A modification of conventional surface ground-penetrating radar (GPR) was conceived, tested, and successfully applied in the field at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) to investigate waste pits. The modified GPR method consists of making measurements along a traverse line in a sloping trench with the radar's antenna oriented at an angle of up to 45 degrees from the horizontal. The direction of propagation of the electromagnetic field for this configuration is not vertical, and the amount of energy scattered from objects that are oriented vertically relative to the energy scattered from horizontal layers is increased. This fundamental feature of side-looking underground radar (SLUR) measurements is illustrated by physical modeling. Measurements made along parallel trenches that are offset at different distances from a vertically oriented object provides GPR cross-sections with a primary plane of investigation that intersects the vertical feature at different depths. SLUR was used at BNL in conjunction with conventional surface GPR measurements (displayed as 3-D blocks and plan-view time slices) to enhance the vertical definition and improve the depth estimates of the waste pits.

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