Electronics (2019-12-01)

Imaging of the Internal Structure of Permafrost in the Tibetan Plateau Using Ground Penetrating Radar

  • Yao Wang,
  • Zhihong Fu,
  • Xinglin Lu,
  • Shanqiang Qin,
  • Haowen Wang,
  • Xiujuan Wang

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 9, no. 1
p. 56


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The distribution of the permafrost in the Tibetan Plateau has dramatically changed due to climate change, expressed as increasing permafrost degradation, thawing depth deepening and disappearance of island permafrost. These changes have serious impacts on the local ecological environment and the stability of engineering infrastructures. Ground penetrating radar (GPR) is used to detect permafrost active layer depth, the upper limit of permafrost and the thawing of permafrost with the season’s changes. Due to the influence of complex structure in the permafrost layer, it is difficult to effectively characterize the accurate structure within the permafrost on the radar profile. In order to get the high resolution GPR profile in the Tibetan Plateau, the reverse time migration (RTM) imaging method was applied to GPR real data. In this paper, RTM algorithm is proven to be correct through the groove’s model of forward modeling data. In the Beiluhe region, the imaging result of GPR RTM profiles show that the RTM of GPR makes use of diffracted energy to properly position the reflections caused by the gravels, pebbles, cobbles and small discontinuities. It can accurately determine the depth of the active layer bottom interface in the migration section. In order to prove the accuracy of interpretation results of real data RTM section, we set up the three dielectric constant models based on the real data RTM profiles and geological information, and obtained the model data RTM profiles, which can prove the accuracy of interpretation results of three-line RTM profiles. The results of three-line RTM bears great significance for the study of complex structure and freezing and thawing process of permafrost at the Beiluhe region on the Tibetan Plateau.