Underwater hyperspectral imaging: a new tool for marine archaeology

Appl Opt. 2018 Apr 20;57(12):3214-3223. doi: 10.1364/AO.57.003214.


By applying an underwater hyperspectral imager (UHI) to a selection of archaeological artifacts, we have found spectral signatures that are representative of materials likely to be present at wreck sites. By successfully using the signatures to classify a subset of said artifacts placed on the seabed at 61 m depth, we demonstrate that it is possible to detect archaeological objects of interest in UHI data acquired by a remotely operated vehicle. Correct UHI classification of rust and glass bottles in situ on a historical wreck site further supports the viability of the method for marine archaeological applications.