Shock-Wave Tomography on Oak Island

Tonight I watched the two hour season premier of The Curse of Oak Island. This is the sixth season of the series on the History Channel.

Curse of Oak Island, History Channel, Did they find anything?This year it looks like a lot of things will be happening on Oak Island. The intro into the episode tonight showed a lot of highlights from later in the season and it will be interesting to see how they get to those points in the show.

Oak Island, Money Pit, National Geographic, Curse of Oak IslandWill they find a treasure vault this year? There are definitely hints in what they showed tonight that they will find something significant.

This year they will be using some new technology and also be constructing a large coffer dam to investigate Smith’s Cove. They showed footage of the completed coffer dam in the intro and it is impressive.

Curse of Oak Island, Mahone Bay, Nova ScotiaThey are also looking at sites on the island from one end to the other as they piece together the history of the island.

I like this show for the mix of the mystery, archaeology, technology and history. It definitely wanders all over the place, so it also appeals to me for that 🙂

Shock-wave tomography, ground penetrating waves, search for water system, tel lachishOne of the coolest things they will be doing this year is using shock-wave tomography to hunt for features underground. This technology has been used for decades in oil and gas exploration, but has been refined for use in smaller areas.

computed tomography, shock-waves, ground survey, tel lachishThe summer before last I observed a very manual version of this technology being used at our dig site at Lachish in Israel. See: Manual Shock-Wave Tomography

At Lachish they used a sledge hammer to produce shock-waves, but at Oak Island they will be using small dynamite charges that are electronically triggered.

Shock Wave Sensors, TomoBoth however rely on an array of detectors that detect the returning shock waves.

Tomography, Archaeology, Search for Water System, Tel LachishOf course, these waves are then analyzed by a computer to determine what is underneath the surface.

Tonight on the first episode of The Curse of Oak Island they ran a trial across an area with a known tunnel and found it in the results. They have also given a sneak peak of later results in the intro and it looks like they will definitely find something big. The big question however is how will they act on the data that they collect.

I will definitely be watching the show this year to see what they find.



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