Tracing and imaging minor water seepage of concealed PVC pipe in a reinforced concrete wall by high-frequency ground penetrating radar

Wai Lok Lai, Missoni Leong-Ying Ho, Ray K.W. Chang, Janet F.C. Sham, Chi Sun Poon

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Water seepage was triggered with a water circulation system and a pre-drilled hole (as seepage point) in a PVC pipe concealed in a concrete wall. Making use of a 2 GHz antenna, different GPR perturbations patterns on the PVC pipe (as weak scatterers) and several steel bars (as strong scatterers) in concrete, were mapped. The time-lapse changes of spatial spread and degree of water seepage were monitored for 59 days to trace the water seepage path. The perturbation patterns enable the observation of the wave attenuation explained by the well-established theories of water in construction materials. Analysis in the validation experiment pushed the limit of GPR that the use of high-frequency GPR is potentially useful to trace and image minor degree of water seepage in concrete.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)840-847
Number of pages8
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017


  • Ground penetrating radar
  • Water perturbation patterns
  • Water seepage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)

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