Research Reports

Implementation of Ground Penetrating Radar

Principal Investigator:

Yuejian Cao, Shongtao Dai, Joseph F Labuz, John Pantelis

August 2007

Report no. MnDOT 2007-34

Projects: Pavement Evaluation using Ground Penetrating Radar

Topics: Pavement design for cold climates

The objective of this project was to demonstrate the capabilities and limitations of ground penetrating radar (GPR) for use in local road applications. The effectiveness of a GPR survey is a function of site conditions, the equipment used, and experience of personnel interpreting the results. In addition, not all site conditions are appropriate for GPR applications. GPR is a nondestructive field test that can provide a continuous profile of existing road conditions. GPR utilizes high-speed data collection at speeds up to 50 mph, thus requiring less traffic control and resulting in greater safety. GPR has the potential to be used for a variety of pavement applications, including measuring the thickness of asphalt pavement, base and sub-grade; assisting in the analysis of rutting mechanisms; calculating and verifying material properties; locating subsurface objects; detecting stripping and/or layer separation; detecting subsurface moisture; and determining depth to near-surface bedrock and peat deposits. These applications are discussed in reference to 22 projects completed throughout the State of Minnesota. Three reports were produced. (1) A technical summary report provides an overview of the project. (2) A comprehensive review of GPR applications for use on local roads is also available. (3) The final report describes the results of the GPR surveys.

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