[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The European Landscape Convention emphasises the need for public participation in landscape planning and management. This demands understanding of how people perceive and observe landscapes. This can objectively be measured using eye tracking, a system recording eye movements and fixations while observing images. In this study, 23 participants were asked to observe 90 landscape photographs, representing 18 landscape character types in Flanders (Belgium) differing in degree of openness and heterogeneity. For each landscape, five types of photographs were shown, varying in view angle. This experiment design allowed testing the effect of the landscape characteristics and photograph types on the observation pattern, measured by Eye-tracking Metrics (ETM). The results show that panoramic and detail photographs are observed differently than the other types. The degree of openness and heterogeneity also seems to exert a significant influence on the observation of the landscape.
Landscape Research 07/2014; 39(4). · 0.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: •The essays are examples of an ecological and semiotic discourse on land abandonment in Europe.•How to manage vanishing traditional landscapes when the people who made them lost the practice?•In the context of landscape, reducing diversity to biodiversity alone is not an option.
Landscape and Urban Planning 06/2014; · 2.61 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In Europe, landscape research has a long tradition of drawing on several disciplines. ‘National schools’ of landscape research developed, which were related to the characteristic landscapes found in the different countries and to specific linguistic meanings and legal traditions when using landscape related concepts. International co-operation demands a certain harmonization of these concepts for better mutual understanding. The 2000 European Landscape Convention provided an important momentum to rethink research, policy and management of landscapes from the perspective of sustainable development and participatory planning. Landscape ecology as a transdisciplinary science with a dynamic and holistic perspective on landscape offers a great potential for an integrative approach. The specificity of the European landscape research rests on its long history and on integration based on the great diversity of the landscapes, characterised by an intimate relationship between the varied natural environment and the different cultural traditions which define the identity of countries, regions and people. Within a unified Europe, with increasing international and trans-border co-operation and increasing common environmental problems, the creation of a specific European Association for Landscape Ecology (IALE-Europe), in addition to the existing international association and its national chapters, became justified by the need for a collaborative endeavour to address the specific problems of landscapes in Europe and to stimulate co-operation between landscape ecologists in research, education and practice.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Full-coverage maps for several specific soil characteristics were produced at particular time-intervals over a time span of 12,716 years for a 584 km2 large study area located in Belgium. The pedogenetic process model SoilGen2 was used to reconstruct the evolution of several soil variables at specific depths in the soil profile at various point locations (96 in total). The time span covered by the simulations encompassed the final part of the Younger Dryas and the Holocene up till the present. Time series on climate, organisms and groundwater table were reconstructed and supplied to the model as boundary conditions. Model quality optimization was performed by calibrating the solubility constant of calcite by a comparison of the simulated time necessary for decarbonization with literature values and evaluating the calibrated value over a wide range of precipitation surpluses representative for the regarded time period. The simulated final state was evaluated against measurements collected in a database representing the historic state of the soil at 1950. The simulated specific soil characteristics at the point locations were then used to produce full-coverage maps at the particular time-intervals by regression kriging. Such maps are believed to provide useful information for geoarcheological studies and archeological land evaluations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The department of Geography of Ghent University (Faculty of Sciences) acts as an important partner in a great number of archaeological projects. Each research group of the department is active in its own field of investigation and they work separately or together in many archaeological projects around the world. These research groups contribute to the measurement and recording of the sites, the understanding of geographical processes linked to these sites and their 2D, 3D or 4D visualizations. The Landscape Research and Physical Geography research groups contribute to the geomorphological and landscape analysis of archaeological sites. For landscape research, technologies such as remote sensing, GIS and landscape mapping are being used to make inventories, to study cultural values and landscape heritage, and to perform a historic landscape characterization, following a holistic approach. The Physical Geography research group focuses on the regional geomorphology, not only in Belgium but also in other parts of the world; the study of