Muography is a rapidly developing and non-destructive tomographic technology that uses cosmic ray muons. Due to the natural presence and deeper penetration of cosmic ray muons, scientists have performed various pioneer studies in fields, such as customs security, the internal imaging of volcanoes, scientific archaeology, and others. With unique advantages, muography has gained increasing attention from archaeologists as a novel and innovative tool to investigate large-scale archaeological sites. This approach may be especially helpful for identifying endangered cultural relics and monuments. In the work, we employ a compact, rugged, and portable muon imaging system, CORMIS (COsmic Ray Muon Imaging System), deployed at up to six measurement locations to perform a case study of three-dimensional muography in Xi’an city, China. Cultural cities, such as Xi’an, have long histories and could benefit from innovative techniques used to investigate, conserve, and protect large historical sites. In this paper, we present in detail a high resolution survey on a rampart of a Xi’an defensive wall in demand of urgent protection. The survey data are carefully processed with advanced statistical methods newly introduced in muography, and the results indicate density anomalies inside the rampart with unprecedented levels of precision. The density anomalies are potential safety hazards and need to be eliminated as soon as possible. The successful implementation of this survey significantly encourages more engagement on the tangible application of high-precision 3D muography in archaeological investigations and protection projects around the world.
High-precision muography in archaeogeophysics: A case study on Xi’an defensive walls
Guorui Liu, Xujia Luo, Heng Tian, Kaiqiang Yao, Feiyun Niu, Long Jin, Jinlei Gao, Jian Rong, Zhiqiang Fu, Youxin Kang, Yuanyong Fu, Chun Wu, Heng Gao, Jiangbo Gong, Weixiong Zhang, Xiaogang Luo, Chunxian Liu, Xiangsheng Tian, Minghai Yu, Feng Wu, Jingjing Chen, Juntao Liu, Zhiyi Liu; High-precision muography in archaeogeophysics: A case study on Xi’an defensive walls. J. Appl. Phys. 7 January 2023; 133 (1): 014901. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0123337
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