You see them in the news, whether it is on the international segment or the local segment—sinkholes. They are surprisingly commonplace especially in Texas, Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and Florida, and absolutely terrifying for those involved. Sinkholes open up rapidly, without giving any clues that they are going to occur. While sinkholes can seem incredibly complicated and sudden, they have a remarkably simple explanation and they can be anticipated through the use of ground penetrating radar or GPR.
What Causes Sinkholes?
- Natural Causes: Sinkholes can occur as a result of erosion or underground water. These sinkholes develop over long periods of time before they make themselves known. The ground that we walk on every day is not as solid as we often think it is. The ground is made of dirt, rocks, and assorted minerals. Water is continuously going in between the layers of mud, rocks, and minerals on its way to ground water reservoirs. As this natural process occurs, erosion happens. Sometimes, water flow increases so rapidly that it washes away all of the underground land structure altogether. When the structure is too weak to support the things on top of it, it will collapse and open a hole—a sinkhole.
- Man Made Causes: Many activities related to construction can cause sinkholes to form and worsen including drilling and mining. Other things that are neglected over time like broken water or drain pipes or improperly compacted soil can worsen or create sinkholes. Heavy traffic in cities or on popular roads can also degrade the structure beneath it so that sinkholes are inevitable.
How Can You Detect Sinkholes with GPR?
GPR services use a transmitter, receiver, and a central computer to transmit radio waves into whatever surface or area is being scanned. Radio waves go into the ground and will bounce off whatever is underneath the surface and return back to the receiver. The central computer is designed to interpret the returning radio signals and provide a 3D picture of what is beneath the surface. GPR services can detect any abnormalities that may be problems down the line or that are problems now.
Choose Concrete Visions for Your GPR and Sinkhole Detection Needs
Concrete Visions has over 12 years of experience and expertise in concrete scanning and we know how to detect any problems lurking beneath the surface. We use ground penetrating radar accurately and expertly and are familiar in many other methods that can be used when appropriate like concrete x-ray and electromagnetic conductivity. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you, give is a call at (410) 766-2210 or visit us online. For more articles and tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.