Technical notes

Tree root system imaging using Ground Penetrating Radar


Evaluating tree roots systems without compromise their environment with destructive and laborious methods, is of crucial importance for preserving plant resources. Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) technology applied to root and forest ecology studies is a key active remote sensing technology, based on the use of electromagnetic waves, providing unique, non-invasive resources to sample root biomass and spatial distribution. This paper reviews the use of GPR techniques, as near surface sensor radar scanning technology using a ground-coupled single-offset antenna configuration, to yield accurate tree roots system information. Based on the analysis of both geometric and general characteristics of underground soil layers, the GPR can be used as a rapid and high-spatial resolution tool for the analysis of roots distribution, morphology, orientation, and the occupied soil volume. Finally, this paper will show the opportunity of applying modern technologies of remote detection of active sensors in terms of application of radar technology to tree root systems.


Ground Penetrating Radar; tree root systems; forest ecology

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Copyright (c) 2017 Pier Matteo Barone, Carlotta Ferrara, Luca Salvati

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