Direct-push system of the ROOTS Cluster of Excellence successfully completes first operational deployment

Detlef Schulte-Kortnack Detlef Schulte-Kortnack (front) from the IfG of the CAU operates the new direct push system during a geophysical campaign on the Roman Iron Age mound Tofting. At the device itself are Dr. Martin Thorwart (IfG of CAU and member of the Cluster ROOTS) and geosciences student Annika Kessler. (photo: Jan Steffen, Cluster ROOTS)

From geophysical prospections using seismic surveys, magnetics or ground-penetrating radar to selective drilling and complete excavations—only the combination of different methods allows scientists to study settlements or landscapes of past times on a large scale and yet in detail. Funded by the Cluster of Excellence ROOTS, a compact direct-push system is now available for this purpose at the Institute for Geosciences of Kiel University (IfG), which can push an electrical or an optical probe up to nine metres deep into the ground and thus provide punctual information about its structure. During a combined training and research campaign from 29 August to 2 September 2022 on the Eiderstedt Peninsula in Schleswig-Holstein, the system successfully completed its first operational deployment. "The DP system closes an important gap in our methodology between non-invasive methods, such as seismic surveys, and often very complex drilling," explains ROOTS co-spokesperson Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Rabbel from the IfG.

The direct-push system is installed on two small crawler chassis. One of the chassis carries the power supply and the hydraulic pump. The other chassis carries the actual pushing device. "Altogether, the system weighs only about 1.5 tonnes. Both vehicles together fit on a small trailer. This makes our system very compact and mobile," states Clemens Mohr, engineering specialist of the Cluster of Excellence ROOTS. In the IfG workshops, he not only built the two vehicles on crawler chassis from the gardening sector, but also developed the optical sensor for the direct-push system from scratch.

The successful first mission now took place at the Roman Iron Age dwelling mound Tofting on Eiderstedt. "We now have a mobile and effective system for punctual soil investigations at our disposal, which we can use within the framework of the ROOTS cluster, but also beyond it," says Professor Rabbel.

The next deployment of the system will take place in Greece in mid-September.


Link: here

Dr. Martin Thorwart vom IfG der CAU schraubt einen neuen Gestängeabschnitt in das Direct-Push-System
Dr. Martin Thorwart from CAU's IfG screws a new linkage section into the Direct Push system. (photo: Jan Steffen, Cluster ROOTS)

 Detail des Direct-Push-System
Detail of the Direct Push system (photo: Jan Steffen, Cluster ROOTS)

Aufgrund seiner Baugröße ist das System sehr flexibel einsetzbar
Due to its size, the system can be used very flexibly. (photo: Jan Steffen, Cluster ROOTS)

Detlef Schulte-Kortnack
Detlef Schulte-Kortnack (IfG of CAU) drives the vehicle with the energy supply to the new location. (photo: Jan Steffen, Cluster ROOTS)


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