The inspection of retaining walls using GPR
In hilly regions, retaining walls along roads, motorways and railway lines are numerous. In some cases the knowledge of the details of the construction is limited. If rehabilitation work becomes necessary, a detailed knowledge of the construction is desirable for the improved planning of maintenance and repair. This paper describes the application of Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) for the inspection of retaining walls. The work was carried out in two steps. First, an investigation was carried out on large retaining walls at a Swiss motorway within the framework of a service contract. This included the development of an apparatus enabling high precision positioning of the antennas on the walls. Second, a pilot study was performed on a smaller wall with optimized acquisition and processing parameters. This included the use of antennas with different orientations and the fusion of the two corresponding datasets as well as true 3-D data processing. This paper describes the approaches to data acquisition and processing in the form of the two case studies. Results from different acquisition and processing strategies are compared and the benefits and limits are discussed.