Journal Article

Advances in GPR data acquisition and analysis for archaeology

Wenke Zhao, Gang Tian, Emanuele Forte, Michele Pipan, Yimin Wang, Xuejing Li, Zhanjie Shi and Haiyan Liu

in Geophysical Journal International

Volume 202, issue 1, pages 62-71
ISSN: 0956-540X
Published online April 2015 | e-ISSN: 1365-246X | DOI:

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  • Oceanography and Hydrology


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The primary objective of this study is to evaluate the applicability and the effectiveness of ground-penetrating radar (GPR) to identify a thin burnt soil layer, buried more than 2 m below the topographic surface at the Liangzhu Site, in Southeastern China. The site was chosen for its relatively challenging conditions of GPR techniques due to electrical conductivity and to the presence of peach tree roots that produced scattering. We completed the data acquisition by using 100 and 200 MHz antennas in TE and TM broadside and cross-polarized configurations. In the data processing and interpretation phase, we used GPR attribute analysis, including instantaneous phase and geometrical attributes. Validation analysis ground-truthing performed after the geophysical surveys, validated the GPR imaging, confirmed the electrical conductivity and relative dielectric permittivity (RDP) measurements performed at different depths, and allowed a reliable quantitative correlation between GPR results and subsurface physical properties. The research demonstrates that multiple antenna configurations in GPR data acquisition combined with attribute analysis can enhance the ability to characterize prehistoric archaeological remains even in complex subsurface conditions.

Keywords: Image processing; Electrical properties; Electromagnetic theory; Ground penetrating radar; Magnetic and electrical properties

Journal Article.  5009 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Geophysics ; Oceanography and Hydrology