Subsurface Survey

Written by Amy Hall
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Subsurface Survey and Engineering

Subsurface survey is done by those in the fields of engineering when they are planning and designing new projects. For instance, if a transportation engineer wants to start designing a new highway with a bridge, he or she will need to know what is going on below the surface of the ground in the area they are thinking of building this structure. In engineering and construction, what goes on beneath the surface is just as important as what goes on above the surface, if not more so.

Often, what you can not see poses the greatest challenge. A perfectly clear piece of land may look like the ideal location to build a hospital or a road. However, if what lurks beneath the surface is electrical wiring, conduit, and piping, than that poses a great problem when it comes time to start digging.

Ground Penetrating Radar to The Rescue!

Fortunately, subsurface radar allows engineers to look at a targeted area of land or an existing structure and determine if there are any voids or utilities that will pose a problem during excavation. This dramatically saves on time as the need for redesign or conflicts are greatly reduced. Nothing is more burdensome than having to go back and redesign or restart a project due to unplanned conflicts with underground utilities.

GPR works by running an antenna over a targeted area. If embedded utilities are detected and located, radio pulses are given off. This allow the workers to accurately determine the precise location and depth of all subsurface utilities, making the subsurface survey the most convenient and reliable method for utility location.

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