Research Activities: 1998

Route Characterization and Geophysical Survey Feasibility Study of Previously Mined Ground Along Alternate "E" Proposed Highway 71 Bypass, Joplin, Mo.



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Sequential Number


Identification Number


Matching Research Agency

Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT)

Principal Investigator

Neil Anderson, Professor
Geology & Geophysics Department
University of Missouri-Rolla
125 McNutt Hall
Rolla, MO 65409
p(573) 341-4852

Student Involvement

One (1) graduate student

Project Objective

Non-invasive study of abandoned mine ground.

Project Abstract

Seismic/ground-penetrating radar geophysical surveys were conducted for the MoDOT along a proposed interstate route (Alternate "E") near Joplin, Missouri. The shallow reflection seismic data was acquired along or immediately adjacent to the centerlines of the proposed interstate route and across proposed interchange and overpass sites. These seismic data provide essentially continuous structural images of the shallow subsurface, and enable MoDOT engineers to map bedrock, and identify and locate anomalous subsurface features of both natural and anthropogenic origin (e.g., paleo-karsts, open-pit mines, surface and ventilation shafts). Seismic interpretations and anomalies were confirmed by drilling. The ground-penetrating radar data were acquired in "chat" (milled rock) covered areas along the proposed interstate right-of-way (ROW). These data provide essentially continuous structural images of the shallow subsurface, and enable MoDOT engineers to map the base of the "chat", and identify and locate in-filled and buried shafts (mine-access and ventilation).

Task Description

PHASE II Thirty-four thousand (34,000) lineal feet of shallow reflection seismic data and thirty-four thousand (34,000) lineal feet of ground penetrating radar data were acquired. These data were processed at UMR, and interpreted by UMR researchers in consultation with MoDOT personnel. Seismic checkshot data were used to constrain the interpretation of the reflection seismic data.

Anticipated Benefits

Identification of hazards along Route 71 Bypass.

Modal Orientation



Project Start Date:07/01/1998
Project End Date:06/30/1999

Relationship to other Research/Projects

Consistent with other geotechnical work

Technology Transfer Activities

Publish papers and reports

Transportation Research Board Keywords

Ground-penetrating radar, seismic assessment