Shallow geophysical techniques applied to archaeology, economic geology, and groundwater resources

Jaime Omar Hincapie, University of Texas at El Paso


This dissertation presents three studies that make extensive use of geophysical non seismic methods, namely, magnetometry, gravimetry, conductivity, and ground penetrating radar. The first paper presents the results of a magnetometry study aimed to locate and delineate magnetic mineral bearing rocks associated with an intrusive at an undisclosed location. The study suggests that the pod-like magnetic mineral host rocks can be located and characterized by forward modeling, and the resulting calculated magnetic anomaly curve can be successfully cross-correlated with the observed data curve. As a result, cross-correlation can be used as an estimation of the fit between the curves and, therefore, as an objective quantitative quality control process. The second study regards the use of gravimetry to discern the rock fracturing pattern that contributes to the groundwater flow and control in the Mesilla Bolson, southern New Mexico and west Texas. By using densely spaced gravity measurements along north-south lines, and complimenting the dataset with the PACES gravity database, I present a series of northeast-southwest trending dip-slip fractures that create block displacements. I also propose a new location of the Mesilla Valley fault, a fault with no surface expression in the area. Finally, the third paper presents a systematic approach for locating archaeological remains using conductivity, magnetometry, and ground penetrating radar at the Three Rivers archaeological site, north of Tularosa, New Mexico. By using the aforementioned methods in that specific order and by increasing the sampling density while reducing the exploration area, I narrowed down a broad two acre exploration site to an 4 by 6 meter rectangle where the detailed GPR signal suggests that there are toppled walls, and probably hardened soil dwelling sites buried by seasonal flooding of the nearby Three Rivers creek.^

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Hincapie, Jaime Omar, "Shallow geophysical techniques applied to archaeology, economic geology, and groundwater resources" (2008). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3310676.