Examples of ac resistivity prospecting in archaeological research

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P. Mauriello
D. Monna
I. Bruner


In this paper we present the results of an alternating current resistivity survey, with a view to future tomographic processing. Two examples are given to evaluate the validity and the resolution of the method. The first in the Sabine Necropolis of Colle del Forno (Montelibretti, Rome), the second in the Etruscan settlement of Poggio Colla (Vicchio, Florence). All the measurements were carried out utilising current up to 512 Hz and a mobile dipole MN along straight lines, having two fixed current probes A and B. It was found that skin effect is uninfluential in the frequency range adopted. Given the absence of natural or artificial disturbances in the signal (e.g. electrode polarization and self potential), it was possible to perform very fast measurements with two operators only. Moreover, the use of a multiple dipole source configuration allows the calculation of the determinant of the apparent resistivity tensor. In the examples shown, this parameter detects the actual position of buried structures independently of the direction of the electric sources.

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Mauriello, P., Monna, D. and Bruner, I. (1998) “Examples of ac resistivity prospecting in archaeological research”, Annals of Geophysics, 41(3). doi: 10.4401/ag-4346.

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