Ground Penetrating Gadget

Hello, out there,

I would like to find how to build a ground penetrating gadget. I think there are a lot of 'us' would like to have something that can 'peek' underneath the surface of the ground, not necessary very deep. For example, such a gadget that can help fossil hunting tremandously. And it does NOT have to go all the way to Ground Penetrating Radar. As long as it can detect the differences between the matrix and interested object up to say 50 cm in depth, it will be good enough. And it doesn't matter what physical principle is used: GPR, ultrasound, electrical resistance or capacitance, ... (whatever).

What I have in mind in such gadget would be tied to one of the shoes (so, it must be very light weight), using wifi to transmit the signal to iPad/iPhone so that the user can just walk and know the place to dig.

Any help or comment will be greatly appreciated.

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btutty6 years ago
btutty6 years ago
So would a soil probe approach offer a more suitable solution?

Also there is some work being done on comparative soil and landscape types.
brentgmz6 years ago
modifying a commercial gold detector would be nice for this :-)
DinoDragon (author)  brentgmz6 years ago
Can you tell me more about gold detector? Thanks.
Kiteman6 years ago
There is a branch of archaeology called "geophysics", which deals with this sort of thing.

One of their techniques is "resistivity", using a pair of probes on a frame, the electrical resistance of the soil and any buried features in it is measured: where there are buried pits and ditches, there is little resistance, whereas walls and stone give great resistance.

The probes are generally about 50cm apart, on a big wooden frame, but you could sacrifice some accuracy for portability by using contacts (or probes) on your shoes, with the electronics on a belt, maybe giving a varying, audible pitch with the values measured? If the data were stored, and linked to GPS data, you could later plot a map of the readings.

Wikipedia article

Relevant university link, with email address.

Google scholar results.

Also, google for geophysical survey, possibly fine-tuning with words like archaeology or techniques.
DinoDragon (author)  Kiteman6 years ago
Thanks, Kiteman. Wiki gave me some directions to explore.

One interesting thing about the fossils (dinosaur or other animal fossilized bones) I'm searching for is that they usually contain about 1,000 more Rare Earth Elements (and Uranium) concentration than that of the surrounding matrix. This may provides a good lead for search a suitable way.
I would check the actual figures - a thousand times more, but more than what?

This will likely be a chemical analysis, rather than remote sensing, and they will certainly be present in the form of minerals, not elemental metals. Don't expect to be able to pick up the concentration-differences in the beep of a metal-detector.

(I may have mislead you earlier as well - drop the word "archaeology" from your searches, and replace it with "palaeontology".)
DinoDragon (author)  Kiteman6 years ago
I did the chemical analysis of dinosaur bones by ICP and used the Rare Earth Elements to figure out relative dating of the dinosaur formation. What I mean of 1,000 times more is relative to the surrounding matrix, i.e., inside the bone, REE concentration is about 1,000 times more than the surrounding matrix. Also, I know the difference between elemental metal and their compound.

Since the fossilized bones contain 1,000 times of REE, density-, magneto-, and/or conductivity-wise may be different enough to be measured. Element Nd (one of the REE elements) is used to make super-magnet now-a-day.

Thanks for your suggestion.
You misunderstand me - a thousand times what value?

A thousand times a gramme per kilo of material? Or a thousand times a milligramme per tonne?

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