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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Allred, Barry
item Daniels, Jeffrey
item Peters, Leon
item Chen, Chi-chih
item Youn, Hyoung-sun
item Fausey, Norman - Norm

Submitted to: Symposium on Application of Geophysics to Engineering and Environmental Problems Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/4/2004
Publication Date: 2/22/2004
Citation: Allred, B.J., Daniels, J.L., Peters, L., Chen, C., Youn, H., Fausey, N.R. 2004. An overview of agricultural drainage pipe detection using ground penetrating radar. Symposium on Application of Geophysics to Engineering and Environmental Problems Proceedings. CD-ROM.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Enhancing the efficiency of soil water removal on land already containing a subsurface drainage system typically involves installing new drain lines between the old ones. However, before this approach can be attempted, the older drainage pipes need to be located. In ongoing research, ground penetrating radar (GPR) has been successful in locating on average 72% of the total amount of drainage pipe present at thirteen test plots in southwest, central, and northwest Ohio. The effective use of GPR for drainage pipe detection requires careful consideration of computer processing procedures, equipment parameters, and site conditions, all of which were thoroughly investigated in this study. Application of a signal saturation correction filter along with a spreading and exponential compensation gain function were the computer processing steps most helpful for enhancing the drainage pipe response exhibited within GPR images of the soil profile. GPR amplitude maps that show the overall subsurface drainage pipe system required additional computer processing, which included 2-D migration, signal trace enveloping, and in some cases, a high frequency noise filter and a spatial background subtraction filter. Equipment parameter test results indicate that a 250 MHz antenna frequency worked best, and that data quality is good over a range of spatial sampling intervals and signal trace stacking. In regard to the site conditions present, shallow hydrology, soil texture, and drainage pipe orientation all substantially influence the GPR response. However, the fired clay or plastic material of which the drainage pipe is comprised does not appear to have much of an impact. The information supplied by this study can be employed to formulate guidelines that will enhance the potential of success for using ground penetrating radar in locating buried agricultural drainage pipe.

Last Modified: 06/22/2017
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