Data Collection

Control what you can control: Something to Think About When Using GPR on the Coast

By October 12, 2017 One Comment

I recently delivered a presentation at the Georgia Utility Coordinating Committee meeting where I discussed the benefits and limitations of ground penetrating radar as they relate to utility locating. As with most presentations, online courses, and live events I conduct, I discuss to some degree the importance of controlling what you can control on your project site.

GPR is difficult enough as it is! You shouldn’t make life harder on yourself if you can help it.

During the question and answer period one of the attendees told me about a project he had worked on where his crew went to a coastal site to locate a pipe. When they got there, it was high tide and the salt water was destroying their GPR signal strength and they couldn’t see very deep. Certainly couldn’t see the target.

While many of us might have left the site and called the project a loss and probably would have told our clients about the limits of GPR, this crew waited around. After a few hours went by and the tide had gone out they re-surveyed the area. During low tide, they were able to get deeper penetrating with the radar signal and were able to locate the pipe.

This is a great example of how being alert and being creative can take a project for potential failure to success.

While many in the community tell me that they learn from me, I want to make it clear…I LEARN PLENTY FROM YOU ALL TOO!!!

Comment below with a time that you were able to save a project by being creative and controlling what you could control. is an online training platform for Ground Penetrating Radar that helps civil engineers, utility locators, and others learn about GPR through fun and engaging courses and coaching.

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Join the discussion One Comment

  • Bob Perry says:

    Hi Dan
    Here’s one for you regarding salt. On one of my cemetery projects in VT, I was tasked with locating and tracking sewer lines that ran throughout the cemetery. As I was tracking lines, I would come across areas especially in the road where my single would flat-line or generate high clipping that I called whiteout or scrambled eggs. Later I found out that the town DPW after a snowstorm would dump all their extra road salt in the cemetery. I ended up having the DPW come out and use a bobcat with a brush on the roadways and a high-pressure hose to try and remove some of the salt with no luck. The areas were too saturated with salt from years of dumping.