Limitations of GPR (Ground Penetrating Radar)

By June 19, 2017 No Comments

I usually talk about the benefits, but I thought I should put GPR (ground penetrating radar) into some perspective and talk about its limits.

1. Contrast. There must be contrast between your target and your soil for the gpr to identify it.

2. Composition. GPR cannot tell the composition of a target. It can only tell if there is a contrast between the target and the soil. The more you train, the more experience you have, and the more homework you do…the better you can speculate about composition.

3. Conductivity. Conductive soils will eat your GPR signal! Wet clay or even worse…salt water saturated sand, will kill your signal. This will limit where GPR can be effective.

4. Ground obstructions. The cumbersome nature of GPR and the fact that it has to be dragged or pushed along the ground surface makes it difficult to collect data in areas with obstructions. Like shown in the video, a pipe running along a curb can be almost impossible to image using GPR.

Bonus 5. Resolution. Okay! This one was not in the video, but it is a limitation of GPR. The frequency of your antenna, the size of your target, and the depth of your target, can all influence your ability to see an actual target.

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