Research Activities: 1998

Application of Ground-Penetrating Radar to Highway-Related Problems



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Sequential Number


Identification Number


Matching Research Agency

Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT)

Principal Investigator

Neil Anderson, Professor
Geology & Geophysics
University of Missouri-Rolla
Rolla, MO 65409

Student Involvement


Project Objective

Non-invasion study of pavement.

Project Abstract

Current geotechnical procedures for monitoring the condition of roadways is time consuming and can be disruptive to traffic, often requiring extensive invasion procedures (e.g., coring). Ground penetrating radar GPR technology offers methodology to perform detailed condition assessment of existing roadways, with the added advantage over other techniques of being rapid and cost-effective. This study applies GPR techniques to a survey along Interstate 70 across the state of Missouri. Goals of this survey were threefold: 1) determine layer thicknesses every tenth mile (primarily asphalt and concrete, with base coarse information secondary; 2) update history information related to types of pavements that makeup I-70 across Missouri and 3) note regions where the radar signal appears anomalous. Goals (1) and (2) are related and were the primary goals. Goal (3) required visually interpreting the full data set and was done as a guide for further investigation.

Task Description

Task 1: I-70 (using horn antennas; two sets, 190 miles X 2) from Wentzville to Blue Springs. One pass in extreme right hand lane in both directions. Information regarding pavement thickness, base sub-base, moisture, and anomalies. Bonded concrete in rough shape; un-bonded pavement. Task 2: Joplin project (using horn antennas; two sets, 50 miles X 2). Possibly some follow-up work with 400 MHz antennas. Pavement faulted at every joint. Task 3: 31 LTPP (long term pavement performance test sites).

Anticipated Benefits

Better understanding of utility of geophysical technique.

Modal Orientation



Project Start Date:07/01/1998
Project End Date:06/30/1999

Relationship to other Research/Projects

Consistent with other MoDOT projects.

Technology Transfer Activities

Will supply report to MoDOT, publish papers.

Transportation Research Board Keywords

Pavement faulted and bonded concrete