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Book Chapter

Effects of human activity on lineation analysis

By
Judy Ehlen
Judy Ehlen
1
Department of Geology, Radford University, Radford, Virginia 24142, USA
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Published:
January 01, 2005

Abstract

The delineation of lineations, natural linear features on imagery that represent fractures, is a particularly difficult task in areas that have long human histories. Man-made linear features may also be visible and can either lead to erroneous interpretations or assist the interpreter to correctly identify the lineations. It is thus often useful to obtain information about the history and culture of an area, particularly if human occupancy has occurred over millennia. Dartmoor in southwest England has a human history dating from at least 4000 B.C., and examples from this region are used to illustrate the impact of past human activity on the interpretation of lineations on aerial photography.

Bronze Age field boundaries (reaves) extend for great distances across the landscape, and unless one knew such features existed, they would surely be interpreted as natural linear features. Reaves are long, linear, and often parallel, and tend to cross the landscape in the same manner as lineations, regardless of the terrain. Features associated with the long mining history on Dartmoor also affect the interpretation of linear features. Surface mining of stream gravels inhibits the use of stream courses as indicators of lineations and also affects the use of valley boundaries. Linear surface excavations and rows of shafts, on the other hand, can often be used as indicators of lineations. Skill and experience are thus required to accurately interpret lineations; the greater the skill, experience, and knowledge of the human history of the area, the more complete and accurate the delineation will be.

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Contents

Reviews in Engineering Geology

Humans as Geologic Agents

Judy Ehlen
Judy Ehlen
Department of Geology, Radford University, Radford, Virginia 24142, USA
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William C. Haneberg
William C. Haneberg
Haneberg Geoscience, 10208 39th Avenue SW, Seattle, Washington 98146, USA
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Robert A. Larson
Robert A. Larson
Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, Alhambra, California 91803, USA
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Geological Society of America
Volume
16
ISBN electronic:
9780813758169
Publication date:
January 01, 2005

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