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Anatomy of Anomalies

Total Field Magnetics at a Potential


Archaeological Site

Raw and Decorrugated Total Magnetic Field Intensity

The upper image shows the raw total field intensity; dots indicate acquired observations. The
lower image shows diurnally corrected and decorrugated results. Horizontal dimensions are
meters; the contour interval is 2 nanoteslas (nt).

Analytic Signal of the Total Magnetic Field Intensity

The analytic signal (total gradient) often serves as a convenient method to


help locate potential archaeological targets. Here, warm to hot colors mark
larger and more likely interesting magnetic sources in the subsurface. The
analytic signal, dependent on all three second order directional derivatives, is
subject to noise. Distributed sources on the surface could cause any of the
spots on the lower image.

Separating Deep and Shallow Equivalent Source Layers

Matched bandpass filtering is an effective way to separate magnetic anomalies arising from different
depths. It entails fitting the radially averaged power spectrum of the total field magnetic data with a series
of power spectra corresponding to simple equivalent layers at the archaeological site. Often it is the best
way to remove the effects of randomly scattered surface debris, particularly if that debris is ferromagnetic.
Here, the upper image shows the field from a deep equivalent layer, the lower image is that of the shallow
equivalent source; contour interval = 1 nt. Note the effective isolation of the short wavelength signal.

Recommendations and Results Total Field Magnetics and GPR

The exploration area, in open timber with deadfall, bunchgrass, and some sagebrush contains highly
magnetic obsidian boulders distributed on the surface and in the shallow subsurface. The upper set of
solid-dashed magenta lines shows the position of a historic road with minor excavation still visible off
the map to the east (right). The lower magenta lines outline a near-rectilinear anomaly with high
gradient edges. The numbered anomalies indicate recommended positions for test units based on the
combined magnetic and GPR results. The results of test units:
Position 1 yielded cultural artifacts
Positions 2, 3, and 4 yielded only boulders. Although each individual anomaly has the character
of a boulder with remanent magnetization their concentration and alignment was promising
Position 5 has a fire hearth at about 0.8 meters
Position 6 has a rock concentration dated at 3,090 years.