Paper No. 9
Presentation Time: 3:30 PM
PAIRING AERIAL LIDAR AND TERRESTRIAL LASER SCANNING FOR LANDSCAPE ANALYSES IN POLYNESIA
Airborne light detection and ranging (Lidar) and terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) are providing high resolution spatial and imaging data that are advancing geoarchaeological research. These technologies provide valuable tools facilitating ground survey for archaeological sites, new tools for predictive modeling of site distribution, novel ways of measuring landscape change over time, and new methods for visualizing spatial data. The potential for applications of these tools in a densely-foliated, tropical environment were tested in 2013 on the high island of Ofu, Manu’a Group, American Samoa. Initial analyses suggest that these tools when used both individually and in combination can address some of the critical natural challenges associated with site survey in tropical Polynesia, i.e., poor visibility during ground survey due to dense vegetation and problematic access to survey areas due to rugged terrain. Through the use of aerial Lidar and TLS data, our interdisciplinary team of geomorphologists and archaeologists has been able to identify and map prehistoric settlement systems in what is a geologically dynamic landscape. In this presentation we will show how using Lidar, geological, and archaeological data paired with GIS we are able to analyze the relationships among settlement features and slope/shoreline processes on Ofu, leading to significant advances in our understanding of modern and prehistoric landscapes.