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Open AccessArticle

3D-Modelling of Charlemagne’s Summit Canal (Southern Germany)—Merging Remote Sensing and Geoarchaeological Subsurface Data

1
Physical Geography, Leipzig University, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany
2
Prehistory and Early History, Friedrich-Schiller University, D-07743 Jena, Germany
3
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research UFZ, Department Monitoring and Exploration Technologies, D-04318 Leipzig, Germany
4
Bavarian State Department of Cultural Heritage BLfD, D-80539 Munich, Germany
5
Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology IPHT, D-07745 Jena, Germany
6
Institute of Geography, Osnabruck University, D-49074 Osnabruck, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(9), 1111; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11091111
Received: 11 March 2019 / Revised: 30 April 2019 / Accepted: 6 May 2019 / Published: 9 May 2019
The Early Medieval Fossa Carolina is the first hydro-engineering construction that bridges the Central European Watershed. The canal was built in 792/793 AD on order of Charlemagne and should connect the drainage systems of the Rhine-Main catchment and the Danube catchment. In this study, we show for the first time, the integration of Airborne LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) and geoarchaeological subsurface datasets with the aim to create a 3D-model of Charlemagne’s summit canal. We used a purged Digital Terrain Model that reflects the pre-modern topography. The geometries of buried canal cross-sections are derived from three archaeological excavations and four high-resolution direct push sensing transects. By means of extensive core data, we interpolate the trench bottom and adjacent edges along the entire canal course. As a result, we are able to create a 3D-model that reflects the maximum construction depth of the Carolingian canal and calculate an excavation volume of approx. 297,000 m3. Additionally, we compute the volume of the present dam remnants by Airborne LiDAR data. Surprisingly, the volume of the dam remnants reveals only 120,000 m3 and is much smaller than the computed Carolingian excavation volume. The difference reflects the erosion and anthropogenic overprint since the 8th century AD. View Full-Text
Keywords: 3D-modelling; airborne LiDAR data; cultural heritage; digital terrain model; GIS; Fossa Carolina; early middle ages; direct push sensing; SQUID magnetic prospection 3D-modelling; airborne LiDAR data; cultural heritage; digital terrain model; GIS; Fossa Carolina; early middle ages; direct push sensing; SQUID magnetic prospection
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Schmidt, J.; Rabiger-Völlmer, J.; Werther, L.; Werban, U.; Dietrich, P.; Berg, S.; Ettel, P.; Linzen, S.; Stele, A.; Schneider, B.; Zielhofer, C. 3D-Modelling of Charlemagne’s Summit Canal (Southern Germany)—Merging Remote Sensing and Geoarchaeological Subsurface Data. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 1111.

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