Day 4

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Paper title Multidisciplinary approach for the safeguard of cultural landscapes and UNESCO World Heritage sites
  1. Jolanda Patruno RHEA Group S.p.A. , EARSeL Speaker
  2. Marco Fabbri University of Tor Vergata
  3. José Manuel Delgado Blasco RHEA Group
  4. Alessandro Scremin RHEA SYSTEM SPA
  5. Emiliano Tondi Università degli Studi di Roma
  6. Mauro Arcorace Terradue
Form of presentation Poster
  • D2. Sustainable Development
    • D2.12 Cultural and Natural Heritage
Abstract text Nowadays, Cultural Heritage is more and more endangered due to a wide list of factors. Climate change consequences, as sudden and heavy rains and floods, together with ground deformation and buildings deterioration, are increasingly frequent worldwide. The monitoring of climate change consequences is crucial since they definitively constitute new increasing threat, especially in areas not used to those destructive phenomena. However, the daily monitoring of cultural landscapes is essential, not only for underground features detection but also for the understanding of natural and human induced changes during centuries.
The present work focuses on a series of SAR multi-frequency and multi – incidence angle analysis integrated with Optical change detection techniques for multi-temporal monitoring of archeological sites land cover and detection of archaeological features according to the stratigraphic patterns of the selected cultural heritage sites.

Sentinel-1 (C-band), ALOS PALSAR (L-band), RADARSAT-2 (C-band) sensors as starting set of SAR data will be used specially for monitoring and identification of surface and subsurface archaeological structures. While some of those data (ALOS PALSAR) offer a good historical reference (2005 to 2010), Sentinel-1 time series provide recent and systematic monitoring opportunities. Copernicus Sentinel-2 and additional high-resolution optical EO data from ESA contributing missions will be used for characterizing the effects caused by different type of hazards affecting cultural areas of interest. By detecting land change use over time, performing unsupervised classification, spectral index and visual inspection, the analysis will focus on: i) structures erosion due to sandstorms, ii) flood mapping, iii) structures collapse due to extreme precipitation. The derived information will be then integrated in a dedicated GIS together with ancillary data as historical aerial photographs, cartography, geologic and archaeological maps. cultural heritage sites have been selected: Gebel Barkal and the sites of the Napatan region (Sudan, site property: 1,8 square km; buffer zone: 4,5 square km), Villa Adriana (Italy, site property: 0,8 square km; buffer zone: 5 square km), respectively inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List from 2003 and 1999, the archaeological area of Pompeii (Italy, site property: 1 square km; buffer zone: 0,25 square km) inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1997.

The purpose of the work is to demonstrate how a multi-disciplinary approach can contribute to the identification of a scalable methodology that can be applied worldwide, in an epoch where satellite data exploitation seems not to be an exhaustive tool for the preservation of cultural landscapes.
Remote sensing for Cultural Heritage is not a novel research field, and an unequivocal method capable of an automatic detection of archaeological features is still not existing: the potential of such complex and multidisciplinary study for monitoring and safeguarding purposes can support local governments in delivering better solutions for the management of cultural landscapes, resulting in savings from the maintenance activities, and to better plan and address economic resources to the proper mitigation and preservation measures.