Automated mound detection using lidar and object-based image analysis in Beaufort County, South Carolina

The study of precontact anthropogenic mounded features—earthen mounds, shell heaps, and shell rings—in the American Southeast is stymied by the spotty distribution of systematic surveys across the region. Many extant, yet unidentified, archaeological mound features continue to evade detection due to the heavily forested canopies that occupy large areas of the region, making pedestrian surveys difficult and preventing aerial observation. Object-based image analysis (OBIA) is a tool for analyzing light and radar (lidar) data and offers an inexpensive opportunity to address this challenge. Using publicly available lidar data from Beaufort County, South Carolina, and an OBIA approach that incorporates morphometric classification and statistical template matching, we systematically identify over 160 previously undetected mound features. This result improves our overall knowledge of settlement patterns by providing systematic knowledge about past landscapes.



Work Title Automated mound detection using lidar and object-based image analysis in Beaufort County, South Carolina
Open Access
  1. Dylan Davis
  2. Matthew Sanger
  3. Carl Lipo
  1. LiDAR
  2. South Carolina
  3. remote sensing
  4. object-based image analysis
  5. semi-automatic survey
License Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)
Work Type Article
  1. Taylor & Francis
Publication Date June 8, 2018
Publisher Identifier (DOI)
  1. 10.1080
Geographic Area
  1. North America
  2. South Carolina
Related URLs
Deposited January 25, 2021




Work History

Version 1

  • Created
  • Added Creator Dylan Davis
  • Added Creator Matthew Sanger
  • Added Creator Carl Lipo
  • Added Davis_etal_SEARCH_AcceptedManuscript.pdf
  • Updated License Show Changes
  • Published

Version 2

  • Created
  • Updated Publisher Identifier (DOI), Related URLs Show Changes
    Publisher Identifier (DOI)
    • 10.1080/0734578X.2018.1482186
    • 10.1080
    Related URLs
  • Published
  • Updated Publication Date Show Changes
    Publication Date
    • 2019
    • 2018-06-08