environmental changes and their impacts on geomorphological processes and the application of physical geography methodologies on archaeological sites. Together, both research groups contribute to the interpretation and environmental reconstruction of archaeological contexts, by performing field work and GI analyses. The archaeological related research activities of the 3D Data Acquisition group focus on spatial and terrestrial 3D data acquisition. The wide range of acquisition sensors, the study of their possible applications, the processing of the different types of 3D data and a thorough accuracy analysis are the main research activities. The remote sensing and photogrammetry research topics focus on different applications with satellite and aerial images obtained from different types of moving platforms (drones, helicopters, airplanes, satellites, etc.). A lot of these applications and projects are related to archaeology and the mapping of archaeological sites and their surroundings. For the acquisition of terrestrial data, the research group is working with various topographical and photogrammetric instruments: leveling instruments, (robotic) total stations, digital cameras for photogrammetric restitution and photo modelling, laser scanners, mobile mapping, GNSS receivers, etc. All these techniques are used for archaeological projects to provide accurate and detailed topographical maps of the area, digital terrain models, 3D models of archaeological objects or remains, orthophotos, 3D and 4D visualizations, etc. In the Cartography & GIS (CartoGIS) research group of the department, both fundamental and applied research on various aspects of cartography and geographical information science is conducted. With regard to archaeological projects, the research group is specialized in geographical information production, data infrastructure and the management of the geographical data. Moreover, the CartoGIS research group provides necessary 3D and 4D visualization tools for the geographical information and performs 3D/4D GIS modelling analyses and spatial temporal analyses for different archaeological projects. The different research groups in the Department of Geography (UGent) integrate different geomatics techniques for various archaeological sites and projects (Belgium; Calakmú l, Mexico; Urumqi, China; Titani, Greece; Eastern Islands; Egypt; Altaï Mountains; Malta among others). Besides the geomatics part, these integrated research activities also include geoarchaeological and geomorphological studies, GIS-based analyses and visualization tools.
Radio-Past Colloquium: Non-destructive approaches to complex archaeological sites in Europe: A round-up (Abstracts), Ghent, Belgium; 01/2013
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The need to implement effective incentive systems for a sustainable management of landscape requires policy makers and stakeholders to understand the monetary values that communities attach to landscape and its characteristics. The estimation of such monetary values has been challenging economists for the last decades because of the complexity of considering landscape components in economic models. To overcome this problem, we suggest a multidisciplinary approach that integrates landscape ecology, landscape preference studies and environmental economics to provide a common framework for collaboration between landscape scientists and economists. Within this approach, firstly a parametric landscape procedure is used to organize the spatial information on landscape by identifying landscape types and quantifying their attributes. Secondly, these indicators are used as explanatory variables in a Choice Experiment of individuals’ preferences for landscape, to assess the economic value that people attach to different landscape attributes. The economic values thus estimated are of particular interest to policy makers as they express the monetary benefits that society receives from landscape and its characteristics. Such values can then be used in cost benefit analyses for evaluating public programs affecting landscape and its features.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: a b s t r a c t This paper presents new geo-archaeological perspectives on the Late Glacial and Early Holocene human occupation around a large palaeolake, the Moervaart palaeolake (w25 km 2). Intensive fieldwork, using invasive and non-invasive survey techniques, combined with modelling of the palaeotopography and palaeogroundwater and multi-proxy palaeoecological analyses have resulted in a detailed reconstruction of the landscape during the Final Palaeolithic and Early Mesolithic occupation of the area. A major shift in the occupation from the Federmesser Culture to the Early Mesolithic was contemporaneous with a sudden and drastic change in the palaeohydrology of the area between ca. 13,300 and 13,000 cal BP (end of Allerød), which coincided with a short but abrupt cooling event known as the Intra Allerød Cold Period (IACP) GI 1b. It is assumed that this event triggered the sudden drying up of the Moervaart palaeolake and surrounding ponds, which until then had provided Federmesser hunter-gatherers with extensive and fertile grounds for hunting, gathering and drinking water. The population decline which followed this hydrological event was reinforced by the prevailing cold and harsh conditions of the Younger Dryas and probably lasted until the Pre-boreal. Hunter-gatherers returned to the area in the Boreal, now settling along the proximal floodplain regions of a meandering channel which was connected with the southern Scheldt River.
