Ground Penetrating Radar

ECS engineer setting up testing equipment

Ground penetrating radar (GPR) makes use of radar technology to detect objects located below grade or embedded in concrete or masonry. Our technicians will use a variety of units with different antennae to locate the suspected items.  

For some projects, where the contractor is attempting to drill a hole through an existing slab, the work is performed safely and quickly while the contractor waits. In other cases, where we are looking for underground tanks or unmarked graves, the site survey can take multiple days.

GPR services tend to be offered to two types of clients. Contractors (either mechanical, plumbing, electric, or general) who need to make a hole in a slab or wall often need to locate reinforcing steel, post tensioning cables and embedded conduits prior to drilling. 

 In many locations, such as hospitals, airports and other critical structures, the owner will require that a scan be performed prior to authorizing drilling. Property owners, on the other hand, may need to locate below-grade tanks, buried equipment, or other below-grade anomalies, such as voids and potential sink holes, prior to developing their site. 

Ground penetrating radar (GPR) makes use of radar technology to detect objects located below grade or embedded in concrete or masonry. Our technicians will use a variety of units with different antennae to locate the suspected items.  

For some projects, where the contractor is attempting to drill a hole through an existing slab, the work is performed safely and quickly while the contractor waits. In other cases, where we are looking for underground tanks or unmarked graves, the site survey can take multiple days.

GPR services tend to be offered to two types of clients. Contractors (either mechanical, plumbing, electric, or general) who need to make a hole in a slab or wall often need to locate reinforcing steel, post tensioning cables and embedded conduits prior to drilling. 

 In many locations, such as hospitals, airports and other critical structures, the owner will require that a scan be performed prior to authorizing drilling. Property owners, on the other hand, may need to locate below-grade tanks, buried equipment, or other below-grade anomalies, such as voids and potential sink holes, prior to developing their site. 

ECS engineer setting up testing equipment

Why Is Ground Penetrating Radar Important?

Ground penetrating radar is important for several reasons:

Excellent Detection Capabilities

GPR provides exceptional results when attempting to discover voids and other anomalies beneath the surface. The technology can penetrate rock, soil, concrete, clay, plastic, water, wood and other materials. The pulses reach varying depths and offer flexibility to adapt to unique ground compositions.

Enhances the Geophysical Survey Process

When conducting geophysical studies, GPR provides access to vital data that is invaluable when identifying and locating groundwater, bedrock, strata layers, saltwater infiltration and sinkholes. It can also measure the thickness of ice in colder climates.

Improves Structural Assessment Accuracy

GPR data can help assess structural integrity and discover damage to a building’s foundation. It is also useful when performing bridge deck analyses, as it can locate cracks, voids and other deficiencies that indicate deterioration. Engineers can use this information when identifying appropriate repairs and remedies.

Aids Environmental Conservation Efforts

Using GPR services enables geologists and environmentalists to find toxic materials and other hidden ecological hazards. The data can also provide insight into the direction that certain types of contamination are moving and stop the migration in an effort to prevent damage to the nearby plant and animal life. 

Makes Mining and Quarrying Safer and More Efficient

GPR scans can locate faults and fractures in rocks, alerting miners to changes that could impact their drilling activities. They can use this information to create less dangerous and more project-compatible underground mines and tunnels.

Locates Burial Grounds and Graves

GPR technology is adept at finding underground soil disturbances that may indicate the presence of underground graves. This data is helpful to researchers looking for unmarked burial sites or professionals plotting a layout for a cemetery.

Why Is Ground Penetrating Radar Important?

Ground penetrating radar is important for several reasons:

Excellent Detection Capabilities

GPR provides exceptional results when attempting to discover voids and other anomalies beneath the surface. The technology can penetrate rock, soil, concrete, clay, plastic, water, wood and other materials. The pulses reach varying depths and offer flexibility to adapt to unique ground compositions.

Enhances the Geophysical Survey Process

When conducting geophysical studies, GPR provides access to vital data that is invaluable when identifying and locating groundwater, bedrock, strata layers, saltwater infiltration and sinkholes. It can also measure the thickness of ice in colder climates.

Improves Structural Assessment Accuracy

GPR data can help assess structural integrity and discover damage to a building’s foundation. It is also useful when performing bridge deck analyses, as it can locate cracks, voids and other deficiencies that indicate deterioration. Engineers can use this information when identifying appropriate repairs and remedies.

Aids Environmental Conservation Efforts

Using GPR services enables geologists and environmentalists to find toxic materials and other hidden ecological hazards. The data can also provide insight into the direction that certain types of contamination are moving and stop the migration in an effort to prevent damage to the nearby plant and animal life. 

