Document Type




First Advisor's Name

Dr. Dean Whitman

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Dr. Grenville Draper

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Dr. Michael Gross

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


Sinkhole, DEM, GIS

Date of Defense



Airborne LIDAR (Light Detecting and Ranging) is a relatively new technique that rapidly and accurately measures micro-topographic features. This study compares topography derived from LIDAR with subsurface karst structures mapped in 3-dimensions with ground penetrating radar (GPR). Over 500 km of LIDAR data were collected in 1995 by the NASA ATM instrument. The LIDAR data was processed and analyzed to identify closed depressions. A GPR survey was then conducted at a 200 by 600 m site to determine if the target features are associated with buried karst structures. The GPR survey resolved two major depressions in the top of a clay rich layer at ~10m depth. These features are interpreted as buried dolines and are associated spatially with subtle (< 1m) trough-like depressions in the topography resolved from the LIDAR data. This suggests that airborne LIDAR may be a useful tool for indirectly detecting subsurface features associated with sinkhole hazard.





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