Gpr and archaeological excavations at the west point foundry, New York.

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences


The West Point Foundry in Cold Spring, New York, was a major producer of ordnance during the Civil War and manufactured sugar machinery, railway locomotives, and the nation's first locomotive. Now, it lies forested and disheveled with only wall foundations visible on the surface. Conventional archaeological methods provided information on site history and evolution, but the location of buried water channels remained unknown. The channels were used to supply for a giant water wheel which powered machinery. Ground penetrating radar was chosen to search for the channels because it was relatively rapid to deploy, and the data directly reveal the depth dimension. Small scale surveys were carried out at nine assessable areas within the site which were thought to contain the channels. Direct evidence of the subsurface was obtained by excavating at radar anomalies. All structures excavated were not water channels but will prove useful in interpreting the history of the site.

Publication Title

Proceedings of the Symposium on the Application of Geophyics to Engineering and Environmental Problems, SAGEEP