Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Dynamics (PhD)

Degree Level



Environmental Dynamics


Kenneth L. Kvamme

Committee Member

Christoper L. Liner

Second Committee Member

Benjamin R. Vining


Archaeo-geophysics, Depth Estimation, Magnetometry, Multi-height


Magnetometry is the most widely applied archaeo-geophysical technique. Current practice standards employ the technique to map only in a two-dimensional plan view fashion, but in deep geologic studies depth estimators are routinely applied to magnetic datasets. These estimators provide three-dimensional information to magnetic source-bodies. There are many different depth estimators employed in geologic study that all require various degrees of processing complexity. This study investigates two mathematically simple techniques, half-width rules and multi-height methods. Half-width rules are likely the oldest depth estimators within the field while multi-height techniques are but a minor footnote in the literature. The applicability of these methods is first examined through computer modeling. This process involves creating simple geometric source-bodies and modeling the resultant theoretical magnetic maps. The depth estimation techniques are then evaluated in this model environment. Next, the proposed depth estimators are tested at a modern constructed test site in Illinois and three real-world archaeology sites throughout Arkansas and Tennessee. Multiple archaeological feature types are surveyed with a focus on point-source like bodies (e.g. hearths and small pits). The estimator’s accuracy is evaluated with proxy depth to source information via down-hole magnetic susceptibility logs collected at each magnetic feature. This allows a direct comparison without the need for costly excavations. Through half-width and multi-height techniques, this study aims to move archaeo-geophysical applications of magnetometry from simple plan view based survey towards true three-dimensional mapping.

Available for download on Saturday, February 17, 2024