Application of Wavelets in Detection of Cavities under Pavements by Surface Waves

Parisa Shokouhi, Nenad Gucunski, Ali Maher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Application of wavelet transforms in the detection of underground shal low cavities is investigated. Wave propagation is simulated through a transient response analysis on an axisymmetric finite element model. Cavities in a homogeneous half-space and a pavement system of a variety of shapes and embedment depths are considered. The continuous wavelet transform is introduced as a new tool for cavity detection. Effects of different types of cavities on power spectral surfaces (power spectral amplitudes versus frequency and receiver location) and Gaussian wavelet time-frequency maps (wavelet transform coefficients versus time and frequency) are studied. Results show strong energy concentration in power spectral surfaces right in front of a cavity in certain frequency bands. Time and frequency signatures of waves reflected from near and far faces of the cavity can be clearly observed in the wavelet timefrequency maps. These observations are used to locate and estimate the size of the cavity. It is demonstrated that the wavelet transform is a promising analysis tool for cavity detection and characterization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-65
Number of pages9
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number1860
StatePublished - 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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