20,000 Years Under the Sea: Dynamically Visualizing the Past and Future of Shorelines, Ecosystems, and Climate Change at Point Reyes, California
Geospatial analysts are now capable of developing increasingly accurate models of past and future ‘shorelines’ and the predicted impacts they might have on archaeological sites or cultural landscapes. But GIS alone cannot realistically simulate hydrodynamic effects, terrain displacements, or changes in vegetation communities, water bodies, and atmospheres. Funded by the NCPTT, this study combines GIS analysis of LiDAR terrain and bathymetric models with the photorealistic 3D modeling capabilities of Terragen 4.1 (a scenery generator used in the film industry) to produce visualizations and animations of the past 18,000 years, and future 2000 years, of landscape evolution at Point Reyes, California. The objective is to not just measure the potential impacts of climate change on known cultural resources, but to develop a simulation of how geomorphological effects have changed the terrain itself, while climatic variables have dramatically altered ecosystems. These visuals and animations are situated at low earth orbit, oblique aerial, and ground level perspectives. The results are presented in digital immersive environments as well as analogue 3D printed models for visitors to experience at the Point Reyes National Seashore. The ultimate objective is to expand these techniques to the rest of the California, and potentially other parts of the world.
Cite this Record
20,000 Years Under the Sea: Dynamically Visualizing the Past and Future of Shorelines, Ecosystems, and Climate Change at Point Reyes, California. Thomas Whitley, Michael Konzak, Bryan Mischke, Robert Watson, Paul Engel. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 442717)
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min long: -124.189; min lat: 31.803 ; max long: -105.469; max lat: 43.58 ;
Abstract Id(s): 21027