Geophysical and Remote Sensing

Archaeology can be a destructive science.  In order to learn using traditional methods, you may have to dig up a site and, in turn, destroy it.  This is not only irreversible, it's also time-consuming and expensive.

With AmaTerra, you have at your disposal, archaeological professionals who can use magnetometers, gradiometers, ground-penetrating radar, and other tools to gather new data about an area quickly without disturbing the ground.  

From cemetery expansion plans to investigations at historic sites on State Parks, AmaTerra's remote sensing team has a track record of unique and proven results that can turn an ordinary site into extraordinary insights.

Below is an example of our geophysical and remote sensing capabilities and results.

Expertise and Experience

AmaTerra's archaeological team is always excited to get their hands dirty.  Sometimes, though, your project’s particular constraints may not allow for digging. Wouldn't it be great to be able to see what's underground without actually having to dig?  With AmaTerra's remote sensing specialists, you can

Magnetometery

Using the latest cutting-edge magnetometers, gradiometers, and magnetic susceptibility meters, AmaTerra's staff can use the earth's magnetic field to quickly and efficiently define archaeological site boundaries and activity areas without ground disturbance. 

Ground-Penetrating Radar

Sending a radar wave into the ground and being there to 'catch' it when it bounces back can be a great way to find subsurface features such as buried utilities, prehistoric hearths, and, of course, burials.  Our remote sensing specialists have you covered!

 
 
Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Camp Investigations at Mother Neff State Park
Client: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) 
Location: Mother Neff State Park, Coryell County, Texas
Take Away: Unique tools provide previously unknown insights into formative period in Texas parks' heritage.
GPR Survey Underway
1935 at CCC Camp 817 at MNSP
Buried ceramic sewer pipe segment
Cesium gradiometer survey at MNSP
Magnetic survey map
Archaeologists flagging targets
MNSP magnetic susceptibility map
MNSP GPR profile of utility pipe
MNSP PI evaluating GPR data

AmaTerra utilized magnetometery, magnetic susceptibility, ground-penetrating radar, and plain-old shovel testing to map the remains of the CCC Company 817 Camp at Mother Neff State Park. Founded as an attempted stop-gap for the Great Depression, the CCC program hired young, unemployed men to improve the nation’s natural resources, including building many of our national and state parks. Working on behalf of the TPWD for ACT compliance associated with proposed park improvements, the firm's remote sensing specialists surveyed approximately 11 acres in the vicinity of the 1930s-era camp site.  

 

Along with documenting several above-ground National Park Service (NPS) Rustic-style features,  investigations identified previously unknown networks of contemporary buried utilities.  Archaeologists also used remote sensing data to conclusively identify a mechanics’ yard that may have been used for training enlistees.  The archaeologists were commended by TPWD and Texas Historical Commission staff for the quality of their field efforts and the engaging nature of their survey report.

Above is a three-dimensional model of a CCC-built water fountain in the camp. This model was generated by AmaTerra as part of their survey using a standard digital camera and photogrammetry software.

NEPA

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MNSP GPR profile of utility pipe

Ground penetrating radar (GPR) profile of a subsurface utility pipe at Mother Neff State Park. Conditions at the Mother Neff State Park CCC camp were not conducive to very detailed ground penetrating radar data but the network of subsurface water and sewer lines were often clearly visible as pronounced hyperbolae such as this one. Other areas showed where utilities had been removed and the excavated trench had been backfilled.