Ground penetrating radar or GPR
is used to create images of the subsurface.
3-D representations using GPR are common. Geophysical surveys conducted by geophysicists, engineers, geologists, military, and underground utility locators are often used for mapping geology, scanning concrete and pavement, locating underground storage tanks UST, finding graves, archaeological investigations, mapping contamination, determining ice thickness, locating utilities, mining, mapping fracture and fault systems, detecting voids, forensic investigations, agriculture, finding drain tiles, forestry, military investigations, and security applications. Click here to rent GPR equipment from K. D. Jones Instruments.
GPR equipment offers a variety of methods
for acquiring data utilizing many different antenna frequencies.
In general, engineers and geophysicists rent high frequency GPR systems (500 Mhz, 1000 Mhz, or more) for greater resolution. The higher resolution allows one to locate, in good record areas, smaller features such as wire mesh, rebar, voids, utilities, bullets, and nails or bolts. Please note that the first occurrence of metal limits greater depths of penetration. Be aware that greater resolution is often accompanied with a loss of penetration. To image conditions greater than approximately a foot or two with a high level of confidence, lower frequency GPR antennas are rented. 100 and 250 Mhz antennas can reach depths of 5 or more feet. 25 Mhz and 50 Mhz antennas may reach 10′s or 100′s of feet. GPR works well when acquired over electrically resistive materials, for example, sand, gravel, rock, concrete, wood, pavement, plastic, and ice.
One way to determine if GPR may work at a site is to use an earth electrical resistivity meter to measure soil resistivity. GPR may fail when conducted over soils rich in clay minerals, water, or metal. However, these materials are often easily detected when located in electrically resistive materials (e.g. a metal conduit buried in a concrete slab). While the presence of water is an issue, GPR surveys conducted with low frequency antennas placed in the bottom of a nonmetallic boat can yield desirable results and some of the greatest depths of penetration are obtained over ice. Ice from fresh water is not typically a conductor of electricity; thus, the GPR signal passes easily through the ice.
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GPRRental.com suggests renting equipment manufactured by Sensors & Software. Years of experience have made them a leader in ground penetrating radar technology. Their pulseEKKO PRO system can be easily configured with an unlimited range of bistatic antenna separations. Fixed antenna separations are utilized with the transducer based systems. Noggin units are self-contained GPR transducer systems. The fixed configurations are designed for common applications and packaged for simplicity and ease of use. While Sensors & Software offer a couple of more types of units designed for specific geophysical applications, their Conquest is very popular for investigating concrete. Unlike the pulseEKKO Pro system with TR1000 transducer, the Conquest utilizes a portable computer based system designed for imaging smaller areas, often 24 x 24 inches. Whereas, the pulseEKKO Pro TR1000 system can be configured for any size area.