Ground Penetrating Radar Used To Locate Unmarked Graves

February 9, 2018

underground utility locating

Our South Carolina Analyst started the year with an interesting project, locating unmarked burial sites. A church wanted to know the location of all possible unmarked burials to update the information they have on available space.

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is a method of inspection that is highly useful for this type of project. Using GPR utility locating equipment, any buried objects would reflect on the screen as a parabola as they were passed over above ground. Our analysts are expertly trained to interpret this data, which enabled South Carolina analyst to mark where the graves were with flags in real time.

Our analyst scanned one half of the small cemetery, this totaled to approximately a half acre of land. He used the GSSI SIR 4000 with a 400 MHz antenna to image the subsurface within the cemetery. The analyst found a total of 57 unmarked graves.

The analyst’s expertise is key in differentiating between old and new graves. Main components to look for is soil and reflections of the objects on the equipment’s’ screen. When looking at a newer grave, the soil appears to be collapsing. This suggests that its relatively young compared to the other burial sites.

ground penetrating radar

Additionally, the strength of the reflections would be the second clue; the newer burial sites reflect back with very high amplitude. On the other hand, the older sites do not reflect back as strongly. Perhaps, the reason for this is that different burial techniques were in practice between the times the bodies were buried.

Penhall Technologies has the expertise to complete any kind of project. From utilities to unmarked graves, we have the knowledge and equipment to complete an array of jobs. Contact us with information about your project and we will identify an approach on how best to assist you.


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