Geometry Determination of a Foundation Slab Using the Ultrasonic Echo Technique and Geophysical Migration Methods

  • Maria Grohmann
  • Ernst Niederleithinger
  • Stefan Buske


The ultrasonic echo technique is a frequently used method in non destructive testing for geometry determination of concrete building elements. Important tasks are thickness measurements as well as the localization and characterization of built-in components and inhomogeneities. Currently mainly the synthetic aperture focusing family of techniques (SAFT) is used for imaging. These algorithms have difficulties in imaging steeply dipping interfaces and complicated structures such as steps and lower boundaries of voids. As an alternative two geophysical migration methods, pre-stack Kirchhoff depth migration and pre-stack Reverse-time migration (RTM) were tested in this paper at a reinforced concrete foundation slab. The slab consists of various reinforcement contents, different thicknesses and two pile heads. In a first step, both methods were evaluated with synthetic 2D data. In the second step, ultrasonic measurement data recorded with shear wave transducers on a line profile on the foundation slab were processed. The use of an automatic scanner simplified the measurements. A comparison of the geophysical migration results with those of SAFT shows, in particular for RTM, a significant improvement in the imaging of the geometry of the foundation slab. Vertical borders were reconstructed and the location and structure of the lower boundary of the foundation slab were reproduced better. Limitations still exist in imaging the piles below the slab.


Ultrasonic echo technique Synthetic aperture focusing technique (SAFT) Reverse-time migration Kirchhoff migration 



Many thanks to our colleagues at BAM 8.2, especially for the support for the ultrasonic measurements on the foundation slab. At this point we would like to thank Sabine Müller, Julia Wolf, Norman Diersch, Stefan Maack and Martin Walzchack. Big thanks to Martin Krause and Boris Milmann for sharing their knowledge on the analysis of ultrasonic data as well as on the SAFT algorithms. Klaus Mayer from the University of Kassel (Germany) implemented the SAFT algorithm for the reconstruction of multi-offset ultrasonic data. Thanks to him for providing the algorithm and the fruitful discussions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Grohmann
    • 1
  • Ernst Niederleithinger
    • 1
  • Stefan Buske
    • 2
  1. 1.BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and TestingBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Technical University TU Bergakademie FreibergFreibergGermany

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