Todd Thompson
Geological Research at the IGS

Investigation of the source/cause of subsurface voids at Mt. Baldy, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, to mitigate visitor safety.

Status Start Date End Date Locations
completed Aug 1, 2014 Jul 31, 2016 LaPorte
Director: Todd Thompson
Other Researchers: William Monaghan Argyilan, Erin P.
Funding: U.S. National Park Service
Issue: Due to a near fatality at Mt. Baldy, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore (INDU) in summer 2013, the NPS will work in collaboration with Indiana University to investigate the source and cause of subsurface voids at Mt. Baldy.
Objective: The objective of this agreement is to investigate these previously undocumented anomalies in an effort to determine risk to visitors at INDU, investigate the “hole” phenomenon, and guide park decision making with regard to visitor safety and public education and understanding of know/unknown hazards.
Approach: 1. Repeat mapping of openings, depressions, and anomalous features. 2. Understanding of the overall internal architecture of the dune, using multispectral GPR and coring. 3. Detailed GPR in the areas of known subsidence accompanied with coring to target anomalies observed in the subsidence area.
Products: Cross-sections will be created from the GPR transects and GeoProbe cores to establish the internal arrangement of the dune and the relationship of the openings and anomalies to the dunes stratigraphy and subsurface features. These products will be part of a NPS report and external manuscripts.
Benefits: Research will provide the NPS with information needed to manage a valuable resource in the INDU.

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