Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Minnesota Statewide Archaeological Predictive Model

MnModel Phase 4 Data

Hydric soils

Hydric soils

Higher resolution, more complete data are the key to improving the archaeological predictive models. For Phase 4 of MnModel, MnDOT has developed several new datasets.

  • 10 Meter Resolution Digital Terrain Model: This elevation model, developed from 1m resolution LiDAR imagery, will replace the 30 meter resolution digital elevation model used in Phases 1-3.
  • Hydrographic and Vegetation Features from Public Land Survey System Plat Maps: To support reconstruction of historic hydrography and vegetation, MnDOT has digitized features from the Public Land Survey plat maps.
  • Archaeological Sites: MnDOT is in the process of digitizing archaeological site boundaries from topographic maps on file at the State Historic Preservation Office and from site forms there and at the Office of the State Archaeologist. These site boundaries will replace the site centroid point data used in Phases 1-3. This enhanced archaeological database is both more complete and more accurate than the centroids. It will provide a larger number of sites for modeling, which should make the models more reliable. Moreover, because entire sites are mapped, the data better represent the range of topographic conditions on which sites are found.
  • Archaeological Surveys: In addition to digitizing site boundaries, MnDOT has been digitizing locations of archaeological surveys. Surveys mapped to paper topographic maps in Phases 1-3 of MnModel were the source of the negative survey points used to develop previous models. These have been digitized to capture more completely the extent of these surveys. Additional surveys, in particular more recent surveys, are being digitized from survey reports on file at the State Historic Preservation Office and the Office of the State Archaeologist. Though it will not be possible to digitize all available survey reports in the time available, the extent of digitized surveys has been greatly expanded. These data will improve the Phase 4 models by reducing the area classified as 'unknown' in the Survey Implementation Model.

MnDOT has acquired high resolution geomorphic mapping (landscape suitability models) for several new areas:

In addition, several sources of environmental data have been made available or enhanced since Phase 3 of MnModel was completed.

  • Soils data in gSSURGO format are now available from NRCS for most counties in Minnesota. MnDOT has been acquiring these data as they become available and making them available for all internal GIS users. These data are high resolution (about 1:20,000) and contain a wealth of attribute data that were not available for Phases 1-3 of MnModel.
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service has enhanced the National Wetlands Inventory by incorporating features previously mapped as lines and points into the polygon data.
  • The US Geological Survey has released the National Hydrography Dataset and Watershed Boundary Dataset for Minnesota.
  • Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Minnesota Geospatial Information Office, and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources have completed a statewide GIS dataset of altered watercourses, based on the National Hydrography Dataset. These data will facilitate both the modeling of historic/prehistoric hydrography and also be useful for conditioning the digital terrain model to remove modern features.
  • The Ecological Classification System for Minnesota has been refined, so that the ECS subsection boundaries used to define modeling regions have changed somewhat.