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Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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42 Carleton Street

Cambridge, MA 02 142

ABSTRACT

This presentation concerns the use of Amplitude Versus Offset (AVO) with ground

penetrating radar (GPR) data. We demonstrate that AVO may have possible uses with

GPR. Theory is presented in this paper on the principle of AVO as applied to

electromagnetic (EM) waves. The theory is demonstrated on field data obtained over a

drain field in Massachusetts.

INTRODUCTION

There have been numerous papers on the subject of Amplitude Versus Offset (AVO),

including Rutherford and Williams (1989) and Castagna and Backus (1993). However,

most of these papers have dealt with AVO in seismology, while only two papers to date

have dealt with AVO and GPR Baker, (1998) and Reppert et al., (1998). In GPR the

primary focus of AVO has been to determine the relative velocities on either side of an

interface. This paper re-examines that aspect and adds another use for GPR and AVO.

The interest in studying AVO and radar is driven by a desire to have alternative ways of

measuring the velocity of the subsurface. In the past radar velocity analysis has almost

exclusively been done using CMPWARR: common midpoint/wide angle reflection

refraction surveys. This type of survey involves moving the antennas further apart at

each succeeding survey point (Annan 1992 ). The velocity is then determined using X2-

T2 analysis. AVO in radar also utilizes the CMPWARR method of collecting data.

Using traditional velocity analysis only the velocity on the surface side of a reflector can

be obtained. AVO has the advantage of allowing the velocity on both sides of a reflector

to be determined. Also, demonstrated in this paper is the ability of AVO to give a

quantitative analysis of the attenuation caused by subsurface materials and structures.

This in turn will allow appropriate gain functions to be determined and applied to the data

during processing.

I

1

THEORY

I

The basis for radar AVO is found in electromagnetic (EM) theory. However, it is not the

intent of this paper to present a theoretical development of the reflection coefficient

equations for radar waves; this can be found in almost any EM textbook. Therefore, the

important equations will be presented along with the physics that governs their operation.

593

Proceedings of the Symposium on the Application of Geophysics to Engineering and Environmental Problems, Copyright 1999 EEGS

As stated earlier the quantity that we are trying to determine is velocity, which is given in

Equation (1) for an EM wave.

*=&1+&a) (1)

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Where E is the permittivity of the medium, ~1is the magnetic permeability of the medium,

CTis the conductivity of the medium and o is the angular frequency. Equation (1) can be

reduced to

v=----- 1

(2)

II--W

for many applications in radar, where the frequency is either very high ( f>200 MHz) or

the conductivity is low. Therefore it can be seen that the velocity is dependent only on

the permittivity and magnetic permeability. Changes in velocity are basically due to

changes in permittivity, because for most earth materials the magnetic permeability can

be considered a constant (Telford, Geldart and Sherriff, 1995).

AVO in radar is dependent on the reflection coefficients for radar waves, which are given

by

-= (3)

Ei

J- cl case, + &2 -fzl sin 6,

$---

- (4)

Ei (&)C0s61 +,i(&)-sinB,

where ~1 is the permittivity of the material above the boundary and ~2 is the permittivity

of the material below the boundary. The angle 81 is the angle the incident EM wave

makes with the vertical axis.

Equation (3) is the reflection coefftcient equation for a perpendicular polarized wave and

Equation (4) is the reflection coefficient equation for a parallel polarized wave. A

perpendicular polarized EM wave is one in which the electric field vector is

perpendicular to the plane of incidence. A parallel polarized EM wave is a wave where

the electric field vector is parallel to the plane of incidence.

594

It can be seen in Equations (3) and (4) that the reflection coefficients for EM waves are

only dependent on the permittivity of the materials on either side of the interface.

The last equation presented is the equation for the Brewster angle and is given in

Equation (5).

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(5)

The Brewster angle is the angle obtained by solving Equation (4) with the boundary

condition that no energy is reflected, thus all energy is transmitted. Because the Brewster

angle can only be derived from the parallel polarized form of the reflection coefficient

equation, Equation (4) it can be said that Brewster angles only occur for parallel

polarized EM waves. Brewster angels are a familiar subject in optics; therefore, more

information, if desired, can be found in most physics books.

APPLICATION OF THEORY

It should be noted that, in order to use AVO and the Brewster angle, CMP/WARR data

must be used. AVO and Brewster angles utilizes the fact that the parallel polarized EM

reflection coefficients have a decrease in magnitude as you increase offset until zero

magnitude is reached at the Brewster angle. Then the magnitude increases until all

energy is reflected. The Brewster angle approach is not affected by attenuation,

providing you can see the Brewster angle, and therefore can be determined even with the

effects of attenuation present in the data. Once you determine the Brewster angle you

simply use Equation (5) to solve for the ratio of dielectric constants. If you know one

dielectric constant, you can determine the other.

