Geophysical Applications of Ground-Penetrating Radar

Ground penetrating radar is a non-destructive method that uses electromagnetic (EM) waves to scan the subsurface. It is particularly useful in the detection of buried utilities and other man-made structures. The radar pulses are reflected by interfaces in the subsurface that differ in their dielectric properties. These interfaces can be soil horizons, groundwater surfaces, rock surfaces, or man-made objects such as pipes and cables.Read

GPR is an extremely versatile method, but it also has its limitations. Compared to other geophysical techniques, GPR has the advantage of not being destructive, and it can provide data over large areas in relatively short periods. However, its performance is limited by less-than-ideal environmental conditions. Clay soils have high electrical conductivity and attenuate the radar signal, and rocky or heterogeneous sediments scatter the signal and reduce its usable depth resolution.

Ground Penetrating Radar for Environmental Site Assessments

A method of filtering GPR data has been developed to remove the effect of spatially offset reflections. The result is a more realistic radar image that shows reflectors as hyperbolas rather than as linear tails. The technique can be used to identify the location of a reflector at its true position on the surface, as well as to estimate its size and geometry.

The potential of GPR for sinkhole characterization in karst terrains is explored. A comprehensive GPR survey was conducted across two buried active sinkholes with contrasting subsidence mechanisms in the mantled evaporite karst of Zaragoza city, Spain. GPR allows a thorough characterization of the sinkholes and reveals that different subsidence mechanisms cause distinct structural features in the underlying bedrock.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *