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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(2), 1594-1618;

Airborne LiDAR for the Detection of Archaeological Vegetation Marks Using Biomass as a Proxy

School of Computing, University of Leeds, Leeds LS9 2JT, UK
School of Geography, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Rosa Lasaponara and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 16 July 2014 / Revised: 3 December 2014 / Accepted: 26 January 2015 / Published: 3 February 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Perspectives of Remote Sensing for Archaeology)
Full-Text   |   PDF [52634 KB, uploaded 3 February 2015]   |  


In arable landscapes, the airborne detection of archaeological features is often reliant on using the properties of the vegetation cover as a proxy for sub-surface features in the soil. Under the right conditions, the formation of vegetation marks allows archaeologists to identify and interpret archaeological features. Using airborne Laser Scanning, based on the principles of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) to detect these marks is challenging, particularly given the difficulties of resolving subtle changes in a low and homogeneous crop with these sensors. In this paper, an experimental approach is adopted to explore how these marks could be detected as variations in canopy biomass using both range and full waveform LiDAR data. Although some detection was achieved using metrics of the full waveform data, it is the novel multi-temporal method of using discrete return data to detect and characterise archaeological vegetation marks that is offered for further consideration. This method was demonstrated to be applicable over a range of capture conditions, including soils deemed as difficult (i.e., clays and other heavy soils), and should increase the certainty of detection when employed in the increasingly multi-sensor approaches to heritage prospection and management. View Full-Text
Keywords: archaeology; Airborne LiDAR/Laser Scanning; vegetation marks; arable archaeology; Airborne LiDAR/Laser Scanning; vegetation marks; arable

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Stott, D.; Boyd, D.S.; Beck, A.; Cohn, A.G. Airborne LiDAR for the Detection of Archaeological Vegetation Marks Using Biomass as a Proxy. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 1594-1618.

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