Ground penetrating radar as a tool to improve heritage management of wetlands

Christine Bunting, Nicholas Branch, Steve Robinson, Penny Johnes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

4 Citations (Scopus)


Wetlands are a non-renewable resource of high potential for organic archaeological deposits and palaeoenvironmental sequences. This resource is at threat from development and climate change. Only a small percentage of the identified wetlands in North West Europe have been studied with regard to their depth, stratigraphic architecture and the heritage assets they contain. The focus of this research is to improve understanding of how GPR can be used to tackle this problem. Data has been collected from wetland sites known to be associated with archaeological remains. The GPR results have been validated by boreholes subjected to geoarchaeological and geochemical analysis. The results show that GPR can obtain meaningful results in a range of wetland sediments. The depth is limited depending on the sediment type, water content and water chemistry with a depth of 80ns (2.5m) imaged clearly in fen peat using a 200MHz antenna greatly reduced in clay rich sediments. Archaeological monuments and structures are detectable. Identification and mapping of local stratigraphic units important for setting archaeological sites in a landscape and sedimentary context has also been possible. Interpretation of GPR surveys is greatly improved with the collection and analysis of boreholes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication15th International Conference on Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), June 30 - July 4, 2014, Brussels,
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014


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