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Geoarchaeology
GPR Used to Locate Possible 'Superhenge' Near Stonehenge PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Sunday, 13 September 2015 23:01
Ground penetrating radar (GPR) antenna mounted on a small tractor surveying near the Stonehenge monument as part of a larger project that identified a row of 90 previously undiscovered stones less than 3 km from Stonehenge.

Archaeologists using high-resolution ground penetrating radar (GPR) have located a massive collection of stones less than 3 km from the well-known Stonehenge site. This grouping of 90 stones, up to 4.5 meters tall (14.7 feet) have apparently been pushed over and buried. Renderings of the site have been created showing what the row of stones would have looked like. The exact purpose and how this site relates to Stonehenge is still a mystery. [Source: Read the source article at CNN. Image: Ludwig Boltzmann Institute via CNN]

 
Radar survey of Egypt's Valley of the Kings opens up new possibilities for lost tomb finds PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Sunday, 09 March 2014 23:33
Valley of the Kings GPR Survey

A radar survey of Egypt's Valley of the Kings hopes to find some of the missing tombs of Egyptian Queens and Pharaohs that have so far eluded archaeologists. Distinguishing natural faults and other geologic features from potential tombs is one challenge. The article also describes how some other interesting discoveries have been made, including an ancient flood control system that prevented the tombs from being flooded, but rapidly fell into disrepair. [Source: Livescience. Image: Livescience]

 
LIDAR Helps Locate New England Archaeological Sites PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Thursday, 23 January 2014 23:33
LIDAR imagery from New England archaeological sites

One of the advantages of LIDAR topography data is the ability to "see through" vegetation so to speak. The light beams aren't actually seeing through physical objects, but because of the high density of LIDAR pixels, some of the beams in a vegetated area see through the canopy to the ground surface. The vegetation can then be screened out of the data using post-processing. This kind of "bare earth" imagery was recently used by archaeologists in New England to locate "lost" settlements that dated back to the 18th century. [Source: Read more about this discovery and application of LIDAR imagery at National Geographic via ASCE SmartBrief. Image: National Geographic]

 
Police use GPR to investigate possible Jimmy Hoffa burial under Detroit driveway PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Wednesday, 14 November 2012 15:29
Police in Roseville, MI tape off a driveway thought to cover the remains of Jimmy Hoffa

Police were investigating the driveway of a home in suburban Detroit where a man though he saw the body of Jimmy Hoffa being burried 35 years ago. They used ground penetrating radar to image a portion of the driveway at the house, and noted that the GPR survey did indicate disturbed earth. The police were careful to indicate they didn't believe it was Jimmy Hoffa, but they were investigating the potential of a body at the location. Soil borings were conducted to a depth of 6 feet and the samples were taken to forensic anthropologists at the University of Michigan to check for human remains according to a followup article. Since there was nothing else in the news, I'm guessing that they didn't find anything...the mystery of Jimmy Hoffa continues! [Source: thespec.com. Image: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images via The Spec]

 
GPR used to discover Roman gladiator school in Austria PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Thursday, 22 September 2011 14:59
Rendering of a Roman gladiator school discovered near Vienna, Austria.

Ground penetrating radar was used to map the remains a Roman gladiator school about 40 miles outside of Vienna, Austria. The find is reported to be "spectacular", compared to the Ludus Magnus - the largest of the gladiatorial training schools in Rome. This facility contains sleeping cells, a bathing area, a training hall with heated floors, administrative buildings and a cemetery. [Source: Mail Online. Image: AP via Mail Online]

 
Egyptian tombs discovered with infrared satelite imagery PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 07 June 2011 06:04
Space archaeologist, Egyptologist Dr Sarah Parcak

Remote sensing with 1-m resolution infrared satellite imagery has allowed US Egyptologist Dr Sarah Parcak to discover a multitude of new archeological sites in Egypt. Her work was the subject of a BBC documentary where after over a year of data analysis and interpretation, she went to Egypt to perform several test excavations where her team's imagery analysis was confirmed. The bricks that were used by ancient Egyptians to build their structures were more dense than the surrounding soil, allowing them to be seen on the satellite imagery, even when buried. There is a quote from Dr Parcak that I think is fantastic:

Indiana Jones is old school, we've moved on from Indy, sorry Harrison Ford.

The Google Earth Blog link has some links to the imagery and Google Earth files that show some of her work.

