Karst geological anomalies at pile locations significantly affect the bearing capacity and construction safety of the piles, posing a significant challenge for urbanization. Borehole geophysical methods are required to extend the detection range and identify karst voids that are at pole locations and near drilled boreholes. In this paper, we developed a near offset and small diameter single borehole ground penetration radar (GPR) prototype. A signal processing method combining complex signal analysis by Hilbert transform (HT) and medium filtering was suggested to differentiate the weak backscattered wave from borehole background noise. A controlled horizontal borehole experiment was used to demonstrate the applicability of the prototype and the advantages of the signal analysis method prior to application in a real project. The controlled test presented three typical wave events corresponding to a soil–rock interface, rock fractures, and karst voids. Field tests were conducted at a freeway bridge extension project in an urban karst area. Multiple karst voids, sinkholes, rock fractures, and integrated bedrock were identified by analysis of four typical detection scenarios. The remediation of the karst voids and a rotary bored piling with real-time steel casing construction strategy were designed based on the investigation results. The construction feedback demonstrates that single borehole radar detection is effective for the investigation of anomalies at pile locations in urban karst areas.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited