New Approaches to Mapping and Managing the Palaeochannel Resources in the Light of Future Environmental Change: A Case Study from the Trent Valley UK

Samantha Stein, Steve Malone, David Knight, Andy Howard, Christopher Carey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Abandoned river channels may provide rich primary sources of palaeoenvironmental and cultural information elucidating landscape evolution, climate change, vegetation history and human impact, especially since the beginning of the Holocene epoch. However, although potentially an important resource, palaeochannels are not often recorded systematically and only rarely enjoy robust statutory protection (in the UK as Sites of Special Scientific Interest). In consequence, it is challenging to mitigate and manage this important geoarchaeological resource effectively within the UK planning framework. Whilst palaeochannels have long been recognised on aerial photographs and historic maps, the advent of airborne laser scanning (Lidar) and other remote-sensing technologies has provided a hitherto unforeseen opportunity to record such landforms and related features at a catchment scale. This paper provides a case study from the Nottinghamshire reach of the Trent Valley, where a desk-based methodology that is now being extended across the entire catchment has been developed for recording, geospatially locating and defining the attributes of observed palaeochannels. After outlining the methodology, we consider how this approach to resource management can aid archaeological research and future heritage management, especially in the light of predicted climate and environmental change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-124
Number of pages12
JournalThe Historic Environment: Policy & Practice
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2017

Keywords

  • Geoarchaeology
  • landscape archaeology
  • palaeochannels
  • environmental archaeology
  • lidar
  • geographic information systems
  • aerial photography
  • historic mapping
  • geomorphology
  • historic environment
  • Holocene

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