Preprint Article Version 1 This version not peer reviewed

Large-scale, Multi-temporal Remote Sensing of Palaeo-river Networks: A Case Study from Northwest India and its Implications for the Indus Civilisation

Version 1 : Received: 26 June 2017 / Approved: 27 June 2017 / Online: 27 June 2017 (04:41:04 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Orengo, H.A.; Petrie, C.A. Large-Scale, Multi-Temporal Remote Sensing of Palaeo-River Networks: A Case Study from Northwest India and its Implications for the Indus Civilisation. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 735. Orengo, H.A.; Petrie, C.A. Large-Scale, Multi-Temporal Remote Sensing of Palaeo-River Networks: A Case Study from Northwest India and its Implications for the Indus Civilisation. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 735.

Journal reference: Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 735
DOI: 10.3390/rs9070735

Abstract

Remote sensing has considerable potential to contribute to the identification and reconstruction of lost hydrological systems and networks. Remote sensing-based reconstructions of palaeo-river networks have commonly employed single or limited time-span imagery, which limits their capacity to identify features in complex and varied landscape contexts. This paper presents a seasonal multi-temporal approach to the detection of palaeo-rivers over large areas based on long-term vegetation dynamics and spectral decomposition techniques. The use of multi-temporal data has allowed the overcoming of seasonal cultivation patterns and long-term visibility issues related to crop selection, large-scale irrigation and land use patterns. The application of this approach on the Sutlej-Yamuna interfluve (northwest India), a core area for the Bronze Age Indus Civilisation, has enabled the reconstruction of an unsuspectedly complex palaeo-river network comprising more than 8000 kms of palaeo-channels. It has also enabled the definition of the morphology of these relict courses, which provides insights into the environmental conditions in which they operated. These new data will contribute to a better understanding of the settlement distribution and environmental settings in which this, often considered riverine, civilisation operated.

Subject Areas

multi-temporal; seasonal; vegetation; palaeo-river; Indus civilisation; archaeology

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