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Considerations for Using Ground Penetrating Radar to Locate Buried Agricultural Drainage Pipe

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  Paper number  032344,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.14037) @2003
Authors:   B. J. Allred, N. R. Fausey, J. J. Daniels, C. Chen, L. Peters, Jr., H. Youn
Keywords:   agricultural drainage pipe, geophysical methods, ground penetrating radar

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. Previous research found that a geophysical method, ground penetrating radar (GPR), was successful in locating on average 81% of the total amount of pipe present at eleven test plots in southwest, central, and northwest Ohio. The present research focused on equipment parameters and site conditions that can potentially impact the capability of applying GPR for drainage pipe detection. The tested equipment parameters included center antenna frequency, spatial sampling interval, and signal trace stacking. Results indicate that choosing the proper antenna frequency is very important and that data quality is similar over a range of spatial sampling intervals and signal trace stacking. In regard to the site conditions, shallow hydrology, soil texture, and drainage pipe orientation all substantially influence the GPR response. The information obtained in this study can hopefully be used to develop guidelines that will enhance the success potential of using ground penetrating radar to locate buried agricultural drainage pipe.

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