Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Thermal-rama

Although the results we obtained using the FLIR thermal camera were not exactly what we hoped (largely due to the lens that was only 22 degrees rather than 45 degrees - and the lower-than-hoped-for elevation of the blimp), the thermal images we did get were fairly interesting if not intriguing. to the left is an image of an area around the excavation units Oswaldo began (centered on a monument discovered through plowing). The dark vertical lines are matted sugarcane and the areas betweeen them are about 8 meters in width (to give you a sense of scale). The bright area in the middle is the excavation unit - the rocks that are exposed are quite a bit hotter than the surrounding area. The dark areas around that are the backdirt from the unit. Note, though, that there is a diagnal "warm" area that goes from the NW to the SE (and this is generally the direction of the photo) right through the excavation unit. This likely is caused by the larger # of rocks in the plowzone than in the NE corner - and indicative of subsurface architecture. In the next set of images note the patterns of light and dark - there is clearly information there that is telling us about the composition of the plowzone. The warm temperature is likely due to the heating of subsurface rocks, the primary architectural material. We will have to correlate these results to the magnetometry and ground penetrating radar data, but quite intriguing. Note that the bright two spots on the image on the right are burning buckets of diesel fuel, used as "aerial targets" for the thermal images.
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