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A comparative integrated geophysical study of Horseshoe Chimney Cave, Colorado Bend State Park, Texas

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Author(s): Brown Wesley A. | Stafford Kevin W. | Shaw-Faulkner Mindy | Grubbs Andy

Journal: International Journal of Speleology
ISSN 0392-6672

Volume: 40;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 9;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: microgravity | GPR | resistivity | ground conductivity | speleogenesis | karst

ABSTRACT
An integrated geophysical study was performed over a known cave in Colorado Bend State Park (CBSP), Texas, where shallow karst features are common within the Ellenberger Limestone. Geophysical survey such as microgravity, ground penetrating radar (GPR), direct current (DC) resistivity, capacitively coupled (CC) resistivity, induced polarization (IP) and ground conductivity (GC) measurements were performed in an effort to distinguish which geophysical method worked most effectively and efficiently in detecting the presence of subsurface voids, caves and collapsed features. Horseshoe Chimney Cave (HCC), which is part of a larger network of cave systems, provides a good control environment for this research. A 50 x 50 meter grid, with 5 m spaced traverses was positioned around the entrance to HCC. Geophysical techniques listed above were used to collect geophysical data which were processed with the aid of commercial software packages. A traditional cave survey was conducted after geophysical data collection, to avoid any bias in initial data collection. The survey of the cave also provided ground truthing. Results indicate the microgravity followed by CC resistivity techniques worked most efficiently and were most cost effective, while the other methods showed varying levels of effectiveness.
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