Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) remote sensing is increasingly favoured in archaeological applications. However, the effectiveness of this technology for archaeological prospection has so far not been fully assessed. In this study, an integrated single-date and multi-temporal SAR data-processing chain was proposed to sharpen archaeological signs and hence their detection and monitoring. In total, 14 scenes of X-band Cosmo-SkyMed, C-band Sentinel-1 and L-band PALSAR data covering the Western Regions of the Silk Road Corridor in China were employed for two important archaeological sites including the Yumen Frontier Pass with emerging archaeological traces and Niya ruins with subsurface remains. The results pointed out that single-date satellite radar data were useful for the identification of subsurface traces buried under desert in the landscape-scale, whereas for the identification of emerging monuments, Sentinel-1 was limited by its lower spatial resolution compared to TerraSAR and PALSAR data. Multi-date products, such as interferometric coherence, the averaged radar signatures and RGB multi-temporal composites, were effective to sharpen archaeological traces as well as for change detection in Yumen Frontier Pass. This study presents a pilot assessment of satellite SAR data for the analysis and monitoring of archaeological features in the predominantly arid-sandy environmental characteristic of investigated sites.

Multi-frequency satellite radar imaging of cultural heritage: the case studies of the Yumen Frontier Pass and Niya ruins in the Western Regions of the Silk Road Corridor

Masini, N;Lasaponara, R
2016

Abstract

Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) remote sensing is increasingly favoured in archaeological applications. However, the effectiveness of this technology for archaeological prospection has so far not been fully assessed. In this study, an integrated single-date and multi-temporal SAR data-processing chain was proposed to sharpen archaeological signs and hence their detection and monitoring. In total, 14 scenes of X-band Cosmo-SkyMed, C-band Sentinel-1 and L-band PALSAR data covering the Western Regions of the Silk Road Corridor in China were employed for two important archaeological sites including the Yumen Frontier Pass with emerging archaeological traces and Niya ruins with subsurface remains. The results pointed out that single-date satellite radar data were useful for the identification of subsurface traces buried under desert in the landscape-scale, whereas for the identification of emerging monuments, Sentinel-1 was limited by its lower spatial resolution compared to TerraSAR and PALSAR data. Multi-date products, such as interferometric coherence, the averaged radar signatures and RGB multi-temporal composites, were effective to sharpen archaeological traces as well as for change detection in Yumen Frontier Pass. This study presents a pilot assessment of satellite SAR data for the analysis and monitoring of archaeological features in the predominantly arid-sandy environmental characteristic of investigated sites.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11563/156651
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