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Archaeological prospection of the nearshore and intertidal area using ultra-high resolution marine acoustic techniques: Results from a test study on the Belgian coast at Ostend-Raversijde
Missiaen, T.; Evangelinos, D.; Claerhout, C.; De Clercq, M.; Pieters, M.; Demerre, I. (2018). Archaeological prospection of the nearshore and intertidal area using ultra-high resolution marine acoustic techniques: Results from a test study on the Belgian coast at Ostend-Raversijde. Geoarchaeology 33(3): 386-400. https://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/gea.21656
In: Geoarchaeology. Wiley: New York, N.Y.. ISSN 0883-6353; e-ISSN 1520-6548, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine
Author keywords
    intertidal geoarchaeology; marine acoustics; peat excavation; ultra-high resolution 3D

Authors  Top 
  • Missiaen, T., more
  • Evangelinos, D., more
  • Claerhout, C., more

Abstract
    The coastal site of Ostend-Raversijde in Belgium is known for its archaeological artifacts, mainly from Roman and medieval times. In recent years, detailed geophysical and geotechnical investigations have been carried out here to test the efficiency of these techniques for geoarchaeological prospection of the subtidal and intertidal zone. Very high-resolution 2D subbottom profiling using a parametric echosounder evidenced a highly complex system of paleogullies and tidal channels, some of which can be linked to the medieval peninsula Testerep and the drowned settlement of Walraversijde. For the first time marine seismic and terrestrial electromagnetic induction (EMI) data were fully integrated in the same intertidal area. The parametric echosounder proved a highly effective tool to map the (partly excavated) peat layers and submerged landscape in high detail, even in extremely shallow water. Using a novel multitransducer parametric echosounder (SES-2000 Quattro), unique 3D imaging of the peat exploitation pattern was possible with unprecedented detail (submeter level). This sets a new standard for shallow water research and opens important new perspectives for geoarchaeological studies in nearshore areas.

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