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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Allred, Barry
item Daniels, Jeffrey

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/1/2008
Publication Date: 6/10/2008
Publication URL:
Citation: Allred, B.J., Daniels, J.J. 2008. Agricultural drainage pipe detection using ground-penetrating radar. In: Allred, B.J., Daniels, J.J., Ehsani, M.R. Handbook of Agricultural Geophysics. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. p. 363-373.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Increasing the efficiency of soil water removal on farmland that already contains a functioning subsurface drainage system often requires reducing the average spacing distance between drain lines. This is typically accomplished by installing new drain lines between the older ones. However, before this approach can be attempted, the older drain lines need to be located. Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) was tested at fourteen test plots in southwest, central, and northwest Ohio to assess capabilities in regard to detection of buried agricultural drainage pipes. GPR was shown to be successful in locating 74% of the drainage pipe present at these test plots. Additional findings for this study include the following: 1) a GPR unit with 250 MHz center frequency antennas seem to work best, 2) shallow hydrologic conditions with a wet soil surrounding an air-filled drainage pipe produce the best GPR drainage pipe response, 3) the type of drainage pipe present, whether clay tile or corrugated plastic tubing (CPT), does not seem to impact the GPR response, 4) the GPR drainage pipe response appearance depends to a large extent on the orientation of the drain line with respect to the GPR measurement transect, and 5) overall, the GPR method works quite well in finding clay tile and CPT drainage pipe down to depths of around 1 m within a variety of different soil materials.

Last Modified: 08/15/2017
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