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Ground-Penetrating Radar: What Lies Beneath The Surface?

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Have you ever looked down at the ground and wished there was a way to see beneath the surface without digging? There is. Technology known as ground-penetrating radar uses electromagnetic radiation to create a picture of what lies beneath the surface of the earth. This technology is useful for a variety of purposes. Take a look at four areas where ground-penetrating radar has proven to be invaluable. 


During construction projects, crews must first excavate the site before the actual construction begins. Digging blindly into the ground can result in dangerous situations, especially if electrical wiring or gas lines are damaged. It can also lead to unnecessary and costly delays in the construction project Ground-penetrating radar allows construction crews the opportunity to locate underground utilities before they begin excavation. 


Prior to the creation of ground-penetrating radar, archaeologists had to dig into the earth to find artifacts. Unfortunately, the process of digging often resulted in the damage or destruction of those valuable artifacts. Archaeologists can now use radar to investigate beneath the soil, which allows them to dig in more precise locations. This technique is especially useful when studying historic cemeteries and battlefields where grave markers are not present. The radar detects anomalies under the ground so that archaeologists can locate human remains.


Soldiers in the field are better protected when they have GPR (ground-penetrating radar) at their disposal. Combatants often bury explosive ordnances such as land mines and bombs. Soldiers –unaware of their locations – often stumble upon the ordnances suffering dire consequences. The GPR technology allows soldiers the opportunity to locate – and dispose of – unexploded ordnances. The technology is also invaluable in locating underground tunnels, which are often used to move supplies and troops without detection.

Law Enforcement

In 1991, a man named Michael Sams kidnapped Stephanie Slater in England. He demanded that a ransom be paid before she would be released. The ransom was paid and Stephanie Slater was released. When Michael Sams was arrested, he refused to tell authorities where he'd hidden the ransom. Law enforcement officials were able to use ground-penetrating radar to locate the ransom that Sams had buried in a field.

You never know what's going on underground. Sometimes it's either too dangerous or too time-consuming to dig up the soil to look. Ground-penetrating radar allows you to look beneath the surface before you dig, which can prove to be a life-saving advantage.