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Detection of Soil Pipes Using Ground Penetrating Radar

Institute of Geography and Spatial Management, Faculty of Geography and Geology, Jagiellonian University, ul. Gronostajowa 7, 30-387 Kraków, Poland
Department of Applied Geology, Faculty of Earth Sciences, University of Silesia, ul. Będzińska 60, 41-200 Sosnowiec, Poland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(16), 1864;
Received: 20 June 2019 / Revised: 22 July 2019 / Accepted: 2 August 2019 / Published: 9 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress in Ground Penetrating Radar Remote Sensing)
Soil piping leads to land degradation in almost all morphoclimatic regions. However, the detection of soil pipes is still a methodological challenge. Therefore, this study aims at testing ground penetrating radar (GPR) to identify soil pipes and to present the complexity of soil pipe networks. The GPR surveys were conducted at three sites in the Bieszczady Mountains (SE Poland), where pipes develop in Cambisols. In total, 36 GPR profiles longitudinal and transverse to piping systems were made and used to provide spatial visualization of pipe networks. Soil pipes were identified as reflection hyperbolas on radargrams, which were verified with the surface indicators of piping, i.e., sagging of the ground and the occurrence of pipe roof collapses. Antennas of 500 MHz and 800 MHz were tested, which made possible the penetration of the subsurface up to 3.2 m and 2 m, respectively. Concerning ground properties, antenna frequencies and processing techniques, there was a potential possibility to detect pipes with a minimum diameter of 3.5 cm (using the antenna of lower frequency), and 2.2 cm (with the antenna of higher frequency). The results have proved that soil pipes meander horizontally and vertically and their networks become more complicated and extensive down the slope. GPR is a useful method to detect soil pipes, although it requires field verification and the proper selection of antenna frequency. View Full-Text
Keywords: piping; soil erosion; geophysics; GPR; antennas; spatial visualization piping; soil erosion; geophysics; GPR; antennas; spatial visualization
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  • Supplementary File 1:

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  • Externally hosted supplementary file 1
    Doi: 10.5281/zenodo.3250794
    Description: Video S1: The pipe outlet in site C (the Cisowiec catchment, Bieszczady Mts., Poland).
MDPI and ACS Style

Bernatek-Jakiel, A.; Kondracka, M. Detection of Soil Pipes Using Ground Penetrating Radar. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 1864.

AMA Style

Bernatek-Jakiel A, Kondracka M. Detection of Soil Pipes Using Ground Penetrating Radar. Remote Sensing. 2019; 11(16):1864.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bernatek-Jakiel, Anita, and Marta Kondracka. 2019. "Detection of Soil Pipes Using Ground Penetrating Radar" Remote Sensing 11, no. 16: 1864.

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