Geography 368:
Desert Southwest

University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire

Abstract: The Application of Geospatial Tools to Assess Fort Ord State Park

The recently developed Fort Ord State Park contains a coastal dune complex. Our study investigated one dune. During field observations along the erosional outcrop, it was noted that there were three sedimentary packages each showing an erosional unconformity and a buried soil horizon. To better understand both the internal stratigraphy and assess the cultural impacts of the abandoned military base, the project used several geospatial technologies. To map location and elevation, three global positioning systems (GPS) with varying degrees of resolution were used. These included the handheld Garmin eTrex, Trimble’s Junos, and differentially corrected Magellan’s ProMark 3 with base station. To image the subsurface, a ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey was undertaken. A pulseEkko 100 GPR system with 100Mhz and 200Mhz antennae frequencies were used along a 200m transect. To establish velocity of the sediments, a common midpoint transect was collected. GPR recorded the horizontal and sub-horizontal , semi-continuous layers that demonstrate an aggradating surface. Vegetation along the transect line was mapped. This vegetation is known to stabilize dunes and results in aggradation. In addition, multiple hyperbolic reflections were noted along the transect. Upon further investigation these reflections are abandoned ammunition bunkers. Through the combined application of geospatial tools, this study demonstrates an effective methodology to map both the physical and cultural landscape to aid in park planning.

Fort Ord Photos


For further details, check out our Research Posters: Background, GPS and GIS, and GPR