Predictive deposit modelling from borehole evaluation

Predictive deposit modelling – an introduction

How a borehole evaluation can enable a predictive deposit model to be produced

From the results of a borehole evaluation, a predictive deposit model can be prepared which will illustrate the potential extent and depth of any archaeological or palaeo-environmental deposits present within a development site or alternatively demonstrate that later building activity, for example the construction of basements/foundations, has removed any deposits which might have been present. 

See also: Developers’ guide to archaeological evaluation by borehole »

The deposit model produced from the results of the borehole investigation can be further enhanced by the incorporation of other data sets. These might include existing data from previous ground investigations or the results of previous geophysical or GPR surveys.

Enabling a targeted approach

It is also possible to import the foundation plans of the proposed scheme into the deposit model to identify where impacts on archaeological and palaeo-environmental remains will occur which in turn can result in a more targeted approach to further archaeological investigation should it be required as part of the planning process.

The benefits of this for the developer can be savings in both costs and time.

As with geophysical survey and trial-trenching there are pros and cons attached to archaeological evaluation using boreholes. A borehole provides only a ‘keyhole’ view of what is present below the ground surface and unless the number of boreholes is sufficient, evaluation using this method can miss the location of buried archaeological material completely resulting in a false picture of both the depth and extent of archaeological and palaeo-environmental remains within the development area.

Assessing archaeological remains

On the plus side however, archaeological evaluation using boreholes – whether they are archaeological or geotechnical – can be a rapid and cost-effective method of assessing the potential for archaeological and palaeo-environmental remains to be a constraint to development.

Further information

Developers’ guide to archaeological evaluation by borehole »

Trial trenching pros and cons »

Geophysical survey »