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How Deep Can GPR Scan? Exploring GPR Scanning Capabilities

A technician is controlling the Ground Penetrating Radar on the road

In the construction industry, one of the worst nightmares that can happen to a contractor while drilling is hitting a public utility. In recent years, GPR scanners have become a popular solution to prevent serious accidents from happening. But how deep can GPR scan? What are the real capabilities of GPR scanners and what can they detect?


What Is a GPR Scanner


A GPR, also known as ground penetrating radar, is a non-destructive method of identifying a wide range of elements located under a given surface. Typically used for construction projects, these devices can accurately determine pavement thickness as well as detect utilities underground, such as natural gas, cable lines or pipes. Utility locating service is paramount to ensure that the drilling process of any construction project is done safely. GPR scanners are the most reliable and efficient technology for this kind of inspection.


How Deep Can GPR Scan?


Advanced GPR systems can typically reach depths of up to 100 feet, roughly 30 metres. This capability, however, will depend on the material and ground conditions of the area that needs to be scanned. For instance, uniform dry sandy soils might be easier to scan as there are almost no limitations related to electrical conductivity. However, areas where there is a substantial level of humidity can be more difficult for ground penetrating radars to scan. The high electrical conductivity of water interferes with the electromagnetic energy of the radar, which can contribute to the loss of signals, limiting the scanning capacities of the GPR.


GPR depth capabilities will also depend on the antenna used during the process. Low frequency antennas will allow deeper scans and are typically used for geological investigations. Mid and higher frequency antennas, on the other hand, don’t reach as deep but provide a higher resolution, which can be useful for utility locating services.


What Can GPR Scanners Detect?


In the world of utility locating services, GPR scanners can find a variety of elements underground. These include utilities such as electrical conduits, gas and oil lines, sewer and drainage pipes, telecommunication cables and more. In addition to these elements, ground penetrating radar can also detect voids within the structure of concrete, as well as conduit and post-tension cables, which can also be useful for construction projects.


Detecting these elements before drilling or excavating can prevent serious accidents from happening, ensuring safety and efficiency in the process.


Reliable and Precise Utility Locating Services in B.C.


If you are managing a construction project and are looking for utility location services, Ironman Directional Drilling has got you covered. Using the latest technology, our experienced team of utility locating professionals can safely inspect the area you want to drill to ensure maximum safety and peace of mind. Don’t hesitate to give us a call to discuss our reliable utility locating services for your construction project needs. We provide services throughout BC and Alberta, including the Okanagan Valley, Fraser Valley, and BC Interior. Reach out to us.



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