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Locating Buried Obstructions

Unexpectedly encountering buried obstructions can cause expensive unplanned-for and avoidable delays.

To minimise the risk of such an occurrence, a Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey can be commissioned to produce a map of the significant underground features before commencing any construction works.

GPR can be used to locate most buried obstructions including foundations, tanks, air raid shelters, pile caps, concrete, culverts as well as pipes, cables and drainage, old mine shafts and tunnels.

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Why use GPR to map buried obstructions?

GPR is a non-destructive and non-intrusive (NDT) survey method which is easy to deploy onto projects of any scale. GPR surveys are cost effective and only require access to the surface to be scanned. By preventing unnecessary delays, a GPR survey can help to reduce overall project costs.

GPR surveys to detect buried obstructions

GPR surveys can be performed on many different ground conditions including concrete slabs, industrial areas, fields, brownfield sites and within cities. The ground should be relatively flat and unobstructed to allow the GPR to be pushed or dragged across it.

KB GPR Surveys have performed GPR surveys of this kind in city centres, airports, docks, brownfield sites, and fields.

Limitations of GPR surveys to detect foundations and buried obstructions

GPR surveys are subject to some limitations, please see our limitations of GPR page for further information.

If you require a GPR survey to detect buried foundations and underground obstructions, contact KB GPR Surveys for a quotation at


How a GPR survey is performed

Our surveyors will attend site and, using our industry leading Ground Penetrating Radar, collect a series of parallel scans across the surface until the entire area has been surveyed at the required scan density. In some cases, the locations of the buried foundations and obstructions will be identified and marked on site, but it is more typical and reliable for the data to be collected on site and saved for post processing and interpretation at our office.

If the data has been saved, it will be imported into our dedicated GPR post processing and imaging software where the individual scans will be processed to highlight the desired features and then combined to form a 3D image from which the results will be picked and plotted into CAD.


Locating underground features using GPR

Locating underground features using GPR

Ground Penetrating Radar transmits an electromagnetic signal into the ground and listens for reflections which are caused when that signal encounters (any) change in the electromagnetic properties of the material it is travelling through. This allows GPR to detect most kinds of underground features including old mine shafts, tunnels, foundations, obstructions, concrete, pile caps, culverts as well as pipes and drainage.

GPR survey deliverables

The results from a GPR buried obstructions survey will usually take the form of CAD drawings and a survey report. The final output may vary depending on the best way to represent the information.

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Explore other applications our non-destructive GPR surveying services have been utilised for here.
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