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Remote Sensing and Historical Morphodynamics of Alluvial Plains. The 1909 Indus Flood and the City of Dera Ghazi Khan (Province of Punjab, Pakistan)

1
McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3ER, UK
2
Catalan Institute of Classical Archaeology, Plaça Rovellat, s/n 43003 Tarragona, Spain
3
Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3DZ, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geosciences 2019, 9(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9010021
Received: 15 November 2018 / Revised: 20 December 2018 / Accepted: 21 December 2018 / Published: 29 December 2018
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Abstract

This paper explores the historical inundation of the city of Dera Ghazi Kkan (Punjab, Pakistan) in 1909. The rich documentation about this episode available—including historic news reports, books and maps—is used to reconstruct the historical dynamics between an urban settlement and the river morphodynamics in the Indus alluvial plain. Map and document-based historical regressive analysis is complemented with the examination of images obtained through different Remote Sensing techniques, including the use of new algorithms specifically developed for the study of topography and seasonal water availability which make possible to assess long-term changes in the Indus River basin. This case of study provides an opportunity to examine: (1) how historical hydrological dynamics are reflected in RS produced images; (2) the implications of river morphodynamics in the interpretation of settlement patterning; and (3) the documented socio-political responses to such geomorphological change. The results of this analysis are used to consider the long-term dynamics that have influenced the archaeo/cultural landscapes of the Indus River basin. This assessment provides critical insights for: (1) understanding aspects of the formation, preservation of representation of the archaeological record; (2) identifying traces of morphodynamics and their possible impact over the cultural heritage; and (3) offering insights into the role that recent historical documents can have in the interpretation of RS materials. This paper should be read in conjunction with the paper by Cameron Petrie et al. in the same issue of Geosciences, which explores the Survey of India 1” to 1-mile map series and outlines methods for using these historical maps for research on historical landscapes and settlement distribution. View Full-Text
Keywords: remote sensing; historical landscapes; landscape archaeology; settlements; colonial studies; river morphology; Indus; floods remote sensing; historical landscapes; landscape archaeology; settlements; colonial studies; river morphology; Indus; floods
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Garcia, A.; Orengo, H.A.; Conesa, F.C.; Green, A.S.; Petrie, C.A. Remote Sensing and Historical Morphodynamics of Alluvial Plains. The 1909 Indus Flood and the City of Dera Ghazi Khan (Province of Punjab, Pakistan). Geosciences 2019, 9, 21.

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