Assessment of Ground Penetrating Radar for Pyrite Swelling Detection in Soils

Nabil KhoderAgha, Gabriel Assaf


Pyrite swelling in soils below buildings is a major issue. It leads to severe deformations in floor foundations. A survey is carried out at a selected site in the city of Laval, Quebec, to assess the usefulness of ground-penetrating radar (GPR) to detect deformations that may be indicative of the presence of pyrite. Four soil samples are taken from the aforementioned site to determine the soil type below the concrete slab. The results indicate the presence of limestone, moor clay, and shale sediments, which are prone to pyrite swelling. The GPR data were collected using the GSSI SIR 4000 with a high frequency antenna and processed using RADAN software. The GPR data indicate the presence of severe deformation in many locations of the concrete slab. The most important wave reflections indicative of pyrite swelling are the rebar reflections, showing interesting pushed-up and dropped-down reflections. These reflections appear in two forms. The first is the attenuated reflections that may occur due to pyrite-rich materials. The second is the high amplitude reflections that occur because of the air void, which can be formed due to heaving the concrete slab because of pyrite swelling. As a result, GPR appears to be an effective method for assessing and mapping the effect of pyrite swelling below concrete slabs.


Doi: 10.28991/CEJ-2024-010-03-05

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Assessment; Ground Penetrating Radar; Radan; Pyrite.


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DOI: 10.28991/CEJ-2024-010-03-05


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