Geophysical Methods Applied to Community Planning

Dennis S. Hodge
Ernest T. Selig
Parker E. Calkin

DOI: 10.2190/6BC1-HPX3-FBVD-UANR


This paper describes geological and geophysical methods which have been used in the initial stages of planning and development for a new community in suburban Buffalo. It will adjoin the campus under construction for the State University of New York. Information drawn by the authors from regional glacial geologic studies plus geophysical traverses over the site have provided architects with rapidly acquired yet reliable data on drift stratigraphy, depth to bedrock, ground water, and drainage conditions preparatory to more expensive, detailed engineering studies. Shallow seismic refraction profiles, which show bedrock 10 to 50 feet below the surface, were supplemented by over 80,000 linear feet of resistivity profiling designed to give qualitative data on the form of the overburden/rock interface. Taken together with scattered shallow borings, these data allow differentiation of areas most suitable for industrial sites, family dwellings, lakes, and green spaces. Furthermore, the data emphasize the poor drainage situation with which engineers will have to deal and the lack of aquifers in the overburden for lake or industrial water supplies. Such inexpensive preliminary studies undertaken in future urban development can greatly aid in management of the land resources.

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