Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)

A ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey is often the only geophysical technique compatible with cluttered urban conditions that prevent other techniques.

It has capacity to work through a wide variety of surface materials. From soft landscaping, through to hard surfaces such as tarmac and concrete both inside and outside buildings. This makes it an ideal technique for many archaeological applications. Ground Penetrating Radar is particularly adept at not only mapping buried structures, but approximating their depth. This provides an all-important extra level of detail.

GPR data volume of Caerwent Roman Villa

GPR works by pulsing electromagnetic waves into the ground and measuring the strength and time delay of the returning signal. This allows it to approximate the depth as well as the density of the buried horizon.

Typical locations range from gardens, courtyards, car parks and derelict land. As well as floors of churches, basements and graveyards. Structures can also be investigated normally using higher frequency antennas.

Features commonly identified by Archaeological GPR surveys:

  • Air Voids – vaults, tombs, tunnels, chambers, cellars

  • Structures – Foundations, rubble fill, buried paths

  • Ditches – enclosure ditches, moats, trenches

  • Discrete features – Hearths, pits, garden features


Introducing SUMO’s new high density GPR surveys

  • Improved resolution

  • 8 channels of data at 8cm spacing

  • 12x better resolution than a standard utility radar survey

  • Improved speed and efficiency

  • No need to carry out orthogonal transects across the site. This saves time and causes less disruption to your site

  • Improved data display

  • Instant 3D pictures produced on site

  • Improved accuracy

  • Tracked by a robotic total station or RTK GPS for precise positioning

Charles II Riding Stables - GPR Timeslice


View the case studies using GPR...

Southampton Station

Fort Dunlop

Zero harm


Women of WWII

Exhibition Road

Minimising Disruption