Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)
    by Kelsey Dootson


Today, we visited the site again so we could use ground penetrating radar. GPR is a machine that uses radar waves to detect disturbances in the ground. The GPR machine resembles a lawn mower and uses three different types radar waves, each best at different depths. This is useful for historic preservation because disturbances can range from soil being displaced to a foundation of a house. Our class used the GPR on the South Field and the Formal Garden, possible location of a Charles Gillette planned garden area. Matthew Bartley, a Geospatial Engineering Data Technician at University of Virginia, and Mohamed Ihsan, a student intern, instructed the class in GPR technology.

Disturbances were noted in the south field. The disturbances did form a rectilinear form, causing us to insinuate (or hope) it was a house, or a house-like structure. Disturbances were not found in the Formal Garden space, making us think the Gillette garden plan was not fully built. There is a possibility parts of it could have been constructed, but not to the detail Charles Gillette laid out.