Minnesota Department of Transportation

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MnModel

Minnesota Statewide Archaeological Predictive Model

MnModel Phase 4

Hydric soils

Historic surface hydrography

Phase 3 models were in use for more than 10 years. Over that time period, the archaeological database grew, more high quality, high resolution GIS data became available, and PC-based computing, GIS software, and statistical procedures improved. All of these contributed to the development of Phase 4 models that are significantly better than the Phase 3 models in several ways.

Phase 4 Goals

The purpose of Phase 4 was to improve the accuracy and reliability of the archaeological predictive models. More accurate models would be characterized by one or more of the following:

  • a higher proportion of sites predicted.
  • a smaller area of high and medium site potential.
  • a smaller area of unknown site potential.
  • greater model stability.

Phase 4 Data

Phase 4 of MnModel took advantage of better, higher resolution environmental data than were previously available. This included high resolution terrain data from LiDAR, gSSURGO soils data, geomorphic data from several sources, and a high resolution model of historic vegetation.¬† MnDOT also digitized archaeological site and survey boundaries to improve the archaeological database.

Phase 4 Research Design

In Phase 3, environmental variable were based on measurements from modern surface water features and very generalized historic vegetation maps. In Phase 4, models of historic and prehistoric surface water features, as well as high resolution models of historic vegetation, were created and environmental variables were based on them. More robust Statistical modeling procedures  were implemented as well.

Phase 4 Results

Phase 4 models were developed by Ecological Classification System Subsection.¬†These models exceeded the performance of Phase 3 models on a number of measures. Results are being posted on this site as they become available.