Adding Navigating Capabilities to a Deterministic Computer Model of Ocean Voyaging

Author(s): Alvaro Montenegro

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Modeling Mobility across Waterbodies" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Since pioneering efforts in the 1970’s, computer models that simulate vessel displacement have contributed useful information to the debate around several historical and archaeological problems. Existing models can be separated into two categories. In stochastic models, wind and current values are based on a probabilistic description of these parameters. Deterministic models make direct use of observed or simulated winds and currents. Stochastic models have the advantage of allowing an infinite number of experiments but, in contrast to deterministic ones, ignore the fact that winds and currents are correlated in both space and time. Here I describe the first implementation of navigational capabilities in a frequently adopted deterministic model. Powered movement comes in two forms: 1) paddling/rowing, where vessel displacement is a function of drift due to currents and wind plus movement toward a target at a fixed speed; and 2) sailing, in which boats still move toward a target, but with speed determined by the wind and direction of movement restricted by limits on the vessel’s ability to sail against the wind. The new capabilities are demonstrated on simulated trips aimed at evaluating the impacts of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle on coastal trips between Mexico and Ecuador.

Cite this Record

Adding Navigating Capabilities to a Deterministic Computer Model of Ocean Voyaging. Alvaro Montenegro. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 451381)

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 24326