Pavement Evaluation using Ground Penetrating Radar

Principal Investigator(s):

Bojan Guzina, Professor, Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering


  • Joseph Labuz, Professor & Department Head, Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering

Project summary:

The objective of this project was to demonstrate the capabilities and limitations of ground penetrating radar (GPR) for use in local road applications. The effectiveness of a GPR survey is a function of site conditions, the equipment used, and experience of personnel interpreting the results. In addition, not all site conditions are appropriate for GPR applications.

GPR is a nondestructive field test that can provide a continuous profile of existing road conditions. GPR utilizes high-speed data collection at speeds up to 50 mph, thus requiring less traffic control and resulting in greater safety. GPR has the potential to be used for a variety of pavement applications, including measuring the thickness of asphalt pavement, base and sub-grade; assisting in the analysis of rutting mechanisms; calculating and verifying material properties; locating subsurface objects; detecting stripping and/or layer separation; detecting subsurface moisture; and determining depth to near-surface bedrock and peat deposits. These applications are discussed in reference to 22 projects completed throughout the State of Minnesota.

Three reports were produced: (1) a technical summary report provides an overview of the project; (2) a comprehensive review of GPR applications for use on local roads is also available; and (3) a description of the results of the GPR surveys.

Project details:

Reports or Products: