What Is Ground Penetrating Radar?

Ground penetrating radar or GPR as it is known is a system whereby radar is used to find out what lies under the surface of the ground. It uses radar to penetrate the ground through to a depth of several feet and the waves bounce back when they hit an object. This allows accurate mapping of thing that are under the ground before any digging is done. If digging is done first, it is quite likely to hit and break pipes and that could be extremely costly to replace, not to mention dangerous as whatever is in those pipes escapes into the surrounding area. It could be gas, sewage, oil, or water; whatever it is, it needs to stay in those pipes.

You could go by maps that were created when the pipes were installed, but often these maps are found to be inaccurate and much expense and delay incurred due to pipes or cables being broken. And in some cases of course, the old maps have been mislaid or lost in floods or fire and so cannot be used at all.

Ground penetrating radar is often used in archaeological sites to find out where to dig without damaging precious objects and also to save time and labour. Archaeologists can only estimate and guess where underground buildings, bones or artifacts are; they cannot know for sure. In the past many months of work have been wasted because nothing was found after digging. But by using GPR this waste of time and energy can be prevented. In areas where there are only a few months of the year available to dig due to climate extremes, the use of GPR is essentially a great time saver.

GPR can also be used to find such things as ships that have sunk many years ago. It saves the expense of sending down divers or subs to find the ship when it might not even be at that location. It also saves the divers facing dangerous or life-threatening situations due to possible faulty equipment or conditions that may deteriorate while they are under the water.

GPR uses specialised equipment to pass over the ground in controlled sweeps so that whatever lies beneath can be mapped. The depth, size and shape of the object can be easily determined using GPR. In fact, it can even be used to find out if anything is inside concrete slabs, making its use very flexible for a large number of applications from installing a pool in the backyard to murder investigations.

Using this method of determining what is under the ground is essential where non-invasive methods are required. When unnecessary ground disturbances are not wanted it provides the ideal solution to find out what is needed. The ground may then not need to be disturbed at all, thus saving costs and time, but perhaps more importantly saving negative environment impacts. It even surpasses the use of metal detectors that are limited to finding objects made of metal. There are many things under the ground that have no metal components and so would not be found by a metal detector, but a GPR would find them.

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1 Response to "What Is Ground Penetrating Radar?"

  1. Hii,
    I Appreciated your blog and nice information about ground penetrating radar.
    Thanks for sharing.