The research field GPR uses high-frequency electromagnetic waves to image structures and to determine parameters of the subsurface. Targets are, e.g., groundwater and sediment systems, land mines or achaeological structures.
The research field GPR includes the advancement of GPR on the surface and in boreholes, as well as with additional laboratory studies. Issues from the fields of sedimentology, pedology, agriculture, detection of explosive ordnances and landmines, groundwater exploration as well as mass transfer in the unsaturated zone of the ground are explored. Hereby this research field also contributes to the topical research fields groundwater systems and terrestrial sediment systems. The overall goal is to better resolve 3D structures, e.g. to image sediment structures or small scale soil or aquifer heterogeneities. In the future, a greater focus shall be put on assessing dynamic processes like the ones that govern the transition zone between the groundwater table and unsaturated zone. The goal hereby is to derive hydraulic properties of the subsurface and thereby better understand and predict the nutrient and contaminant input in the groundwater as well as the gas exchange between the groundwater and the atmosphere. GPR very well complements with the remaining two geophysical methods in the section, e.g. by providing useful information on the subsurface structure for the inversion of geoelectrics and NMR data. The systematic study of high-frequency electromagnetic properties of soils serves to generate a broad database for electromagnetic simulations, as well as to describe the relationships between the electromagnetic properties and the pedological/hydraulic properties, e.g. to describe a soils water-retention and thereby improves the quantitative interpretation of GPR data.