; Ma, Z.; Qian, R.; Wu, Q. Ground-Penetrating Radar to explore spatial variations of thaw thickness and internal structure in the active layer of Tibetan Plateau based on Reverse time Migration Method. Preprints 2018, 2018080374 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201808.0374.v1).

Abstract

The active layer thickness (ALT) is affected by local soil material and surface vegetation coverage in Tibetan plateau permafrost region. The human activities and engineering construction along the Qinghai-Tibet Highway (QTH) destroyed the surface vegetation coverage, which have seriously influenced the ALT and heat exchange balance. Meanwhile, the changes of the detailed internal structure in the active layer will affect the stability of engineering infrastructure. Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) was used to detect the ALT in the permafrost region. However, researches on the detailed structure of the active layer and spatial variation information of ALT are rare, the main reason given for this is that the lack of advanced imaging techniques to enhance the GPR images. In this paper, the researchers focus on solving this problem by applying the reverse time migration (RTM) method to GPR field data acquired in the Beiluhe region. Analyses of the results led to conclusions as follows: a) The RTM algorithm is proved to be accurate for imaging the characteristics of the active layer through the dielectric constant model obtained by common midpoint and GPR data velocity analysis. b) The result of RTM profiles show the loose structure and graben-like fine internal structure. Combining with drill data and soil materials information, the researchers deduce the graben-like structure might be coarse gravel layer, which may be related to subgrade settlements in some local area. c) The 2D contour maps not only show the spatial variation feature of ALT at two sides of the highway, but also can compensate the defect of the research for single 2D survey line. The ALT is about 0.6~0.8 m in most areas, and about 0.8~0.9 m near the highway at west side of the QTH on the 2D contour maps. From the RTM interpretation profile, the closer to the plash, the deeper thawed active layer. The detailed internal structure of the active layer and 2D contour maps of ALT have great significance for the study of fine internal structure and the characteristic of ALT spatial variation in the Tibetan plateau under the background of climatic change.

Subject Areas

Qinghai Tibet Plateau; permafrost; active layer thickness; ground penetrating radar; reverse time migration

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