remote sensing

Modern village and roads in the southern Amazon
Infrared image showing areas of altered soil
Archaeological remote sensing

Amazonian dark earth – fertile, carbon-rich, human-modified soil – is abundant in archaeological sites. However, its spatial distribution and extent are poorly constrained due to the labor-intensive field excavations typically used to identify it. Known locations probably include substantial geographic sampling bias. Sam Goldberg, Morgan Schmidt, and our collaborators at MIT Lincoln Lab and the MIT Computer Science and AI Laboratory are developing techniques to use remote sensing imagery for automated detection of dark earth deposits and estimate their carbon sequestration potential.