39 Photos - Jul 20, 2012
Photo: FSU Anthropology Geoprobe system, in Tennessee, at a series of low water crossings - probing deeply for buried Paleoindian or Archaic sediments. Basically it is a diesel powered soil probe/coring system.Photo: The FSU Anthropology Geoprobe is a small, compact 'coring' system pulled by a small Honda ATV (Mission San Luis, Dr. Bonnie McEwan  http://www.flheritage.com/archaeology/projects/msl.cfm). Many of our students have worked at MSL over the years.Photo: The whole system and all the accessory tooling fits in the truck and the trailer.Photo: Setting the ramps to unload.  At one of the Mission Patale archaeology field schools run by Dr. Rochelle Marrinan.  (Leon County)Video: Normally,  the Honda ATV simply backouts it out of the trailer but we have had some problems with the Honda shift forks and unloading without the Honda is a bit more of a challenge. Don't try this at home! Everything is ok but getting it back in when we are finished also presents some challenges.  This is sort of the 'auto-unloading' strategy and is not recommended.Photo: With a good winch lots of things are possible. Getting it loaded with the truck winch near Silver Springs (Paradise Park).  Looking for the Paleoindian strata.Video: This is the normal loading process.  Have to get a bit of steam up to get up the ramp.  Takes a bit of getting used to but it works.Photo: The 'plastic' liners slide into the sampler which is assembeled and ready to be pushed into the ground.  The samples are excellent for environmental reconstruction efforts.Photo: The Geoprobe has two different diameter 'probes' - depending on the volume of soil you choose the sample size that is best.Photo: We have gone 9 meters at Shields Mound in Jacksonville and that is about as deep as we have ever needed to go.Photo: The large sampler. Driven in and ready to be hydraulically pulled/extracted. Full,  it weighs about 50 lbs. Really nice soil sample but by the end of the day they do get heavy.  This is the large sampler.Photo: Most liners are clear and you can immediately see the soil strata. You can cap the liners, label them and ship for detailed laboratory analysis by a host of specialists (Bay Shore Homes, Florida, sample). http://www.anthro.fsu.edu/pdf/Bayshore_Homes2007.pdfPhoto: Opening a core at Bay Shore Homes.  The special Geoprobe liner cutter makes it very effecient.Photo: You can open the liners immediately and take samples for, again, a wide variety of analyses. Pollen, phytoliths, soil chemistry, isotopes, dating, etc. Bay Shore Homes site with Dr. John Foss (left)  geoarchaeologist and Dr. Bob Austin (center).Photo: Making field notes, and taking samples. The liners can be retaped and repacked for further analysis.Photo: Nice clean sand series from the Wynnhaven site near Panama City. Strata and soil changes are real easy to spot. The system is almost non-intrusive, fast and efficient.Photo: Some clear samples ready for analysis and some samples collected in black liners and packaged for transportion to Canada for optically stimulated luminescene dating by Dr. Jack Rink, McMaster University. OSL expedition samples of 2009 - Helen Blazes, Harney Flats, Vero, Norden site, Paradise Park (Silver Springs). For OSL dating you can't let the samples be exposed to light.Photo: Normally the Geoprobe 54LT is fitted with tracks  and is self propelled. For archaeology we sometimes move 100s of meters (if not further)  between samples and the ATV provides more rapid movement and works well for us. (Vero, Florida).Photo: Moving the Geoprobe down the street with a Bobcat. Another shif fork problem (we have gone through two sets of them so far). Bayshore Homes site now in a residential neighborhood.Photo: It's small size makes it easy to get into tight spots. Right through the gate into the side yard at the Bayshore Homes site. .Photo: Dr. John Foss providing a bit of adjustment as we negotiate the gate (in addition to his geoarchaeological expertise).Photo: Ready to go, with a good bit of space on each side.Photo: Opening the sampler to remove the liner.  Reinserting a new liner in the sampler and then going back into the same hole.  Getting deeper and deeper.Video: Occasionally liners get stuck and good old fashioned brute force and patience come into play.Video: Dr. Tom Pluckhan getting a grip on the problem at Crystal River.  University South of Florida/Ohio State Anthropology department research project.  (May 2011).Photo: Hydraulics are critical and control the boom, the levelers, the 'push' and the extractions. It has rotary capabilities and can go through a concrete floor if necessary (http://www.flheritage.com/facts/reports/contexts/paleo.cfm#bcvillage).Photo: Boom is up at Vero, sampler is inserted and ready for extraction. Jim Dunbar (FSU Anthropology, Ph.D. 2012) at Vero assisted by Bob Gross. Grayal Farr (FSU Anthropology MA) with his back to us.Video: Unloading a larger Geoprobe for work on the top of the big mound at Crystal River.Video: This is the normal Geoprobe configuration, tracks and remote control.  With each increase in size you get a longer sample tube and more power.  Nearing the top of the mound at Crystal River.Video: Here it is at work.  A series of cores, down to about 30 ft. Almost entirely through shell (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crystal_River_Archaeological_State_Park).Photo: Geoprobe does a number of demostrations around the country each year.  Showing off their new products.  Some are absolutely amazing.Photo: A bit larger than the FSU system, track mounted with a longer sampler. A nice small system in the foreground which requires a portable generator/motor for the power supply.Photo: The Beast. The largest currently made. This thing knows no limits but takes a semitruck and trailer to move it.Photo: Talk about an auger! Talk about power!  John Martinuzzi, the southeast Geoprobe representative demonstratings its capabilities.Photo: It is almost all done by computer control and you almost don't have to break a sweat to operate this monster. A bit more than we need in archaeology.Photo: Geoprobes are the  'Cadillacs'  of the probing world.  There are other brands but nothing probes like a Geoprobe.Photo: The Honda is a bit underpowered and the system is bascially undergoing a 'semi-controlled' slide down a gravel slope at the Gault site in central Texas.   It had to be winched out when we were done.  Just not enough power to get up the hill.  The probe weighs about 2500 lbs so is no lightweight.Photo: Black liners are for OSL dating, Big Sandy Creek project, north central Texas http://www.anthro.fsu.edu/pdf/albert2007.pdf.Photo: Thinking about getting the Geoprobe on a floating platform for doing some work in lakes.  Still have a few logistical problems to sort out.  But, all things are possible.