Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
International Journal of Geophysics
Volume 2011, Article ID 654194, 9 pages
Research Article

Ground Penetrating Radar in Dam Monitoring: The Test Case of Acerenza (Southern Italy)

1Institute of Methodologies for Environmental Analysis (IMAA), CNR Tito Scalo, 85050 Potenza, Italy
2National Irrigation Development and Agrarian Transformation in Puglia, Basilicata and Irpinia (EIPLI), 85100 Potenza, Italy
3Institute for Electromagnetic Sensing of the Environment (IREA), CNR 80124 Napoli, Italy

Received 15 February 2011; Accepted 20 April 2011

Academic Editor: Erica Utsi

Copyright © 2011 A. Loperte et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Nowadays, dam safety management is gaining great importance since it affects in a crucial way the monitoring and improvement of risky reservoirs, but this topic is very challenging since the dam safety requires long-term and time-continuous monitoring. In this framework, the exploitation of conventional geotechnical investigation methods often requires invasive actions in the inner of the structure to be investigated (destructiveness) and only provides punctual information for small volumes. On the contrary, the application of noninvasive sensing techniques makes it possible to investigate higher volumes without affecting the structure. In this paper we describe the application of GPR for the monitoring and diagnostics of one of the largest dams in the Basilicata region (Southern Italy). The investigation aims at detecting and localizing underground sandstone banks that are potential ways of flow of water below the dam. The manageability and the noninvasiveness of GPR have resulted in particularly suitable for this kind of application because the versatility of this geophysical method allows to investigate large areas with a good spatial resolution giving the possibility to detect the presence of inhomogeneities in the subsoil below the dam.