The Brewster angle provides one more interesting application. Once you know the

Brewster angle, you know what the rest of the reflection coefficient curve versus offset

angle should look like. This knowledge allows for the determination of a gain function

that makes your data fit the reflection coefficient curve and, therefore, allows the correct

gain function to be determined for the data.

The GPR data was collected over a drain field in Ashby, Massachusetts. The data was

collected using a Pulse Ekko IV System with 200 MHz antennas in parallel endfire

configuration. The drain field data consists of three layers, which are shown in Figure 1.

These layers are: Layer 1, air; Layer 2, 2.4 meters of sand; Layer 3, 0.5 meters of water-

saturated sand; and Layer 4, hardpan. These layers were verified by digging. The

bedrock in the area consists of a light gray, medium grained, weakly foliated, weakly

metamorphosed granite that is of the Fitchburg Complex. The overburden of the drain

field consists of sand overlaying sandy silt, which contains various sized cobbles.

595

I

Traditional velocity analysis was done on the CMP data to give velocities of air, 0.3

m/nsec; sand, 0.08 mnsec; and the water-saturated sand, 0.063 rnhsec. These velocities

correspond to the following dielectric constants; air, 1; sand, 15; and water saturated sand

23.

Figure 2 shows the raw CMP data, which was then bandpass filtered at 200 MHz and is

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shown in Figure 3. Color or gray scale plots as shown in Figure 3, can make amplitudes

easier to see. From Figure 3, two Brewster angle locations are found, one at position 4

and travel time 50 nsec and the other at position 3.5 and travel time 62 nsec. These

Brewster angles give dielectric constant ratios of 15/23 and 23/7, respectively. These

values are in good agreement with the known dielectric constants as shown above. The

dielectric constant of 7 is a good value for hardpan, which consists of compacted glacial

till.

The amplitude of the reflections from the sand/ water saturated sand interface was

determined and plotted against the theory for the reflection coefficient curve for that

particular interface, which can be seen in Figure 4. The attenuation in the data can

clearly be seen and then corrected. This correction can then be put into any zero offset

survey performed in that area.

SUMMARY

It has been demonstrated that AVO can be used effectively with radar. This technique

not only gives the relative dielectric constant ratios at an interface boundary but can be

used as an effective tool for determining the attenuation in a material.

AKNOWLEDGMENTS

I thank Nancy Reppert and Chantal Mattei for their assistance in collecting the data.

REFERENCES

1. A. P. Annan, and S. W. Cosway, 1992, Ground Penetrating Radar Survey Design,

Symposium on the Application of Geophysics to Engineering and Environmental

Problems.

2. G. S. Baker, 1998, Applying AVO Analysis to GPR Data, Geophysical Research

Letters, Vol. 25, NO. 3, 397-400.

3. J. P. Castagna, and M. M. Backus, 1993, Theory and Practice of AVO Analysis, SEG

Investigations 8.

4. P. M. Reppert, F. D. Morgan, and N. M. Toksoz, 1998, GPR Velocity Determination

Using Brewster Angles, Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on

Ground Penetrating Radar, 485-490.

5. S. R. Rutherford, and R. H. Williams, 1989, Amplitude Versus Offset Variations in

Gas Sands, Geophysics, Vol. 54, No. 6.

6. W. M. Telford, L. P. Geldart, and R. E. Sheriff, 1995, Applied Geophysics,

Cambridge University Press, New York.

596

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a

SIMPLIFIED CROSS-SECTION

OF DRAIN FIELD SURVEY AREA

Sand

\ /

Wet Sand I

Water 2.9 m

Hardpan

Figure 1 - A simplified schematic cross-section of the drain field used as the test

site. It consists of three layers, sand, wet sand, and hardpan.

The cross-section was constructed based on deep hole observations.

597

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598

8

0

5:

'0

'OC Tt

.

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Downloaded 05/08/14 to 5.2.69.116. Redistribution subject to SEG license or copyright; see Terms of Use at http://library.seg.org/

2 0.9 -

g 0.8-

8 0.7-

,g

-G0.6

p 0.5

0 lo 20 30 40 50 60 70

ltident~e(Cegees)

Figure 4 - The theoretical curve for a pseudo Brewster angle of 5 1 degrees and the

data from which the 5 1 degree Brewster angle was determined. It can be seen in this figure that there is

a discrepancy between the data and the theory. This discrepancy is caused by attenuation. Therefore,

a quantitative analysis of attenuation can be made.

600

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