Makes Mining and Quarrying Safer and More Efficient

GPR scans can locate faults and fractures in rocks, alerting miners to changes that could impact their drilling activities. They can use this information to create less dangerous and more project-compatible underground mines and tunnels.

Locates Burial Grounds and Graves

GPR technology is adept at finding underground soil disturbances that may indicate the presence of underground graves. This data is helpful to researchers looking for unmarked burial sites or professionals plotting a layout for a cemetery.

structural engineer

When to Use GPR

Ground radar services deliver reliable results when there is a significant contrast between the surveyed objects and the ground. GPR’s applications include:

  • Locating leaks in oil and gas pipelines
  • Delineating underground storage tanks when remediating leaks
  • Preparing for the coring mark-out of various construction elements and embedment
  • Detecting geological features such as bedrock, void formations, sinkholes and karst
  • Delineating architectural features like wells, roadbeds and foundations
  • Addressing environmental issues and concerns like drum piles, historic fills, overburden thickness and landfill boundaries
  • Performing metallic and non-metallic utility mapping and locating tasks
  • Verifying concrete thickness and mapping the location, size and spacing of rebar
  • Identifying structural deficiencies such as sub-base settlement, voids and rebar corrosion and wear
  • Learning the thickness of paving materials

When to Use GPR

Ground radar services deliver reliable results when there is a significant contrast between the surveyed objects and the ground. GPR’s applications include:

  • Locating leaks in oil and gas pipelines
  • Delineating underground storage tanks when remediating leaks
  • Preparing for the coring mark-out of various construction elements and embedment
  • Detecting geological features such as bedrock, void formations, sinkholes and karst
  • Delineating architectural features like wells, roadbeds and foundations
  • Addressing environmental issues and concerns like drum piles, historic fills, overburden thickness and landfill boundaries
  • Performing metallic and non-metallic utility mapping and locating tasks
  • Verifying concrete thickness and mapping the location, size and spacing of rebar
  • Identifying structural deficiencies such as sub-base settlement, voids and rebar corrosion and wear
  • Learning the thickness of paving materials

Why Choose ECS for Ground Penetrating Radar Services?

ECS has delivered high-quality geotechnical engineering services since 1988. We can provide expert-level GPR consulting services that will help your business achieve the best project results and enable you to create a work environment that is as safe and productive as reasonably achievable. 

We differ from other GPR contractors in several ways. Our professionals deliver results quickly, allowing you to keep your projects on schedule. We dig deeper to uncover alternatives that increase efficiency and reduce costs. You will also appreciate our ability to communicate throughout the process. We provide information in a concise, straightforward manner, making it easy to understand and apply to your tasks. 

Our focus on solving problems will help you overcome your most daunting GPR challenges. By providing practical, cost-effective solutions, we have become a highly respected firm in our industry.

Why Choose ECS for Ground Penetrating Radar Services?

ECS has delivered high-quality geotechnical engineering services since 1988. We can provide expert-level GPR consulting services that will help your business achieve the best project results and enable you to create a work environment that is as safe and productive as reasonably achievable. 

We differ from other GPR contractors in several ways. Our professionals deliver results quickly, allowing you to keep your projects on schedule. We dig deeper to uncover alternatives that increase efficiency and reduce costs. You will also appreciate our ability to communicate throughout the process. We provide information in a concise, straightforward manner, making it easy to understand and apply to your tasks. 

Our focus on solving problems will help you overcome your most daunting GPR challenges. By providing practical, cost-effective solutions, we have become a highly respected firm in our industry.

two engineers reviewing test results

Contact ECS for Ground Penetrating Radar Services

two engineers reviewing test results

The ECS team consists of more than 2,500 experienced professionals in over 80 offices who are ready to lend their knowledge to your next GPR project. Our mission is to be the engineering firm of choice in every market we serve. 

Please contact us with any questions you may have regarding ground penetrating radar services. 

Contact ECS for Ground Penetrating Radar Services

The ECS team consists of more than 2,500 experienced professionals in over 80 offices who are ready to lend their knowledge to your next GPR project. Our mission is to be the engineering firm of choice in every market we serve. 

Please contact us with any questions you may have regarding ground penetrating radar services. 

two engineers reviewing test results

Notable Projects

  • Wells Fargo Tower, Roanoke, VA
  • National Airport, Washington, DC
  • Norris Hall, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA

Notable Projects

  • Wells Fargo Tower, Roanoke, VA
  • National Airport, Washington, DC
  • Norris Hall, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA