Leak Detection in Buried Pipes Using Ground Penetrating Radar - A Comparative Study

M. Abouhamad, Tarek Zayed, O. Moselhi

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Ground penetrating radar (GPR) has developed lately as an effective leak detection technique in water distribution systems (WDS). Using electromagnetic waves, GPR identifies leak locations through detecting water circulation from leaks causing voids or anomalies in pipe depth caused by changes of dielectric constant of surrounding soil. The literature covering GPR in leak detection is diverse and scattered, albeit, no solid recommendations have been delivered so far. This paper provides a comparative study of methods presented in literature to detect leaks in WDS using GPR. Analysis results are grouped under three test types; namely, outdoor field tests, numerical simulations, and, laboratory experiments. The conditions of which are discussed in details along the advantages and limitations of each test type. The principal analysis methods are presented ranging from simple visual inspection to more complicated focusing algorithms and velocity maps. GPR effectiveness as a reliable tool for leak detection can be confirmed under controlled testing conditions. Nevertheless, more experimental work is required to establish a best practice for detecting leaks using GPR for actual cases.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPipelines 2016
Subtitle of host publicationOut of Sight, Out of Mind, Not Out of Risk - Proceedings of the Pipelines 2016 Conference
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780784479957
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes
EventPipelines 2016 Conference: Out of Sight, Out of Mind, Not Out of Risk - Kansas City, United States
Duration: 17 Jul 201620 Jul 2016


ConferencePipelines 2016 Conference: Out of Sight, Out of Mind, Not Out of Risk
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityKansas City

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

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