Are you carrying out subsurface mapping on your upcoming project? If you want highly accurate results, and no costly mistakes, Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) surveys could be the right solution for your project. 

Subsurface mapping is so important in creating a map of the underground of a work site. Whether you are a developer, an architect, or a planner, you can study the underground properties to determine utility infrastructure including piping, cabling, drains and sewers, etc. It is a crucial part of the process to ensure the building site can be prepared with this information in mind.

GPR surveys are particularly helpful in helping to detect non-metallic objects such as plastic pipes, concrete, or clay. Completing subsurface mapping can save time and money in the long run by preventing costly mistakes that could be difficult to reverse. 

So, let’s prevent any costly mistakes and discover the power of GPR surveys in subsurface mapping.

How does GPR technology work?

GPR technology sends a high-frequency electromagnetic pulse into the ground using a transmitter. The radar signals are then reflected and detected by the antenna.  

Next, the signals are processed and displayed on a graphic recorder. The transmitter and antenna move across the area of interest, and the graphic recorder will create a final radar image. 

This technique is standard in completing our underground utility surveys to ensure highly accurate results. 

A vital component of GPR technology is resolution. Our surveyors are experienced in using a combination of frequencies to produce accurate results. By using a combination of lower frequency and higher frequency antennas, our surveyors can ensure a high resolution but are also able to identify different features and smaller objects.

What are the benefits of using GPR Surveys in Subsurface Mapping? 

There are many advantages to using GPR surveys in subsurface mapping: 

  • Highly accurate results: through their ability to detect both metallic and non-metallic objects. 
  • Cost-effective solution: allows developers to prevent delays and structural damage through thorough planning. 
  • Fast data collection: the high-resolution image is created in a matter of minutes, making it cheaper and safer than radiography. 
  • Non-destructive and safe: you only need single-sided access, making it an ideal solution for public spaces.

How can GPR surveys help you?

There are various ways that GPR surveys are being used in the construction industry. Here are some common applications:

  • Construction details: to determine the general construction such as material, location, and thickness.
  • Concrete mapping: provides clear radar images on thin concrete floors, roads, pavements, walls, tunnels, and balconies to locate and map rebar tendons and conduits.
  • Floor slabs: to identify voids below the slabs to prevent structural damage.
  • Chimney flue location: detects the location of a chimney flue by detecting the change in the material of the masonry wall and flue void.
  • Locating embedded steel in masonry: due to its non-invasive nature it is effective for use on listed buildings.
  • Hazardous waste: detects any hazardous leaks or contamination.

GPR in practice on a level six service avoidance survey

On a large college field in Oxfordshire, we had to detect air raid shelters for a client with short turnaround times. We suggested the level six service avoidance survey due to the tight deadline. 

This project used the Cobra GPR unit to scan the grid at 1m intervals and detect each anomaly or service found. We also used on-site analysis of the RD10000 GPR unit to cross-reference the data collected by the Cobra GPR unit. 

We found the air raid shelters with both GPR units efficiently and accurately. Using GPR surveys in subsurface mapping improved the efficiency and success of the project. Moreover, we completed the project within the client’s deadline and budget.

Considering GPR Surveys for Subsurface Mapping in Your Next Project?

As we have discussed, GPR surveys can provide numerous capabilities and applications in subsurface mapping. From detecting plastic pipes to identifying voids, it is a highly accurate and efficient method. 

The technology is constantly evolving. Researchers and developers are working on novel antenna designs, signal processing algorithms, and advanced imaging techniques to improve the resolution without compromising the ability to penetrate the ground. AI is revolutionising GPR surveys, enabling faster and more accurate identification of subsurface features.

The demand for highly accurate and efficient subsurface mapping is driving the rapid development of Ground Penetrating Radar surveys. If you have an upcoming project you would like to unleash the power of GPR surveys in subsurface mapping, then get in touch with us and we will provide you with all of the information you need to execute your project with success.

The accuracy of a ground penetrating radar survey is second to none when identifying metallic and nonmetallic utilities and structures without disturbing or digging into the ground. 

Considering the sophistication of the radar technology, what is the actual cost of having a GPR survey carried out? 

What is a GPR survey?

Ground penetrating radar surveys are ideal for avoiding solid and ground disturbance. Using radio waves this geophysical locating technique pin points matter and objects under the surface of the soil. 

Surveyors can use a GPR survey to determine the change in soil profile, pockets of air, the layout of underground pipelines, groundwater tables, rocks, drained water pockets which commonly cause sinkholes and other geological features. 

How much does a ground penetrating radar survey cost in the UK?

If you’ve chosen to have your GPR survey conducted by industry experts in surveying you’ll be looking at spending £500-£10,000 a day

An average price of a complete GPR survey can vary depending on the size and complexity of the site. A simple site such as an open playing field could cost around £500 – £700 whereas a more complex site such as a large industrial site could range up to £10,000. A complicated example would be something like a hospital site where there is likely to be a vast network of services and plenty of anomalies in the ground to discover.

Your project budget is incredibly important to us. That’s why we will always provide you with the right level of survey for your site. 

Get in touch today to receive a GPR survey quote. With Midland Survey you’ll receive prime accuracy with your survey reading which is carried out by a highly experienced surveyor.

How does a GPR survey work? 

By sending high-frequency (50-1500MHz) electromagnetic pulses into the ground, the GPR machine can assess the matter below and create images based on the waves bouncing between the changing materials. 

There are two key elements of the GPR which enable it to give effective and accurate results.

  1. The transmitter  – Responsible for actually transmitting the radar signals into the ground. The transmitter of the GPR is physically held close to the ground when sending the signals.
  2. The antenna  – Responsible for receiving the radar signals back from the ground and configuring the information.

The transmitter and the antenna work alongside each other as they are passed over the site area. The radar signals which are collected through the antenna are then processed through a graphic recorder. 

As the ground is being surveyed, the graphic recorder will generate a 3D cross-section image of the earth showing the inconsistencies of soil and change of density. 

What are the benefits of a GPR survey? 

Our ground penetrating radar (GPR) surveys can aid in identifying previously invisible plastic water and gas pipes, fibre optics and drainage pipes. Here are some additional benefits as to why we use a GPR survey on every site we visit at no extra cost. 

  • Provides a clean sectional view of the earth’s subsurface.
  • Can capture images of concrete, plastic, metal, natural materials. 
  • Is self-contained.
  • Is non-hazardous to the environment or employees.
  • Is quiet and does not disturb workflow.

In addition, it will detect the depth and give an indication of location of the identified items. 

Can a GPR survey work on concrete? 

Yes, a GPR does work on concrete. Construction companies commonly use the system on concrete. A GPR can even be used on reinforced concrete. The purpose of surveying concrete in this precise way is to detect any rebar which may affect any further works.  

How reliable is ground penetrating radar?

Readings can be up to 90% accurate with a highly skilled operator and surveyor. Midland Survey provides an expert team of underground utility surveyors. 

We believe that radio detection equipment and GPR should always be used to give you the most accurate results. For this reason, GPR is used on every site when you choose to have a survey with us. We are also proud to be a part of the European GPR Association.

How can I get a quote on a GPR survey?

Understanding the depth of survey you’ll need requires expert advice and will ultimately affect the cost. Make sure you’re putting your budget to good use and seek the help of experienced industry professionals.

At Midland Survey we are ready to give a quick quote whenever you are. If you have an upcoming project in mind, get in touch. We can advise you on the type of survey you need and execute it with complete precision.