New CHERISH LiDAR Views Of The Welsh Islands

Recording coastal sites with the CHERISH team.
Recording coastal sites with the CHERISH team.

My name is Amber Andrews and I recently graduated from Swansea University and I am going on to study for a Masters in the autumn. Since graduating I have completed a two-week placement working with the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales on the CHERISH Project. Throughout these two weeks I have been introduced to the inner workings of the Commission and the CHERISH Project, as well as carrying out two tasks that would culminate with new archival material being launched onto Coflein. Working closely with Dr Toby Driver I have created 2D and 3D LiDAR images, generated from airborne laser scanning of six Welsh islands specially flown in 2017 to highlight their archaeology and allow coastal change to be mapped. With rising sea levels and increasing storm activity, detailed mapping of the exposed archaeology on these islands is a key objective of the CHERISH Project.

Archaeology of the Islands

To create these often stunning images, I have viewed the LiDAR data in ArcMap and ArcScene GIS (Geographic Information Systems). Processing the data was quite complicated and to be able to select the best imagery that highlights the archaeology of the islands was a challenging, but rewarding, task. Below is a slideshow of some of the most eye-catching results that are now available at www.coflein.gov.uk for public use.

On one of the larger islands, Ynys Enlli/Bardsey Island, the fantastic 3D imagery clearly shows both the geology and the archaeology of the landscape. The 2D images of the islands are just as significant, particularly as on Puffin Island where the vegetation has been ‘stripped away’ using the LiDAR visualisation to reveal medieval buildings and archaeology below the woodland canopy. These images are an excellent point of reference for both geologists and archaeologists alike, and the LiDAR forms a key resource for the future study of the islands of Wales.

The LiDAR views show the Skerries Islet, Puffin Island. Bardsey Island, The Tudwal’s Island, Ramsey Island and Grassholm Island. Find out more for searching for the islands by name at www.coflein.gov.uk and looking for records with online images.

10/29/2019

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