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Article

Combining InfraRed Thermography and UAV Digital Photogrammetry for the Protection and Conservation of Rupestrian Cultural Heritage Sites in Georgia: A Methodological Application

1
UNESCO Chair on Prevention and Sustainable Management of Geo-Hydrological Hazards, University of Florence, Largo Fermi 1, 50142 Florence, Italy
2
Ilia State University, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering, Kakutsa Cholokashvili Ave 3/5, Tblisi 0162, Georgia
3
Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA), Roma, Italy, Via V. Brancati 48, 00144 Roma, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 February 2020 / Revised: 6 March 2020 / Accepted: 8 March 2020 / Published: 10 March 2020
The rock-cut city of Vardzia is an example of the extraordinary rupestrian cultural heritage of Georgia. The site, Byzantine in age, was carved in the steep tuff slopes of the Erusheti mountains, and due to its peculiar geological characteristics, it is particularly vulnerable to weathering and degradation, as well as frequent instability phenomena. These problems determine serious constraints on the future conservation of the site, as well as the safety of the visitors. This paper focuses on the implementation of a site-specific methodology, based on the integration of advanced remote sensing techniques, such as InfraRed Thermography (IRT) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)-based Digital Photogrammetry (DP), with traditional field surveys and laboratory analyses, with the aim of mapping the potential criticality of the rupestrian complex on a slope scale. The adopted methodology proved to be a useful tool for the detection of areas of weathering and degradation on the tuff cliffs, such as moisture and seepage sectors related to the ephemeral drainage network of the slope. These insights provided valuable support for the design and implementation of sustainable mitigation works, to be profitably used in the management plan of the site of Vardzia, and can be used for the protection and conservation of rupestrian cultural heritage sites characterized by similar geological contexts. View Full-Text
Keywords: Infrared thermography; digital photogrammetry; landslides; GIS; cultural heritage; sustainable mitigation Infrared thermography; digital photogrammetry; landslides; GIS; cultural heritage; sustainable mitigation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Frodella, W.; Elashvili, M.; Spizzichino, D.; Gigli, G.; Adikashvili, L.; Vacheishvili, N.; Kirkitadze, G.; Nadaraia, A.; Margottini, C.; Casagli, N. Combining InfraRed Thermography and UAV Digital Photogrammetry for the Protection and Conservation of Rupestrian Cultural Heritage Sites in Georgia: A Methodological Application. Remote Sens. 2020, 12, 892. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs12050892

AMA Style

Frodella W, Elashvili M, Spizzichino D, Gigli G, Adikashvili L, Vacheishvili N, Kirkitadze G, Nadaraia A, Margottini C, Casagli N. Combining InfraRed Thermography and UAV Digital Photogrammetry for the Protection and Conservation of Rupestrian Cultural Heritage Sites in Georgia: A Methodological Application. Remote Sensing. 2020; 12(5):892. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs12050892

Chicago/Turabian Style

Frodella, William, Mikheil Elashvili, Daniele Spizzichino, Giovanni Gigli, Luka Adikashvili, Nikoloz Vacheishvili, Giorgi Kirkitadze, Akaki Nadaraia, Claudio Margottini, and Nicola Casagli. 2020. "Combining InfraRed Thermography and UAV Digital Photogrammetry for the Protection and Conservation of Rupestrian Cultural Heritage Sites in Georgia: A Methodological Application" Remote Sensing 12, no. 5: 892. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs12050892

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