Archaeological Prospection with Motorised Multichannel Ground-Penetrating Radar Arrays on Snow-Covered Areas in Norway


The technical advancements of the past decade have rendered motorised, high-resolution ground-penetrating radar (GPR) investigations increasingly popular for archaeological research and cultural heritage management in Norway. However, the agricultural use of most survey areas limits the time available for fieldwork in spring and autumn and thus reduces the method’s potential. An extension of the fieldwork period into the winter season would be desirable. The project textquotedblArkeologi i veien?textquotedbl aimed to develop practical solutions for efficient motorised GPR surveys on snow and to evaluate to what extent the thickness of the snow cover affects data quality. Four sites with known archaeological remains in the ground have been investigated under snowless conditions and with snow cover. The comparative data analysis showed that GPR surveys can result in useful data even on areas covered with one metre of snow. This study shows that different temperatures and resulting variable snow conditions can have a strong effect on the quality of the generated GPR data. The possibility for GPR measurements on snow offers the opportunity to extend fieldwork into the winter period without conflicting with the growing season; however, local weather and snow conditions have to be closely observed in order to obtain useful prospection data.

Remote Sensing