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Proceedings Paper

Ground-penetrating radar: use and misuse
Author(s): Gary R. Olhoeft
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Paper Abstract

Ground penetrating radar (GPR) has been used to explore the subsurface of the earth since 1929. Over the past 70 years, it has been widely used, misused and abused. Use includes agriculture, archaeology, environmental and geotechnical site characterization, minerals, groundwater and permafrost exploration, tunnel, utility, and unexploded ordnance location, dam inspection, and much more. Misuse includes mistaking above ground reflections for subsurface events or mapping things from off to the side as if they were directly below, synthetic aperture processing of dispersive data, minimum phase deconvolution, locating objects smaller than resolution limits of the wavelength in the ground, ignoring Fresnel zone limitations in mapping subsurface structure, processing radar data through seismic software packages without allowing for the differences, mapping the bottom of metal pipes from the top, claiming to see through thousands of feet of sediments, and more. GPR is also being abused as the regulatory environment changes and the radiofrequency spectrum is becoming more crowded by cellular phones, pagers, garage door openers, wireless computer networks, and the like. It is often thought to be a source of interference (though it never is) and it is increasingly interfered with by other radiofrequency transmitters.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 October 1999
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 3752, Subsurface Sensors and Applications, (15 October 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.365695
Show Author Affiliations
Gary R. Olhoeft, Colorado School of Mines (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3752:
Subsurface Sensors and Applications
Cam Nguyen, Editor(s)

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