Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Cultural Resources


historical artifact

Standards for Geomorphology Work and Deliverables

Soil Borings

When soil borings are done as a means of testing for deeply buried archaeological resources or for the reconstruction of past landscapes, boring logs/core profiles in PDF format are required for each core. Examples may be found in Appendix E of the Mn/Model Final Report and in Appendix B of the Deep Test Protocol Report.

In addition, core locations must be documented as points in a GIS layer named borings.shp.

A unique ID for each boring must appear on the boring log and in the shapefile record. After field work is completed, Consultants must contact Dr. Elizabeth Hobbs (651-366-3611 or elizabeth.hobbs@state.mn.us) for unique IDs to assign to the boring logs and GIS records. The format for this unique ID is yyXXnn where:

yy is the last two digits of the year the core was taken.

XX is the two letter county code (same code used by SHPO)

nn is a sequence number assigned by MnDOT.

For example, the first boring taken in Goodhue County in 2011 would have the ID '11GD01'.


Trenching is discussed in detail in the Deep Test Protocol report. Trenches should be mapped as surveyed lines in the survli.shp shape file (only if they are longer than 40 feet) or as points in the survpts.shp file.


Soil borings and/or trenches may be used to construct cross-sections describing stratigraphy along a transect. Examples of stratigraphic cross-sections can be found in Appendix E of the Mn/Model Final Report and in the Deep Test Protocol Report. Cross-section diagrams must be provided to the CRU in PDF format, one cross-section per PDF file.

Unique IDs for cross-sections will be in the format Xboringidfrom-boringidto. For example, a cross-section going from boring 11GD01 to boring 11GD11 would have the ID 'X11GD01-11GD11'.

Cross-section transects will be mapped in the xsections.shp shape file. The report on Landform Sediment Assemblages in the Anoka Sand Plain provides stellar examples of mapping core locations and cross-section lines.

Landform Sediment Assemblage Mapping/Landscape Suitability Models

Landform sediment assemblage (LfSA) mapping is a necessary precedent to the development of Landscape Suitability Models. The data provided to MnDOT need to be consistent with mapping that has already been done. This mapping was originally done for Mn/Model Phases 1-3 and is reported in the Mn/Model Final Report, Chapter 12. Since then, additional areas have been mapped and procedures have been updated. These are all found on the Mn/Model web site.

Mapping procedures are documented in a handbook, How to Construct a Mn/Model Landscape Suitability Model, with updated procedures found in the report Landform Sediment Assemblages in the Upper Mississippi Valley, St. Cloud to St. Paul.