Underground structure defect detection and reconstruction using Crosshole GPR and Bayesian waveform inversion

Significance Statement

Researchers from University of California Ivrine and Tongji University in China developed a new measurement technique to inspect the structural integrity of man-made underground structures, which are difficult, complex and challenging to interpret. They introduced crosshole ground-penetrating radar GPR and Bayesian waveform inversion to detect defects in underground concrete structures. The research work is published in peer-reviewed journal, Automation in Construction.

The nondestructive method of GPR uses electromagnetic radiation in the microwave band (UHF/VHF frequencies) of the radio spectrum, and detects the reflected signals from subsurface structures. This method can also be used in civil engineering to detect subsurface objects, changes in material properties, voids and cracks. The method uses a transmitting and receiving antenna, the transmitting antenna emits high-frequency radio waves in the range of 10 MHz to 1 GHz which are received by the antenna in the adjacent borehole. Due to the progression in digital computing, it is possible to use wave-based models and full-waveform inversion. This approach can extract the information of the measured GPR data and will accurately simulate electromagnetic wave propagation, boundary conditions and antenna properties.

The newly developed method can now be used with assurance of detecting crack or defect in underground structures.

Underground structure defect detection and reconstruction using Crosshole GPR and Bayesian waveform inversion

About the author

Hui Qin received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering from Tongji University, China in 2008 and 2011. He is currently working on his Ph.D. degree in Geotechnical Engineering at Tongji University. During his doctorate study period, Hui Qin was invited to the University of California Irvine, USA for a two-year research program supported by the China Scholarship Council.

His research interest focuses on non-destructive evaluation of Civil structures using ground penetrating radar method, which involves antenna design, numerical modeling, inversion, testing, and engineering consulting.

About the author

Xiongyao Xie is a professor in the Department of Geotechnical Engineering, and vice dean of School of Civil Engineering, Tongji University, China. And he is also the director of the committee of young scientist of Chinese Rock Mechanics and Engineering Society. He got his B.S. degree from Jinlin University in 1995, his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Tongji University in 1998 and 2002. He did post-doctor research in Polytechnic Lille of France in 2004. And he has been a visiting scholar in Northwestern University, USA from 2008 to 2009. He was the general chairman of GPR 2012.

His research interest is about non-destructive test and structural health monitoring using wireless smart sensors in the field of geotechnical engineering and tunnel. His research objectives are to develop smart monitoring and online condition assessment system for underground structure, to reveal the wave propagation properties in underground structures and surrounding media, to improve and advance nondestructive detection technologies in underground engineering, to develop corresponding vibration based tunnel performance assessment method, and to provide BIM information services for underground engineering.

About the author

Jasper Vrugt, studies the dynamics and behavior of natural and/or man-made systems to enhance process understanding and material characterization at different space and time scales and help illuminate tipping points and/or quantify change.

Example questions include, why do our theories deviate from data? How can we detect, diagnose, and resolve epistemic errors? How do we quantify uncertainty in models and data? How do we explain the emergent macroscopic behavior of complex systems by micro-scale governing equations? How should we extract information from data?

Ultimately, Vrugt’s research group is trying to understand how complex systems work, operate, behave, calculate and respond to control inputs. The answer to these questions must lie partly in the emergence of a new modeling paradigm, wherein a system’s macroscopic behavior follows logically from microscopic “laws” and generalizations.

Publications span the fields of agriculture (irrigation), biogeosciences, computational science, ecology, engineering, geomorphology, geophysics, hydrology, hydropower, soil science and statistics. Vrugt earned M.S. and Ph.D. degrees (cum laude, 1999 and 2004, respectively) from the University of Amsterdam and has published more than 100 papers in the peer-reviewed literature. He has received accolades and research awards from many different scientific organizations.

Journal Reference

Hui Qin1,2,3,  Xiongyao Xie1,2, Jasper A. Vrugt3,4 , Kun Zeng1,2, Gai Hong1,2. Underground structure defect detection and reconstruction using crosshole GPR and Bayesian waveform inversion, Automation in Construction 68 (2016) 156–169

Show Affiliations

1 Key Laboratory of Geotechnical & Underground Engineering of Ministry of Education, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China

2 Department of Geotechnical Engineering, College of Civil Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China

3 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California Irvine, CA 92697-1075, USA.

4 Department of Earth Systems Science, University of California Irvine, CA 92697-1075, USA.


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