Quaternary International 01/2013; · 2.13 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Based on radiocarbon and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) results obtained in the last 5 yr, this paper discusses the absolute chronology of the formation of one of the largest sand dunes within NW Belgium, the Great Ridge of Maldegem-Stekene. Multiproxy analysis of 6 sedimentary sequences points to a complex formation history covering the entire Late Glacial. Dry phases, characterized by eolian deflation and sedimentation, alternated with wet phases in which numerous mostly shallow dune slacks were filled with freshwater. The latter reached their highest water level during the first half of the Allerød, attracting both animals (e.g. European elk) and humans (Federmesser hunter-gatherers). Near the end of the Allerød, all dune slacks finally disappeared as they were filled in with windblown sand ("coversand"), likely forcing pre-historic hunter-gatherers to leave the area.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Field methods to map and reconstruct the morphology of buried river systems are highly dependent on spatial interpolation. Conventional methods, such as standard borehole survey, allow a detailed vertical reconstruction of the shallow subsurface but leave lateral connections between sample locations open to interpretation. Geophysical survey techniques have recently introduced more detail. Mobile electromagnetic induction (EMI) survey combines high density sampling with full lateral coverage but fails to produce detailed information about vertical facies changes. Recently, multicoil EMI survey added vertical discrimination potential to this lateral continuity. In this study, we present an integrated approach for reconstructing the morphology of a known palaeochannel segment by modelling the depth to the sandy substrate. In addition, a calibration method based on a limited number of auger data is proposed. In a first phase, the modelling procedure was evaluated along two transects on a test site, showing palaeochannel depths ranging from 1 to > 4 m beneath the surface. In a second phase, the morphology of the entire site was reconstructed. These three resulting depth models were then compared with auger observations and electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) data. The high correlation coefficients (> 0.9) between observed and modelled depths showed that even in complex pedological environments, palaeochannel morphology could be predicted precisely using multicoil EMI data. Therefore, we concluded that a multicoil EMI survey proves to be an efficient and reliable solution for mapping and reconstructing the morphology of the shallow subsurface.Highlights► Mobile multicoil EMI survey for mapping buried sediments. ► Palaeochannel depth modelling with electrical conductivity data. ► Calibration allows precise depth modelling in complex pedological environments. ► An efficient approach to accurately map buried land surfaces in three dimensions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Some concern about the representation validity of photographs in visual landscape assessments has been expressed in literature. Mostly, studies consider one type of representation, using the mean ratings for only one preference variable, often scenic quality. Here, validity coefficients are calculated using several landscape preference variables. Three types of stimuli are compared: the in situ landscape, panoramic and standard normal photographs. Landscape vistas were evaluated on site during field excursions. The same scenes were represented as wide angle photographs and standard normal photographs in two other questionnaires. For half of the variables measured no difference in validity could be established between the stimulus types. Standard normal photographs appeared to be more suitable for measuring certain variables. The results demonstrated that both the preference variable being measured and the landscape being evaluated can determine the type of stimulus that is most appropriate to use in questionnaires on landscape assessment.
Landscape Research 06/2011; 36(3):363-385. · 0.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bronze Age barrows in the sandy areas of Flanders (north-western Belgium): state of research For 30 years now, Sandy Flanders is the subject of systematic and intensive aerial photographical surveys. The Bronze Age barrow research has yielded one of the major results with the discovery of several hundreds of monuments. Consequently, several barrow sites have been further investigated during excavations. During the last few years, this dataset was the subject of a systematic and thorough inventory. To date, a total of 1105 Bronze Age burial monuments could be identified and precisely located. The detailed inventory is the base of an extensive GIS and statistical analysis of the Bronze Age barrow phenomenon in north-western Belgium. Thanks to this GIS-based approach new insights could be gained in the distribution and the location of the burial mounds in the landscape and in the mutual relation between the monuments.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Local topography is an important parameter determining the erection of a certain type of site on a certain location in the landscape. Despite the importance of topography in archaeological landscape research, the role of local topography has remained rather unexplored compared to other specific topographic parameters such as slope, aspect, curvature or visibility. Therefore, three methods to assess the relative topographic position of sites are applied and discussed here. The Bronze Age barrow dataset of northwest Belgium acts as the subject for this methodological case study. First, elevation percentile calculates the area that is lower than the central point within a predetermined neighborhood. Secondly, difference from mean elevation measures the relative topographic position of the central point as the difference between the elevation of this central point and the mean elevation within a predetermined neighborhood. And finally, deviation from mean elevation calculates the relative topographic position of the central point as the difference from mean elevation divided by the standard deviation of elevation, within a predetermined neighborhood. These three methods, each with their advantages and disadvantages, prove to be an added value for archaeological landscape research.Highlights► Topography is an important parameter determining the erection of a site. ► Local topography remained rather unexplored in archaeological landscape research. ► Methods for measuring the relative topographic position of archaeological sites. ► Elevation percentile, difference - and deviation from mean elevation. ► Local topography analysis is an added value for archaeological landscape research.
Journal of Archaeological Science 01/2011; 38(12):3435-3446. · 2.14 Impact Factor