GPR detection of karst and archaeological targets below the historical centre of Merida, Yucatán, Mexico

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Studia Universitatis Babes-Bolyai, Geologia, ISSN: 1221-0803, Vol: 54, Issue: 2, Page: 27-31

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Barba, Luis; Blancas, Jorge; Ortiz, Agustin; Ligorred, Josep
University of South Florida Libraries; University of South Florida
GPR; karst; Merida; cenotes; Mexico
article description
The Historical Center of Merida has been classified as a “zone of high patrimonial value” based on the study of topography and the historical documents that show a long-term occupation, non-interrupted since pre-Columbian times when T’Hó was the great capital of the northern region of the Maya area.For the local government, rehabilitation of the Historical Center of Merida has been a great priority. Among others, this project includes preservation of archaeological remains (pre-Columbian or colonial) and detection of karstic zones under the city. In order to prevent damage to the patrimony, ground penetrating radar (GPR) surveys were carried out employing 200 and 400 MHz antennas along 16,5 Km of the city streets.After data analysis, it was possible to build a map showing the locations of subsurface karst features and archaeological remains below the street pavement, many of which correlate with archaeological platforms proposed in historic documents as well as some of the cenotes recorded in popular memory. As result, for the first time in Mexico, a local government has information available that will allow them to minimize damage to archaeological remains and mitigate risks associated with construction above shallow subsurface karstic zones within this important modern city.