Articles | Volume 24
16 Jun 2010
 | 16 Jun 2010

Building damage caused by tree roots: laboratory experiments of GPR and ERT surveys

A. Satriani, A. Loperte, M. Proto, and M. Bavusi

Abstract. The root growth of trees close to buildings can cause directly or indirectly structural damages and the necessity arises of diagnostic tools to follow their time-spatial behaviour. In this framework, sensing techniques as Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT) are of relevant interest since they allow in principle the detection and identification of roots in a fast and non invasive way.

Here, we present a feasibility study of GPR and ERT by means of laboratory measurements performed in controlled conditions with a plant of peach in a sand-clay box with the aim of identifying tree root system. High resolution images were obtained with both the techniques in this homogeneous soil media and they have clearly shown the presence of soil volumes with a high density of fine and woody roots.