Ground-Penetrating Radar Techniques to Discover and Map Historic Graves


Ground-penetrating radar is a geophysical technique that can be used to identify and map features commonly associated with historic graves, including intact or partially collapsed coffi ns and vertical shafts. Data are collected by moving radar antennas that transmit pulses of energy into the ground along parallel transects within grids, recording refl ections of those pulses from signifi cant discontinuities within the ground. Visual analysis of radar refl ection profi les can be used to identify both coffi ns and the vertical shaft features commonly associated with human burials. Spatial analysis of the reflection amplitudes within a grid consisting of many profi les (when converted to depth using site-specifi c velocities) produces three-dimensional maps of these burial features. The identifi cation and mapping of graves can identify remains for possible excavation and study, and the results can also be used for statistical and spatial analysis when integrated with historical records. If identifi ed by these methods, previously unidentifi ed graves can be preserved in areas threatened by construction or erosion.

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@inproceedings{Conyers2002GroundPenetratingRT, title={Ground-Penetrating Radar Techniques to Discover and Map Historic Graves}, author={Lawrence B. Conyers}, year={2002} }