Subsurface Investigation of Cape Kolka, Latvia: A Strandplain Along the Baltic Coast

Authors: Hailee Jefferies*, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Harry M Jol, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Donatas Pupienis, Vilnius University, Martin P Goettl, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Cameron P Wingren, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Kelly M Jerviss, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Logan L Bergevin, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Topics: Coastal and Marine, Europe, Geomorphology
Keywords: Ground Penetrating Radar, Cape Kolka, prograding coastline, Baltic Sea, Latvia
Session Type: Virtual Poster
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 5:50 PM
Room: Virtual 52
Presentation Link: Open in New Window
Presentation File: Download



Cape Kolka is a strandplain that is part of the Slitere National park, located at the northern tip of Latvia, where two seas meet, the Baltic Sea to the west and the Gulf of Riga to the east. The strandplain includes parallel beach ridges that have been created from depositing coastal sediments that have been carried towards the northern tip of Cape Kolka through longshore drift. Rising sea levels have caused the southern Baltic Sea to erode and leaving sediments to be carried along and resulting in a prograding strandplain. Ground penetrating radar (GPR) is a noninvasive, geophysical method that emits high frequency electromagnetic pulses into the ground, which then bounce off horizons in the subsurface. The reflected pulses are collected through a receiving antenna and recorded. A Sensors and Software pulseEKKO Pro GPR system was used with two antennae frequencies, 100 and 500 MHz. The data was collected along a 1,000 m surveyed line down a sandy road, perpendicular to the ridges, 37.6 km south from Cape Kolka. Profiles were collated and processed using EKKO Project software using gain control, velocity (0.069 m/ns), and dewow tool. A topographic profile was collected with a TopCon RL-H3CL laser leveler at intervals of 5 m and was used to geometrically correct the GPR profiles. The GPR stratigraphic reflection facies indicate dipping reflections that extend towards the coastline and are interpreted as prograding sequences. These results will provide a better understanding of prograding coastlines for those who are interested in changing coastal environments.

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