APPLIED FIELD GEOPHYSICS WORKSHOP

INTENSIVE GROUND PENETRATING RADAR (GPR) SURVEY AND ANALYSIS

Session 1: June 13 - June 19, 2021

Session 2: June 20 - June 26, 2021

Session 3: July 11 - July 17, 2021

Session 4: July 18 - July 24, 2021

Session 5: August 1 - August 7, 2021

          Our Ground-Penetrating Radar (GPR) Field Applications Workshop is an intensive 5-day training program in GPR survey, data acquisition and analysis. The program is designed to offer our participants a very practical, useful and concrete set of professional and research skills that would provide an edge in today’s field/urban survey and exploration job market. Our participants will acquire in a very short time the necessary practical and analytical skills to conduct independent GPR field research.

          Field experience with these techniques is an exceptionally useful and lucrative skill to acquire, but training in these methods is limited to expensive manufacturer professional development and/or academic courses. These educational opportunities tend to sacrifice either the theoretical and technical foundations, or the practical use and interpretation of the methods.  In contrast, this Workshop offers a full set of technical, theoretical, and practical skills for Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) surveying, for two different GPR system configurations as well as two different antenna frequencies, resulting in variations in resolution and vertical ground penetration.  It provides thorough training for field work, processing, and interpretation of intensively modified human landscapes, in an accessible and professional way.  Hands-on experience is an essential complement to previous or planned geophysics training for work in earth sciences, geology, geography, urban planning, architecture, surveying, civil engineering, environmental engineering, environmental studies, landscaping, forensics, anthropology, archaeology, cultural resource management (CRM), Classics, and/or history.

          The core of our program revolves around a strong hands-on understanding on GPR techniques and technologies, providing a higher level of scientific and practical appreciation of the relationship terrain-data-analysis. The Workshop aims at providing all the necessary training for our graduating participants to be able to conduct on their own highly effective GPR surveys, fully understand the limitations on both GPR systems and terrain, optimize (and maximize) data collection, analyze and interpret the data, and generate a high quality results.

          One of the unique aspects of the program is its comparative approach, as our participants will learn to operated two different Noggin (SenSoft – Sensors and Software) systems, equipped with different transducers, respectively at 500MHz and 250MHz peak frequency, in two field configurations, cart and rough terrain. Each field team consists in 2-3 participants on each system, conducting at least 2 full days of data collecting. Each group will be trained in setting up their own survey grids to optimize data collection and integration, assembling each field system, and collecting the same grid data with each of our two GPRs.

          Concurrently, our participants will be trained in using SenSoft’s GPR analytical software application package, EKKO Project Suite, to become proficient in analyzing GPR data, maximizing the results. All the data collected will be analyzed by each GPR crew, comparing, integrating and extrapolating the data/results obtained from both 500MHz and 250MHz antennas. At the end of the 5-day Workshop, each group will be required to produce a professional report and present their results in a podium presentation setting.

          The comparative approach between the two GPR systems (500MHz and 250MHz) and field configurations (cart and rough terrain), combined with the intensive hands-on, data oriented, results driven focus of the Workshop, as well as the low ratio participant:instructor is guaranteed to provide field GPR training of the highest quality, both in terms of data generation and analysis, and professional deployment and research. Upon completion of this program, participants will have the skill set and knowledge required to plan, conduct, analyze, and interpret successful GPR surveys in any terrestrial setting.  This process will present a variety of anthropogenic and natural challenges, from working in diverse field conditions, to dealing with sites containing a combination of known and unknown modern and ancient features.  The whole experience is intended to be intensive and collaborative, with a focus on experiential learning and application of processing, collecting, and interpreting data to real sites.

          In terms of practical applications, the two GPR antennas and configurations we deploy during this Workshop are the systems of choice in archaeology, forensics and shallow subsurface urban mapping (SUM), for locating buried structures, graves, utilities, root systems, etc., as well as variations in pedology and geology down to about 4-6m (or 13-19ft) depth. During the 2021 field season, we will investigate 2-3 archaeological sites in Southern Transylvania (Romania), situated in or near urban settings. These sites provide an unparalleled access to a diverse set of features and conditions.  We address urban and proto-urban settlement construction, complex anthropogenic stratigraphic relationships, variation in soil structure and conditions, wide range of materials and their use/reuse, unmapped ancient and modern utilities, potential graves, modern and ancient civil works projects (including the remains of roads, aqueducts, and wells), changes in hydrogeological environment caused by modern human intervention (such as the construction and operation of a thermal power plant on the Micia site), and any additional and as-yet undiscovered features.

