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Underground Locating Technology

Ground Penetrating Radar Services

What is Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)?

Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) is a highly specialised geophysical technique of subsurface imaging. It outputs electromagnetic radiation waves into the ground to detect discontinuities such as utilities and objects.

GPR is non-destructive and provides the valuable information you need prior to excavating.

“Did you know it is illegal to drive a star picket, fence post, or even a clothes line into the ground without dial before you dig plans? This goes for excavations or drilling on any property, whether it is a private or public property.”

How does GPR work?

Ground-penetrating radar technology works by using electromagnetic radiation waves to identify all subsurface factors and tell you exactly what you are standing on.

The device uses an antenna to radiate short pulses of the high-frequency radio waves into the ground. When these waves encounter any discontinuities or dielectric singularities, the waves are reflected back towards a receiving antenna.

This receiving antenna outputs the waves into readable data on a screen so that you can locate exactly where any buried services or objects are underground. The location of the underground discontinuities is determined based on the outputted data and corresponding arrival times.

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What are the benefits of GPR?

When you choose to use GPR, you are choosing to excavate safely as you know exactly what is under your feet. This means you can avoid accidentally damaging crucial underground services such as powerlines, gas pipes, water pipes or other utilities.

GPR is minimally invasive as it uses electromagnetic waves that do not damage the ground, utilities or surrounding terrain.

How far underground can GPR go?

The depth range of GPR is limited by the electrical conductivity of the ground, and the transmitting frequency. As conductivity increases, the penetration depth will also decrease.

This is due to the electromagnetic energy being more quickly dissipated into heat, causing a loss in signal strength at depth. Higher frequencies do not penetrate as far as lower frequencies but give better resolution.

Optimal depth penetration is achieved in dry sandy soils or massive dry materials such as granite, limestone, and concrete where the depth of penetration could be up to 15m. In moist or clay laden soils and soils with high electrical conductivity, penetration can be significantly less. Under normal circumstances, a reliable GPR depth indication would be in the region of 3m to 4m.

When is GPR used?

GPR (ground penetrating radars) is primarily used to locate non-conductive pipes such as PVC water mains and poly pressure sewer rising mains.

In general, some things GPR can do include:

  • Detect materials and objects
  • Detect underground utilities such as powerlines, sewerage, water pipes, gas pipes and more
  • Scan concrete for any cables, electrical conduits, steel reinforcement and more
  • Locate lost valves, hatches and cable boxes

Contact Provac Australia for GPR

If you would like to use high-quality, ground-penetrating radar technology, then contact the experts at Provac Australia Pty Ltd who proudly service the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Logan and other areas of South East Queensland. Contact us online today or call on 1300 734 772.

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