UD Geology News

Non-Invasive Radar Reveals "Ancient Harvest,"
Dotting Delaware's Shoreline

Embargoed: Not for release until 3 p.m. EST Friday, March 20, 1998

These images are available in electronic form only. To request them as e-mail attachments, please contact Ginger Pinholster, (302) 831-6408, ginger.pinholster@mvs.udel.edu

Photo by Robert Cohen

Dotting the shoreline near Delaware's Cape Henlopen, seashells evoke Native Americans boiling oysters, clams and conches 1,000 years ago, says University of Delaware graduate student William J. Chadwick. His work, presented March 20 during the Geological Society of America meeting, should help archaeologists"see through" salt marshes--without digging them up.

Graphic Courtesy of William J. Chadwick/UD

William J. Chadwick, a graduate student in the University of Delaware's Department of Geology, used Ground-Penetrating Radar to "see" the layers of a salt marsh. The resulting data (above) shows the layers an archaeologist would find by digging 6 meters down into the Earth (below). In the lower graphic, a pile of seashells left by ancient Native Americans is illustrated by dark "anthropogenic" lines, just below the Earth's surface. A jagged, nearly straight line shows a layer of rock beneath a dune.

Graphic Courtesy of William J. Chadwick/UD

University of Delaware geology studies have focused on shell remains buried beneath the Lewes Creek Marsh on Cape Henlopen. (Inset image shows the location of the marsh within Delaware.)