[Source: BBC via Google Earth Blog. Image: Google Earth Blog]

 
Help Find Genghis Khan's Tomb From the Comfort of Your Home PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Wednesday, 14 July 2010 23:34
Possible archaeological site in Mongolia, home to tomb of Genghis Khan?

Ghengis Khan's tomb has never been found for a variety of reasons. A project involving National Geographic is underway to look for this and other archaeological sites of significance in Mongolia. Think SETI@Home but with aerial photo interpretation. I'm not sure how they convey to people what they are looking for, but very intriguing. [Source: GeekDad | Wired.com. Image: Geo-Eye image from Wired.com]

 
Geology of Ancient Mediterranean Harbors – Studying Sediments for Clues to the Past PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Wednesday, 17 February 2010 22:46

Figure from Coastal and Ancient Harbour Archaeology Geoarchaeology is a fascinating application of geologic tools and disciplines, and I came across a post on the Through the Sandglass blog about a Geology Today article on “Coastal and ancient harbour archaeology”. In a quote from the article:

It has effectively been demonstrated that ancient harbours constitute outstanding archives of both the cultural and environmental pasts.

One example of the application of this scientific field is by looking at sediment gradation and number of ostracod (microscopic crustaceans) assemblages per 10g of sand in core samples. The resulting data can help reconstruct the history of the port.

Last Updated on Sunday, 14 February 2010 09:50
 
Geotechnical Contractor DBM Digs Up 13,000+ Year Old Mammoth Tusk in Drilled Shaft Excavation PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 16 February 2010 23:59

mammoth_tusk_from_dbm_drilled_shaft Specialty Geotechnical Contractor DBM was excavating a drilled shaft for the I-5 interchange in Ridgefield, Washington when they dug up something unusual at a depth of 30-ft. At first the WSDOT inspector thought it looked like wood, but then called in a WSDOT archaeologist who took the fragments to University of Washington’s Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. The tusk is believed to belong to a Columbian Mammoth and date to approximately 13,000 to 15,000 years ago. Story and image from The Columbian.

Last Updated on Saturday, 13 February 2010 15:01
 
Crack Monitoring in Ancient Roman Galleries PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Thursday, 25 December 2008 23:38
Installation of Geokon vibrating wire crackmeter in Roman Galleries beneath Lisbon, PortugalI came across an interesting case study involving the installation of several vibrating wire crack monitors and data collection equipment at the 1st century B.C. to 1st century A.D., Roman built galleries beneath Lisbon, Portugal. The galleries were not discovered until 1755 when a large earthquake destroyed half of Lisbon. Apparently these galleries sit flooded all but three days of the year when they are drained for inspection and tours. During one of these times, Geokon equipment was installed to monitor cracks in the structure. The equipment is waterproof and wiring allows the sensors to be read year round. The new data coupled with piezometer data showed that the draining of the tunnels in conjunction with the fluctuation of the groundwater (tidal) caused the cracks.  (Photo from CÊGÊ by way of Geokon)
 
Locating the Tomb of Genghis Khan Using Remote Sensing and Geophysics PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 04 November 2008 12:34

Genghis Khan PortraitGhengis Khan has been dead for over 800 years, but history still remembers his legacy, the largest contiguous empire in history stretching from Asia to Europe and south to India and the Himalayas. A University of California, San Diego, researcher, Albert Yu-Min Lin, hopes to secure $700K in funding to perform a non-invasive investigation to attempt to locate the location of the Mongolian Warlord's burial site. (Image from wikimedia)

He has already begun the first phase of his 3-year project, to review donated GeoEye Corp. satelite imagery to look for potential disturbed areas. If his funding comes through and he can secure permission from the Mongolian authorities, he hopes to use magnetometry and ground penetrating radar to survey promising sites to attempt to locate the site where Ghengis Khan is located. Source: ABC News: High-Tech Search for Legendary Warlord.

 
Tectonics and Ancient Civilizations PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 02 September 2008 17:48

A new study published in the current issue of Geoarchaeology claims that earthquake-prone areas along the edges of tectonic plates were far more likely to give birth to great ancient civilizations than less dynamic landscapes. The author of the paper, Eric Force, a (U of A Wildcat!) says that 13 of 15 ancient civilizations sites aren't the product of chance. Instead, ancient people appear to have chosen to settle close to a tectonic plate boundary. The exceptions were in ancient China and Egypt. [Image Adapted from Eric R. Force, Geoarchaeology: An International Journal, 23 (2008)]

 
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