What is GPR? | A Complete Guide to Ground Penetrating Radar

GPR maping equipment

What is Ground-Penetrating Radar?

Ground-Penetrating Radar, or GPR, is a geophysical locating method that uses radio waves to identify anomalies below the surface of the ground. This process is minimally invasive, which means it doesn’t damage or disturb the earth in any way. 

The higher the frequency of the antenna will determine the penetration depth of the radar waves. Because of this, ground-penetrating radar surveys are often used for archaeological investigations and mapping cemeteries. 

Field technicians can use GPR systems to find unmarked graves, as well as other subsurface features like water and gas lines, pipes, and cables. GPR signals are clearest in soils with low conductivity materials such as gravel and sand, while it is more difficult to interpret in dense high conductivity materials like clay soils.

How Does GPR Work?

GPR systems work by transmitting a pulse of radio waves into the ground. This pulse is reflected back to the surface by any objects it encounters, such as buried graves, pipes, or cables. By measuring the time it takes for the reflected signal to return, we can determine the depth and size of these objects. 

There are many advantages to using GPR technology for locating buried objects. As we mentioned, GPR is minimally invasive, so it doesn’t damage or disturb the earth. It’s also a non-destructive method, which means that we can use it to map cemeteries without disturbing any grave sites.

The technician will drive a vehicle-mounted antenna over the ground, sending out radio waves. These waves will reflect off any object or anomaly below the surface and bounce back to the antenna. The technician will then analyze these reflections to create an image of what’s beneath the surface.  In fact, GPR data is so accurate that field technicians can often determine the type of object being scanned.

High-Resolution Subsurface Mapping with Electromagnetic Energy

Ground-penetrating radar works by sending out electromagnetic waves and measuring the travel time it takes for them to bounce back. The speed of these waves will change when they encounter different materials underground. For example, radio waves will travel faster through soil than through rock due to their electrical conduction. 

By looking at how long it takes for the waves to return, we can create a map of the subsurface. This method is highly accurate and can often detect objects that are located anywhere from just a few centimeters below the surface to dozens of feet underground. 

In general, low-frequency antennas can penetrate more deeply into the ground than high-frequency ones, but they are unable to resolve smaller targets. High-frequency antennas offer superior resolution but operate at deeper depths. 

Ground-Penetrating Radar in Action

Here’s an example of how GPR can be used to map a cemetery. First, the technician will drive the antenna over the surface of the cemetery. The antenna will emit radio waves that will penetrate the ground and bounce back when they encounter an object. 

The technician will then create a map of the reflections to determine the location of each grave. In fact, GPR is so sensitive that it will often discover graves that were unmarked or lost. This is true even if the remains have long since deteriorated and all that is left is a void in the soil.

Ground-penetrating radar is an invaluable tool for archaeologists as well as cemetery managers. It’s a minimally invasive way to map the subsurface and find buried objects. With GPR, we can locate graves that would otherwise be lost to time and this is one of many reason getting cemetery mapping services for your cemetery is essential. 

Interested in Learning More About GPR Technology?

Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) is a geophysical locating method that uses radio waves to capture images below the surface of the ground in a minimally invasive way. The huge advantage of GPR is that it allows our field technicians to map cemeteries and find unmarked graves. 

There are many advantages to using GPR technology for locating buried graves. First, it is minimally invasive. This means that we can map cemetery grounds without disturbing any grave sites. Second, GPR data is highly accurate. 

This allows our field technicians to locate graves that were unmarked or lost. And third, GPR is a very sensitive tool. It can detect graves that are located deep below the surface, even if they have already decayed beyond all recognition.

Sentry Mapping is the leading authority on GPR technology. We offer a wide range of services, from grave locating, to cemetery burial plot maps, and subsurface feature mapping. Our team of experts has the knowledge and experience to help you get the most out of this powerful tool.

Fresh graves in a cemetery

Achieve Your Goals with Sentry Mapping

If you are interested in learning more about GPR technology, or if you would like to see what it can do for you, contact us today for a free consultation. We’ll work with you to find the right solution for your needs and show you how GPR can help you achieve your goals.

From starting a cemetery from the ground up to remapping an existing cemetery with poorly kept or lost records. Our team of professionals will be there to help guide you through the entire process. With Sentry Mapping by your side, every cemetery will have a bright future ahead.

Reach out to our talented team of GPR experts to learn more about how we can help you and get an estimate on your project. We are always here to help.