Pavement Surveys

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is the ideal technique for performing pavement surveys of roads and runways to detect layer interfaces, changes in construction and highlight areas for further, intrusive investigation methods. GPR is also able to provide an indication of increased moisture content, identify wet areas, and detect other features such as voids and delamination.

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Why use GPR to detect information about pavement layers and structure?

GPR is entirely non-destructive (NDT) technology, which can be deployed from a vehicle operating at traffic speeds without the requirement for road closures or traffic management, or by personal collecting the data by hand (depending on the type of road or area to be surveyed). Other pavement survey methods such as FWD (Falling Weight Deflectometer) and core samples, are static tests which are slow to perform and require road closures, whilst very useful, the data recovered is only relevant for the precise locations in which the measurements were taken. GPR is ideal to fill in the gaps.

How a GPR survey is performed to detect layers and structure of pavements

A GPR will be deployed to site in either a vehicle mounted or trolley mounted configuration. KB GPR Surveys will collect one or more GPR scans along each line of interest, these scans can be performed at traffic speeds, but surveys at lower speeds are preferred for improved data quality. For safety and to minimise local disruption, the pavement survey will normally be conducted at off peak times, but there is no need to organise traffic management or a road closure.

All the GPR data is collected for office-based post processing and interpretation of the layer information and pavement structure: for pavement surveys, no results are available on site.

GPR survey to detect pavement layers and structure: deliverables

In the office, we import the GPR data collected on site into our dedicated GPR post processing software which allows us to visualise the GPR scans, interpret the data to identify the layers, and export the results. Each of the GPR scans will represent a line of data which forms a vertical cross section of the ground at that point. We are able to export position information into CAD format and provide layering profiles in both report and Excel formats.

Limitations of GPR for determining pavement layers and structure

GPR is able to detect changes in the electrical properties of the ground such as those present between pavement layers, however GPR is not able to identify those layers. Positive identification can only be achieved through cores.

GPR is not able to replace coring to determine asphalt density.

If you require a GPR Pavement Survey, contact KB GPR Surveys for a quotation at

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