GPR Mapping

What is ground penetrating radar?

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is a powerful geophysical method that is used to obtain subsurface images by injecting radar pulses into the ground and measuring the reflected signals. This non-destructive technology is extensively used for locating subsurface structures, detecting voids, and identifying the presence of buried utilities. The GPR technique employs the differences in permittivity values of the materials present underneath the ground to distinguish between the various subsurface structures.

This method works by emitting high-frequency electromagnetic waves into the ground and detecting the reflected signals. The electromagnetic waves are reflected to the antenna when they encounter materials with a different permittivity from the surrounding area, such as soil, rocks, and different types of sediments. The waves that are absorbed by the materials that have a similar permittivity value to the surrounding area are not reflected. Hence, the GPR technology is ideal for identifying non-conductive and non-metallic materials that are not detectable by other geophysical techniques.

As the waves are sent into the ground, they penetrate to varying depths, dependent on the frequency used and the subsurface properties. Typically, low frequencies are used for deep imaging, while high frequencies are used for shallow imaging. The recorded signals are then processed by the GPR software to produce a comprehensive image of the subsurface structures.

GPR is deployed for a wide range of applications such as environmental assessments, civil engineering, geological mapping, and archaeological investigations. The technology is highly versatile and is a valuable tool for subsurface investigations. At SMS, we utilise several industry standard GPR systems, such as IDS, GSSI, Radiodetection, and our flagship StreamDP paired with IQMaps. This enables us to provide accurate and reliable GPR survey results, essential for decision-making in a wide range of industries.

Multi Array 3D GPR

What are the benefits of using GPR?

  • GPR can locate and identify non-conductive materials and buried objects
  • This makes it ideal for locating underground utilities, archaeological artifacts, and voids in building structures
  • GPR emits electromagnetic waves into the ground, providing accurate and spatially detailed images of subsurface features
  • It allows for wide area sweeps in remote or inaccessible locations, making it valuable for surveying and mapping
  • It produces high resolution 2D and 3D images for a comprehensive visualisation of subsurface features
  • GPR has become an essential tool for civil engineering, environmental monitoring, and archaeology

How does Ground Penetrating Radar work?

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) technology employs electromagnetic waves to penetrate into the ground and detect subsurface structures and utilities. The method works by transmitting a narrow pulse of high-frequency radio waves into the ground through an antenna. This pulse travels through the dielectric media of the subsurface until it encounters an interface between two materials of different permittivity, often representing a buried object or structure. Upon encountering such an interface, the pulse gets partially reflected towards the surface and is detected by the same antenna. By measuring the time delay and amplitude of the reflected pulse, it is possible to determine the depth and location of the object being investigated.

Ground penetration radar uses pulses of radio waves to penetrate the ground, and the electromagnetic waves produced are transmitted at high frequencies. Non-conductive materials in the soil have varying permittivity and emit varying signals, thus giving off different reflections. These reflections provide data that enable the detection and location of subsurface structures. GPR technology is useful for detecting utilities that cannot be located by Electromagnetic Frequency (EMF) and performing wide sweeps in areas without pre-existing records.

What are some applications for Ground Penetrating Radar?

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) has a wide range of applications across various industries due to its non-invasive and efficient imaging capabilities. One of the primary applications of GPR is in the construction industry, where it is used extensively for subsurface mapping. GPR can detect the presence and location of utilities, foundation structures, pipes, and other underground features that are essential for construction work. This technology can also help in identifying potential hazards such as sinkholes, voids, and buried debris that may pose a safety risk.

Another significant application of GPR is in the environmental sector, where it can assist in groundwater and soil investigations. GPR can locate areas of soil contamination, identify landfill boundaries, and map geological formations. Additionally, GPR can aid archaeologists in locating and mapping historical artifacts, tombs, and other significant features of archaeological sites non-intrusively.

GPR is also used for inspecting transportation infrastructure such as roads, bridges, and runways. It can identify voids in concrete structures, detect rebar and other embedded materials, and locate deterioration such as cracks and delamination. This information can be used to plan maintenance and repair works and extend the life of the infrastructure.

Furthermore, GPR is utilised in the mining industry for exploration and mapping of mineral deposits. It can detect the presence of mineral deposits, locate mine workings and infrastructure, and help in planning and optimising mining operations.

Subsurface Mapping Solutions provides GPR mapping services across Australia, based in Gold Coast and Brisbane, Queensland.

We are here to help!

Determination of the location of underground utilities can be like solving a puzzle

36/38 Kendor St, Arundel, QLD 4214

PO Box 3821, Helensvale Town Centre Qld 4212