University of Southampton OCS (beta), CAA 2012

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Identifying landforms of archaeological interest in Alberta's oil sands region: a geomorphometric approach
Robin Woywitka

Last modified: 2011-12-22


The mineable oil sands region of northeastern Alberta, Canada is characterized by the densest concentration of precontact archaeological sites in northern part of the Province. Many of these sites occur on forested, small landforms with low to moderate topographic relief. These terrain features are either absent or not clearly resolved in conventional digital elevation models. Recent acquisition of LiDAR derived DEMs has enabled a finer depiction of the ground surface, frequently at scales consistent with high potential landforms. Using LiDAR-based digital terrain analysis, a landform classification is presented that isolates these features of interest. The classification is compared to existing models, and the theoretical and logistical advantages of this approach are discussed.  


geomorphometry; digital terrain analysis; archaeology