Ground-based magnetic surveys as a new technique to locate subsurface drainage pipes: A case study

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Identifying the existence and orientation of buried drainage systems is necessary to incorporate the impact of these features in solute transport and hydrologic models. This study was conducted to determine if a cesium magnetometer survey could identify clay tile locations. A cesium magnetometer survey with a sampling interval of 10 cm along the survey transect and 50-cm spaced transects was used at the Oregon State University Research Dairy in an attempt to map clay tile orientation and location. A shaded-relief plot of the magnetic data from a 100- × 100-m portion of the Dairy successfully identified clay tile in the western part of the study area, but was unable to identify clay tile in the eastern part of the study area. Probing and trenching confirmed the existence of clay tile in both portions of the site. This case study has shown that cesium magnetometer surveys can locate clay tile with a spatial accuracy (horizontally) of ±25 cm, and offers a new technique for non-invasive subsurface drainage pipe location. This study has also elucidated potential limitations in this method for identifying subsurface drainage pipe locations that may depend on soil type, management strategies, and soil magnetic properties. © 2005 American Society of Agricultural Engineers.

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Applied Engineering in Agriculture

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