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Title: Multi-sensor platforms for the geophysical evaluation of sensitive archaeological landscapes : evaluation of, and improvement of, the MSP40 mobile sensor device for rapid multi-technique and low impact measurements on archaeological sites with vulnerable soil
Author: Parkyn, Andrew Keith
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2012
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Mobile platforms for archaeological purposes have increased in use over the last 20 years with many of the developments coming from Continental Europe. Mobile platform developments have mainly focused on one type of instrumentation, offering multiple sensors, depths of detection or frequencies. This development of mobile platforms has focused on data acquisition rates but has not considered the physical impact on the soil. The Geoscan Research Mobile Sensor Platform (MSP40) was intended to improve survey efficiency and remain a lightweight system. The platform can collect two earth resistance configurations that show directional variation of the current flow through soil. Additional sensors were integrated on to the square frame of the hand-pulled cart to record simultaneous fluxgate gradiometer data and a microtopographic surveys. Ground based geophysical investigation will always have a physical impact on a site. The MSP40 is no exception but careful selection of wheel types and the lightweight frame limit the damage compared to many mobile arrays. The MSP40 has been tested on a number of different soils at various times of the year with encouraging results; however issues with overcoming the contact resistance of electrodes remain. The continuous collection rate and combination of techniques means a slight drop in data quality is inevitable. However the increased data density, multiple-sensors and improved rate of collection offset reductions in data quality. The research has shown that the MSP40 can perform low impact rapid site assessments on 'vulnerable' sites, whilst maximising the information gained from a single traverse.
Supervisor: Gaffney, Christopher F.; Schmidt, Armin R. Sponsor: AHRC ; Geoscan Research
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Archaeology ; Geophysics ; Mobile platform ; Multi-sensor ; Low impact ; Electrical resistance ; Geoscan Research Mobile Sensor Platform (MSP40)