We’ve completed the final week of geophysical testing with our Arizona State University field crew. Based on the preliminary results of our magnetometry survey, our data are turning out to be really quite meaningful. In order to better understand the data in relation to the current landscape, Dr. McKinnon will be cleaning up the elevation points collected with the robotic total station. In the end, our students collected over 45,000 unique elevation points!

With these points, we can construct a 3-D representation of the ground surface called a triangulated irregular network or TIN. Each point collected by the robotic total station consists of three coordinates: a Northing (y), an Easting (x), and an elevation (z). These coordinates are brought into a geographic information system (GIS) and transformed into the final TIN. As you can see to the left in the image below, we have intensive coverage of the site.  Many points were collected over a relatively small area. The result of this intense coverage is a very high resolution TIN.

Points collected in the field (left) are converted into a vector based topographic model called a TIN (right)

Points collected in the field (left) are converted into a vector based topographic model called a TIN (right)

Once the TIN has been created, we can drape our magnetometry data over the top to better see the relationship between the anomalies measured by the instrument and the actual topography of the site. Visualizing this relationship strengthens our interpretations of the geophysical data and provides us with an essential spatial context.

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