Detecting Buried Human Bodies Using Ground-Penetrating Radar

  •  Widodo Widodo    
  •  Iqbal Aditama    
  •  Khalid Syaifullah    
  •  Muthi’a J. Mahya    
  •  M. Hidayat    


Being located at the dense tectonic activity area, Indonesia has to cope with the constant risk of earthquakes. High frequency of earthquakes occurrence causes the crust instability and leads into another natural disaster such as landslides. Sometimes, the landslide avalanches are covering the high populated area destroying buildings and causing victims. Unfortunately, the treatment for the affected building and landslide victims searching are still using conventional methods. The purpose of this study is to detect buried human bodies using GPR method, so it can increase the effectiveness and the efficiency of disaster victims searching under the landslide avalanche. Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) is one of the geophysical methods that can be used to study shallow subsurface of the earth. GPR has been successfully used to locate grave and forensic evidence. However, more controlled research is needed to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of disaster victim detection that buried under landslides or earthquake avalanche. A detailed GPR survey was conducted in the Cikutra graveyard, Bandung, with corpses buried one week until two months before the survey. The radar profiles from this survey showed the clear amplitude contrast anomalies, emanated from the corpses. The strongest amplitude contrasts are observed at most recent grave compared to the older grave. We obtained the amplitude contrast at around 1.2 meters depth which is consistent with the depth of the buried corpses. In addition, the results of forward modeling of homogenous subsurface and corpses in subsurface will be presented.

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