What is GPR?

Find out what's going on beneath the surface.

GPR or Ground Penetrating Radar is a cost-effective tool for scanning and imaging of sub-surface voids and defects. In the beginning, GPR was used in geophysics or geology and has been adapted in a way that can be used for many residential, commercial and even municipal situations. Truly, the applications are almost limitless as GPR can detect objects using electromagnetic radar impulse.

Defining the Applications of Ground Penetrating Radar


GPR can be used to determine the strength of materials such as concrete or soil. It can also be used to find objects such as pipes, cables, tubes or other buried objects beneath the surface. Another way to use GPR is to find damage to objects that are buried beneath the ground, such as cracked or damaged pipes or other buried utilities. It can even be used to map boundaries where there are multiple layers such as roads where you might find a layer of asphalt, concrete and then soil. It also can detect the length and thickness of what it finds below the surface. Here are some different areas of use:

  • Concrete scanning (including for thickness)
  • Scanning for steel bars
  • Locating voids
  • Locating defects
  • Parking garage inspection
  • Bridge inspection
  • Pool deck inspection
  • Utility location beyond calling 411
  • Location of cables
  • Location of tanks
  • Location of pipes and tubes

So how does GPR Work?

The GPR machine a transmitting antenna as well as a receiving antenna that can be either wired or wireless. It sends a signal into a processing unit. The GPR machine emits EMPs (electromagnetic pulses) or a radar pulse to scan below the surface. It reflects waves from the layers below the surface that show objects below the surface. This information is sent to the receiving antenna. The result is a scanned “picture” of what is below the surface.

If you have a civil engineering project, commercial project, residential project or municipal project that requires GPR, contact us for more information on the process and to get a quote.

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