Use of Surface and Borehole Ground Penetrating Radar in Geologic and Engineering Investigations of Transportation Projects

This project investigates the use of ground penetrating radar (GPR) subsurface imaging in transportation projects. Knowledge of shallow subsurface geologic conditions is critical to planning, constructing and maintaining transportation infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, tunnels and railroads. Transportation projects rely heavily on drilled boreholes for characterization of subsurface geology. A borehole provides accurate information at a single location (one-dimensional) and several test borings are commonly required in order to determine the lateral extent of features of interest. Near-surface geophysical methods offer the capability to complement test borings by providing two- and three-dimensional images of the subsurface, away from and between boreholes. Such capability can be valuable in mapping features of limited lateral extent, such as discontinuous strata, faults and fracture zones, boulder fields and voids. Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) is a non-invasive, non-destructive, high-frequency electromagnetic method that provides high resolution imaging of electrically resistive environments. GPR can be deployed on the surface and in boreholes, and it can provide observations in two-dimensions (cross-sections) and three-dimensions (volumes). GPR data used in conjunction with borehole data offer the capability to accurately map subsurface features of interest. GPR imaging of the subsurface can complement and enhance the subsurface information provided by test borings. Furthermore, GPR can potentially reduce the number of borings required in a transportation project. The objective of the project was to evaluate the utility of GPR technology in addressing Kansas transportation geologic and engineering questions. Three GPR studies completed during the course of this project were: GPR imaging of bedrock along the Kansas River at Highway K–18 near Manhattan, Kansas; GPR imaging of the Ogallala Formation at Highway US-50, near Cimarron Kansas; and borehole GPR detection of subsurface voids at Kansas Highway 69 Pittsburg Bypass.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 87p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01155371
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: K-TRAN: KU-06-8
  • Contract Numbers: C1581
  • Created Date: Apr 23 2010 11:38AM