Predictive modelling of multiperiod geoarchaeological resources at a river confluence: a case study from the Trent-Soar, UK

Carey, C.J., Brown, A.G., Challis, K.C., Howard, A. and Cooper, L. (2006) Predictive modelling of multiperiod geoarchaeological resources at a river confluence: a case study from the Trent-Soar, UK. Archaeological Prospection, 13, (4), 241-250. (doi:10.1002/arp.295).


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This research project developed a terrace sequencemodel ofalluvial landscape development to aid
the management of the geoarchaeological resource within a temperate valley floor threatened by
aggregate extraction.Themodelwas created using the remote sensing techniques of light detection
and ranging (lidar) and ground-penetrating radar (GPR), dovetailed with other archaeological and
geological data setswithin a geographical information system(GIS).Lidar first pulse (FP), last pulse
(LP) and intensity models were used in a combination of ways to characterize the landscape. The
topographic LP model was particularly effective at defining the major alluvial landforms, such as
the higher terraces and palaeochannels. Lidar intensity data defined the palaeochannels, in
response to the surface sediments’ ability to absorb/reflect the lidar laser pulse. The threedimensional
architecture of the sediments infilling the valley floor was elucidated and modelled by
GPR survey along geospatially referenced transect lines. These surveys had their time-slices
calibrated through gouge coring along the transect lines, allowing depth slicing of the sediment
stratigraphy.TheGPR surveys accuratelydefined the depth of silty clayalluviumoverlying the sands
and gravels. Internal structure was revealed within the terrace gravels and at the margins of
palaeochannels, allowing identification of bounding surfaces and construction of relative landform
chronologies.However,GPRpenetrationinto fine-grainedpalaeochannel fillswasgenerally shallow,
with little internal channel stratigraphy revealed.The lidar data sets and the GPR depth slices were
integratedwithin ArcGISand ArcScene.The distributionof theknownand sometimesvisiblearchaeological
remains is considered in context of the geomorphology. It is demonstrated that erosion
and sedimentation have‘geologically filtered’ the archaeological resource and that some areas that
have previously been considered archaeologically barren have high potential for both cultural and
environmental archaeological remains.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1002/arp.295
ISSNs: 1075-2196 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: lidar; GPR; alluvial; GIS;Trent; Soar.
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Geography > Environmental Processes and Change
ePrint ID: 55197
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2008
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:35

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