Mapping and assessment of tree roots using ground penetrating radar with low-cost GPS

Zou, Lilong, Wang, Yan, Giannakis, Iraklis, Tosti, Fabio, Alani, Amir M. and Sato, Motoyuki (2020) Mapping and assessment of tree roots using ground penetrating radar with low-cost GPS. Remote Sensing, 12(8), p. 1300. ISSN (online) 2072-4292


In this paper, we have presented a methodology combining ground penetrating radar (GPR) and a low-cost GPS receiver for three-dimensional detection of tree roots. This research aims to provide an effective and affordable testing tool to assess the root system of a number of trees. For this purpose, a low-cost GPS receiver was used, which recorded the approximate position of each GPR track, collected with a 500 MHz RAMAC shielded antenna. A dedicated post-processing methodology based on the precise position of the satellite data, satellite clock offsets data, and a local reference Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Earth Observation Network System (GEONET) Station close to the survey site was developed. Firstly, the positioning information of local GEONET stations was used to filter out the errors caused by satellite position error, satellite clock offset, and ionosphere. In addition, the advanced Kalman filter was designed to minimise receiver offset and the multipath error, in order to obtain a high precision position of each GPR track. Kirchhoff migration considering near-field effect was used to identify the three-dimensional distribution of the root. In a later stage, a novel processing scheme was used to detect and clearly map the coarse roots of the investigated tree. A successful case study is proposed, which supports the following premise: the current scheme is an affordable and accurate mapping method of the root system architecture.

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