Ground Penetrating Radar

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We provide Ground Penetrating Radar services for locating utilities, underground storage tanks, septic tanks, voids, manholes, and more. Obtain a continuous cross-sectional profile of sub-surfaces without drilling, probing or digging.

GPR mapping can find all utilities, metallic and non-metallic. With Ground Penetrating Radar profiles, you can evaluate the location and depth of buried objects and investigate the presence and continuity of natural subsurface conditions and features.

Ground Penetrating Radar transmits pulses of ultra high-frequency radio waves down into the ground through a transducer or antenna. The transmitted energy is reflected from various buried objects or distinct contacts between different earth materials. The antenna then receives the reflected waves and stores them in the digital control unit.

GPR waves reach depths up to 100 feet in low conductivity materials such as dry sand or granite. Clays, shale, and other high conductivity materials, may attenuate or absorb Ground Penetrating Radar signals, greatly decreasing the depth of penetration to 3 feet or less. Depth is a function of the Earth’s conductivity in the area tested. The lower the conductivity the deeper the depth of penetration.

The type of GPR antenna will also determine the depth of penetration. Antennas with low frequencies from 25 to 200 MHz obtain subsurface reflections from deeper depths, but have low resolutions. These low frequencies antennas are used for investigating the geology of a site, such as for sinkholes or fractures, and to locate large deep buried objects, such as underground storage tanks and septic tanks.


Antennas with higher frequencies from 300 to 1000 MHz obtain reflections from shallow depths and have high resolution. These high frequency antennas are used to investigate surface soils and to locate small or large shallow buried objects and rebar in concrete.


Project Experience Highlight

Master Locators provided utility locating services using ground penetrating radar at over 13 different Sunoco terminals located in central PA to Ohio, Michigan, and into Canada for the installation of a new pipeline.

Using ground penetrating radar equipment, we were able to collect all the utility data on site, including GPS coordinates, for post processing into AutoCAD so that we could provide the customer with full utility maps for all of the terminals.

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