          Our feature targets are as follows:

 

  • Uroi Castle. Situated in the village of Uroi (Hunedoara County, Romania), it was a medium size medieval military fortress, aimed at controlling one of the many crossings over the Mures River, most likely along the ancient Roman road. The massive andesite walls offer different challenges to GPR exploration and intrepretation, both because of the topography generated by the destruction of the castle as well as the resulting stratigraphy. It is an ideal environment to deploy and compare the two system configurations for shallow exploration and the different frequency transducers.

  • Roman Castrum and Municipium of Micia. Situated in the village of Vetel (Hunedoara County, Romania), it is one of the largest and most intricate archaeological urban sites in Transylvania, featuring three centuries of intensive and extensive Roman occupation.  Beginning in 102AD as complex fortified military camps, it later expanded into a large village and then a full city, complete with amphitheater, baths, temples, manufacturing, shops, plazas, large and small habitation structures, and two cemeteries with funerary monuments.  The Roman site was then taken over by migratory people with variable architectural skill who modified the site according to their needs and perception for over four centuries.  During communist times, a thermal power plant and a couple of roads were built on the site, destroying about 20% of it, introducing a modern twist to our GPR research area in the form of unmapped buried utilities and buried support/temporary structures.

  • Sarmizegetusa Ulpia Traiana, Roman Capital of the Dacian Provinces. This extraordinary archaeological site is 80% “overrun” by the modern small city of Sarmizegetusa (Hunedoara County, Romania). The site has been continuously inhabited since 102AD. In order to build the provincial capital, the Romans drained the entire plateau where the city now sits. After the Romans officially left Dacia in 271AD, the public works that ensured the drainage were not tended any longer and the water began to rise. Throughout the Medieval period, opportunistic channels were dug throughout the ancient site to redirect the water flow away from the inhabited sections of the city. Starting in the early Modern period, the Roman city was quarried for the high quality marble and limestone in order to produce lime, a process that lasted until the first half of the 20th century. The combination of all these elements, in addition of all the utilities of the modern town, offers an extraordinary opportunity for GPR skill development and research. We will be surveying the modern roads, public parks and other accessible areas in an attempt to map the ancient town of Sarmizegetusa Ulpia Traiana (survey to start in 2021 or 2022 - TBC).

 

          Our Ground-Penetrating Radar (GPR) Field Applications Workshop is a standalone program that can be either taken on its own, as a 5-day Workshop, independently from our other existing projects, or in combination with our Roman Excavation, as a 4-week Geophysical Exploration and Roman Excavation program. Note that the basic introductory training program offered by Sensors and Software (SenSoft), one of the two leading North American companies in GPR manufacturing and research, a ONE Day GPR Short Course, costs $400. GSSI, the other leading North American GPR company, currently offer a similar TWO Day Short Course, at US$800. Their classes usually run with 10 participants (or more), room and board not included.

 LOGISTICS

 

Location: Sarmizegetusa Ulpia Traiana and/or Micia, Hunedoara County, Transylvania, Romania

 

Team Size: 2-3 participants per GPR system

 

Housing: hotel near target site, 2 participants per room, private bathrooms.

 

Meals: breakfast and dinner are served daily; we can accommodate vegetarian diets.

 

Cost: US$ 1195 (per 5  day workshop session) - for our integrated combination of GPR exploration and field excavation, see our Geophysical Exploration and Roman Excavation program (fee rebate applies)

 

Fee includes: registration and permit fees, lectures, gear, daily local transportation to our study sites (if needed), room and board as described above

WHAT'S UP?
LAST EVENT

NEW PROJECTS

 

  • The outstanding success of our 2018 and 2019 GPR projects, the Applied Field Geophysics Workshop - GPR Applications, prompted us to buy a second GPR unit with a different central frequency and a different configuration. As a result, our participants will have the unique opportunity to get fully proficient on a 250MHz GPR system, in a cart configuration, as well as 500MHz system, in a rough terrain configuration.

  • Furthermore, participants who are committed to expand their field skill set can register to our new Geophysics Exploration and Field Excavation program. It is a 4 week program, combining the GPR Applications Workshop (5 days) and  Roman Villa Excavation (3 weeks). Participants save $400 over the combined costs of the individual programs.

2021

2021 PROJECTS ARE UP AND RUNNING

This year, COVID-19 caught us (and the entire world) unprepared. But we have learned our lessons and we are setting up our 2021 projects accordingly. We will be taking all the necessary prophylactic measures to keep our staff, our participants and our hosts safe, while providing, as usual, an educational and training experience to the highest standards.

All our projects will be back in 2021 and we are looking forward to a season of archaeology, bioarchaeology, osteology and ground penetrating radar (GPR) exploration!!!

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