Data gathering from the air, sea and land

The CHERISH survey team has been out and about selecting sites and study areas for survey and investigation over the next five years.

20170608 news survey1

We’ve started to gather essential baseline data at a number of locations, documenting the current state of known monuments but also discovering new ones. Going forward, these will be subject to regular monitoring and provide an absolute fix for future climate change monitoring. Data has been gathered in a variety of ways:

We commissioned Bluesky International Limited to capture 25cm ‘leaves off’ LiDAR for six Welsh Islands at low tide, the first highly-accurate 3D geomatic data for these Welsh islands. We’ve begun to compile new maps of the archaeology, which includes mapping known sites and also making some exciting new discoveries that will be ground-truthed over the coming years.
image

Ramsey Island, Pembrokeshire. 25cm LiDAR processed using the Relief Visualisation Toolbox: 16-point hillshade.
Ramsey Island, Pembrokeshire. 25cm LiDAR processed using the Relief Visualisation Toolbox: 16-point hillshade.

We’ve completed a drone survey of Dunbeg Fort in the Dingle Peninsula, County Kerry, from which a model of the fort was produced using a photogrammetric process called ‘structure for motion’. This innovative approach, which builds a highly accurate 3D model of the site, will be used on a number of coastal monuments going forward.
image

Dunberg Fort in 3D. The site had already been damaged by coastal erosion, with a section of it collapsing into the sea in early 2014, and will now be subject to regular monitoring as part of CHERISH.Dunberg Fort in 3D. The site had already been damaged by coastal erosion, with a section of it collapsing into the sea in early 2014, and will now be subject to regular monitoring as part of CHERISH.

We’ve undertaken baseline coastal monitoring flights in Wales and Ireland, capturing stunning oblique aerial images to document the current state of our coastal heritage sites in the CHERISH study areas. The same sites and monuments will be revisited from the air at various points during the lifespan of the project to document any change that might have occurred.
image

Poppit Sands Fish Trap, Pembrokeshire, one of the largest medieval fish traps on the coast of Wales recorded during a CHERISH baseline monitoring flight in June 2017.Poppit Sands Fish Trap, Pembrokeshire, one of the largest medieval fish traps on the coast of Wales recorded during a CHERISH baseline monitoring flight in June 2017.

Lady’s Island monastery and lake, County Wexford, a low-lying coastal lagoon site recorded during a CHERISH baseline monitoring flight in September 2017.Lady’s Island monastery and lake, County Wexford, a low-lying coastal lagoon site recorded during a CHERISH baseline monitoring flight in September 2017.

On the sea mapping is underway in Irish waters and a CHERISH maritime subgroup has been initiated to identify key survey sites and indicator wrecks for monitoring. The group recently met in Dublin to plan 2018 surveys in Welsh waters. This included a short trip from Dun Laoghaire on the RV Lir, the newest addition to the Geological Survey of Ireland’s fleet of research vessels used for marine mapping and monitoring.

The Geological Survey of Ireland’s inshore fleet.The Geological Survey of Ireland’s inshore fleet.

On land we’ve been making reconnaissance visits to potential sites for palaeoenvironmental research. Our sediment coring campaign will begin in earnest in 2018, but we hope to obtain some initial samples before the end of the year from Cors Fochno, Ceredigion and sites in North Pembrokeshire. Samples have also been taken from an excavation trench across a field boundary on Skomer Island off the coast of Pembrokeshire in Wales for optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating. 

image

Professor Geoff Duller of Aberystwyth University taking samples for luminescence (OSL) dating on Skomer in April 2017Professor Geoff Duller of Aberystwyth University taking samples for luminescence (OSL) dating on Skomer in April 2017.