Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

David Dominic (Committee Member), Ernest Hauser (Committee Chair), Doyle Watts (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Old cemeteries often have graves that are unmarked because gravestones are missing or degraded and the graves are in areas for which maps or other historical documents are incomplete. This is the case for one cemetery in southwestern Ohio, known as Stevenson Cemetery, which contains graves of Revolutionary War and War of 1812 veterans. The immediate goal of this study is to locate unmarked graves in this cemetery using geophysical techniques. The broader goal is to evaluate three geophysical techniques to determine the effectiveness of each.

The three geophysical techniques evaluated in this study are magnetics, electro-magnetics, and ground-penetrating radar. Magnetic surveys were accomplished using a Geometrics 858 Cesium Magnetometer (gradiometer configuration). Electromagnetic surveys were accomplished using a GSSI EMP 400 Profiler (16 kHz, 9 kHz, & 5 kHz) and a Minelab E-Trac metal detector (1.5-100 kHz, using 28 simultaneous frequencies). Ground-penetrating radar surveys were accomplished using a GSSI SIR-3000 GPR with a 400 MHz antenna. For a portion of the Stevenson Cemetery, a survey grid was established and utilized with each instrument.

The ground-penetrating radar survey yielded a linear pattern of anomalies, which could represent graves. The electromagnetic method produced anomalies at each of the frequencies used. These anomalies appear to correspond to the magnetic anomalies. The ground-penetrating radar results were poor in 3D due to the presence of tree roots. However, individual 2D radargrams revealed some anomalies that coincide with the magnetic and electromagnetic anomalies. Overall, the magnetometer data yielded the best results. These were not definitive on their own and the best approach is to combine at least two of the three methods to map anomalies that could be potential gravesites.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Year Degree Awarded


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.