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Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is a valuable subsurface exploration tool used to locate anomalies in the subsurface.  GPR is commonly used to locate utilities, underground storage tanks, wells, concrete reinforcement voids, grave sites and other anomalous subsrface materials.  ACER’s GPR systems consist of a transceiver, cables, and associated electronics.  As the transceiver moves across the ground, radio wave pulses are transmitted downward into the subsurface.  Wave pulses that encounter materials with different electrical properties than the propagating media (like soil) are reflected back to the receiver.  The greater the difference in the electric properties of the soil and the object the stronger the reflection will appear in the processed data. 


Cannon-Masten House Ground Penetrating Radar Survey

As part of an archaeological investigation, ground penetrating radar (GPR) was used to identify subsurface features associated with the property’s historic use.  GPR data was collected with a SIR-3000 GPR System utilizing a...



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GPR Archaeological Investigation

The GPR system control unit and transducer/antenna are mounted on a wheeled cart that is manually driven by the GPR operator.  As the transciever moves across the surface the control unit screen displays the data (in real-time) which allows immediate interpretation of the data and accurate field location of the subsurface anomalies.  Effective depth of penetration ranges from about one foot in moist clay to 50 feet or more, in dry granular rocks and sediments.  A variety of antenna frequencies are used  depending on the target dimensions and depth of the survey.


In a GPR survey, electromagnetic (EM) pulses are used to detect variations in the electromagnetic properties in the subsurface as a function of depth.  The effective depth of GPR penetration is very site specific, and can vary significantly over short distances due to changes in soil properties and moisture content.   GPR signal penetration decreases with increased soil conductivity.  Therefore, conductive materials (e.g., clay) attenuate the GPR signal to the point that very little depth penetration is achieved.  Clayey soils, highly saline soils, moist soils and and areas covered by steel reinforced concrete and foundry slag allow for very little radar wave penetration.  

Applications Include:

  • Locating Buried Tanks & Drums

  • Locating Underground Utilities

  • Locating Abandoned Wells

  • Landfill Delineation

  • Archaeological Investigations

  • Locating Graves & Cemetery Mapping

  • Measuring Pavement Thickness

  • Deterioration Mapping

  • Void and Sink Hole Mapping

  • Golf Course Mappling

  • Locate Backfilled Areas

GPR Utility and UST Survey
Ground Penetrating Radar Survey GPR 3D 3D GPR
Additional Geophysics & Non-Destructive Testing Services Provided by ACER:
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