Montezuma Wetland Brines

Laura Sherrod - 2013

The Montezuma Wetlands Complex of New York State represents an important hydrologic zone with a diverse plant and animal population.  There are several salt springs of unknown sources in this environment.  Through the use of methods such as Ground Penetrating Radar and Resistivity, images of the subsurface can be produced to map the location of these salt springs, or brines, which have a much higher conductivity than the surrounding sediments and fresh groundwater.  Dr. Laura Sherrod and Kutztown University undergraduate students Emily Snyder, Sebastien Treciak, and Alex Spielman joined Dr. Andrew Kozlowski and Dr. Brian Bird of the New York State Geologic Mapping Program in the summer of 2013. 


Swampy area along the road that was surveyed during the 2013 field work. 

Dr. Kozlowski sets up the 100MHz GPR antennae at the field site with several interns and KU students. 

A single survey site was investigated during a week of geophysical field work located within Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge.  This 50,000 acre wetland at the northern edge of the Finger Lakes is a delicate ecosystem for a large variety of plants and animals.  Understanding the glacial history of this environment and thus the current hydrogeology will enable the system to be better protected in the future. 

An MPT DAS-1 Electrical Impedance Tomography System was used to perform thirty-eight resistivity surveys were implemented to map the transition between the subsurface geophysical response of the brine spring and the fresh groundwater prevalent throughout most of the wetland.  GPR profiles totaling over 5km were collected along the same survey lines as the resistivity surveys using a SIR 3000 GSSI radar system.  These profiles were surveyed with both the 100MHz and 200MHz antennae.  

Emily Snyder lays the cable for a resistivity survey. 
Montezuma Wetland Brines Results Geologic Mapping Ground Penetrating Radar
Sherrod Home Page Environmental Geophysics and Hydrogeology Resistivity