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Proceedings Paper

Use of GPR technique in surveying gravel road wearing course
Author(s): Timo Saarenketo; Heikki Vesa
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Paper Abstract

During summer 1998 a series of tests were conducted in Finland in order to find out how Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) technology can be utilized at both the project and network level, when surveying the wearing course thickness of gravel roads. The second objective was to investigate the possibilities of applying dielectricity information obtained using the GPR surface reflection method when determining the quality of the gravel road wearing course. In this study GPR was tested at the project level on highway 9241 Simo in Northern Finland, where the information provided by the GPR and laboratory research was used in designing and proportioning a new wearing course. In the network level studies, performed in the maintenance areas of Kemi and Karstula in Northern and Central Finland the goal for using GPR was to inspect the condition and thickness of the wearing course and evaluate the need for additional wearing course material. The total length of the roads under survey was approximately 200 km and both a 1.5 GHz ground-coupled antenna and a 1.0 GHz horn antenna were tested in this study. The research results show that GPR can be used to measure the thickness of the wearing course, the average measuring error against reference drilling measurements being 25 mm, which is considerably larger than the error of radar measurements in paved roads. To a great extent this is due to the fact that the thickness of the wearing course varies greatly even in the road's cross-section and thus a single reference thickness does not represent the actual thickness of the area measured with the GPR. The wearing course can often get mixed up with lower layers, which makes it difficult to determine the exact layer interfaces. For this reason reference information must always be used along with the GPR measurement results. Of the two GPR antennae tested, the horn antenna proved to be the more effective in measurements. The dielectric value of the wearing course, measured using the horn antenna surface reflection method, represents well the suction properties of the wearing course. High dielectric values reflect the water sensitive and frost susceptible wearing course materials where as low values reveal the lack of binder. A quality rating of the wearing course by its dielectrics and layer thickness is also suggested. In the measuring results analysis and presentations, GIS-maps proved to be invaluable.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 April 2000
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 4084, Eighth International Conference on Ground Penetrating Radar, (27 April 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.383559
Show Author Affiliations
Timo Saarenketo, Roadscanners Oy (Finland)
Heikki Vesa, Finnish National Road Administration (Finland)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4084:
Eighth International Conference on Ground Penetrating Radar
David A. Noon; Glen F. Stickley; Dennis Longstaff, Editor(s)

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