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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2018-09-06
    Description: Geosciences, Vol. 8, Pages 334: Mapping a Subsurface Water Channel with X-Band and C-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar at the Iron Age Archaeological Site of ‘Uqdat al-Bakrah (Safah), Oman Geosciences doi: 10.3390/geosciences8090334 Authors: Frances Wiig Michael J. Harrower Alexander Braun Smiti Nathan Joseph W. Lehner Katie M. Simon Jennie O. Sturm John Trinder Ioana A. Dumitru Scott Hensley Terence Clark Subsurface imaging in arid regions is a well-known application of satellite Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR). Archaeological prospection has often focused on L-band SAR sensors, given the ability of longer wavelengths to penetrate more deeply into sand. In contrast, this study demonstrates capabilities of shorter-wavelength, but higher spatial resolution, C-band and X-band SAR sensors in archaeological subsurface imaging at the site of ‘Uqdat al-Bakrah (Safah), Oman. Despite having varying parameters and acquisitions, both the X-band and C-band images analyzed were able to identify a subsurface paleo-channel that is not visible on the ground surface. This feature was first identified through Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey, then recognized in the SAR imagery and further verified by test excavations. Both the GPR and the excavations reveal the base of the paleo-channel at a depth of 0.6 m–0.7 m. Hence, both X-band and C-band wavelengths are appropriate for subsurface archaeological prospection in suitable (dry silt and sand) conditions with specific acquisition parameters. Moreover, these results offer important new insights into the paleo-environmental context of ancient metal-working at ‘Uqdat al-Bakrah and demonstrate surface water flow roughly contemporary with the site’s occupation.
    Electronic ISSN: 2076-3263
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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