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 developed several new datasets.

  • Archaeological Sites: MnDOT digitized 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 replaced 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 provided a larger number of sites for modeling, making the models more reliable. Moreover, because entire sites are mapped, the data better represent the range of environmental conditions on which sites are found.
  • Archaeological Surveys: In addition to digitizing site boundaries, MnDOT digitized locations of archaeological surveys. Surveys mapped to paper topographic maps in Phases 1-3 of MnModel were digitized as were survey reports on file at the State Historic Preservation Office and the Office of the State Archaeologist. Though it was not possible to digitize all available survey reports, the extent of digitized surveys has been greatly expanded. These data have improved the Phase 4 models by increasing our confidence the area classified as 'low site potential' in the Survey Implementation Model.
  • 10 Meter Resolution Digital Terrain Model: This elevation model, developed from 1m resolution LiDAR imagery, replaced the 30 meter resolution digital elevation model used in Phases 1-3. The DTM was conditioned to minimize the effects of modern surface disturbance and infrastructure on the predictive models. From this DTM we developed statewide visibility and Topographic Wetness Index rasters.
  • Hydrographic and Vegetation Features from Public Land Survey System Plat Maps: To support reconstruction of historic and prehistoric hydrography and vegetation, MnDOT digitized features from the Public Land Survey plat maps. We also added wild rice observations from the plat maps to MnDNR’s map of modern wild rice locations to produce a more complete record of that resource.
  • Geomorphic Data: MnDOT has acquired high resolution geomorphic mapping (landscape suitability models) for several new areas: These Landform Sediment Assemblage (LfSA) maps have been combined with geomorphic data from Minnesota Geological Survey and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to develop a statewide geomorphic model. This model has the advantage of displaying the highest resolution data available for any given area and using a standard hierarchical classification scheme throughout.
  • Soils: Soils data in gSSURGO format are available from NRCS for most counties in Minnesota. 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 were useful for conditioning the digital terrain model to minimize 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.