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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MANAGEMENT AND TREATMENT OF DRAINAGE WATERS FOR WATER QUALITY PROTECTION AND SUSTAINABILITY OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION IN THE MIDWEST U.S.

Location: Soil Drainage Research

Title: Drainage Pipe Detection and Assessment Using Ground Penetrating Radar

Author
item Allred, Barry

Submitted to: Bouyoucos Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 4, 2009
Publication Date: September 9, 2010
Citation: Allred, B.J. 2010. Drainage Pipe Detection and Assessment Using Ground Penetrating Radar [abstract]. Bouyoucos Conference Proceedings.

Technical Abstract: The research conducted to date clearly shows that ground penetrating radar (GPR) is feasible for use locating buried drainage pipes in both farm and golf course settings. Within farm settings, GPR seems to work quite well locating drainage pipes buried within one meter of the surface, and the success rate to date at fourteen different Ohio test sites is 74% detection of the total amount of buried drainage pipe present. Golf course greens are an even more favorable environment for subsurface drainage system mapping (100% success rate to date). Factors that need to be considered in order to obtain good quality GPR drainage pipe detection data include field conditions (soil type, shallow hydrology, etc.), equipment (antenna frequency and antenna orientation), survey set-up (distance between measurement points along a transect, number of signal traces averaged at a measurement point, distance between measurement transects, bidirectional vs. unidirectional transects, etc.) and computer processing steps. Consequently, GPR can potentially be an important tool for those needing to repair or retrofit existing subsurface drainage pipe systems. However, especially for farm scale drainage pipe mapping, advancements are needed with regard to outfitting GPR units to be pulled by field vehicles, seamless integration of GPR with real-time kinematic global positioning system (RTK GPS) receivers, and data processing computer software capable of mapping GPR data collected along non-parallel measurement transects.

Last Modified: 4/17/2014
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