Using GPR Scanning to Help Dig Up the Past
GPR Scanning Helps Us Dig Up The Past
Recently, we got to be part of a special project that highlights how useful ground-penetrating radar (GPR Scanning) can be and how it can make a big difference to people, in a really fun way. We were contacted via Facebook by a staff member at the National Trail School in New Paris, Ohio, with an interesting request. A former student had reminded the school of a long-forgotten item buried somewhere on the property, a time capsule from 1978.
Locating the Time Capsule
Due to the good memory of some students who had been there when the capsule was buried, we had a general idea where to look. Since the area of concern was in the
employee/student parking lot, we picked a day when they were off school to allow us the freedom to scan the whole area.
We used a machine called ground penetrating radar (GPR). GPR Scanning is a geophysical method that uses radar pulses to image the subsurface. This non-destructive method uses electromagnetic radiation waves and detects the reflected signals from subsurface structures. On this occasion, the subsurface structure would be the time capsule!
It took about 2 hours to work the site. We found what we were looking for and outlined the area on the blacktop so the excavation crew would know where to dig.
The staff and students were ecstatic that we found the tank! They had made other attempts in the past with other equipment and didn’t have any luck.
The day of reckoning came a few weeks later. A hole was dug at the spot we indicated, and the time capsule was brought to light, 35 years after it had been buried.
The school representative immediately contacted us with pictures of the excavation of the capsule. We were then invited to the opening ceremonies/banquet, where my technician was congratulated with his efforts. Although most of the contents were damaged from water, it was still a great event to be a part of and an exciting change from the ordinary locating that we often do!