Testing metal detection processes

If the Norse were in the Arctic they probably left behind metal artifacts.  One hypothesis we have is that a rapid method to help validate a search area will be the presence of metal as metal is not normally found lying around the Arctic.  Prior to going to Hudson Bay we bought a standard metal detector to test how accurate and fast metal detection is.

We bought a White IDX Pro metal detector and went to a local river where there are small islands that are mostly rock.  Using the metal detector we could very easily walk over the surface and quickly identify areas where there were metal. The first thing we found was a garden hose spray gun.  It was about 6″ (15 cm) below the surface in the gravel and sand of the river bed.  We could search about 300 square feet (30 square meters) in two minutes but then it would take 5 to 10 minutes to dig and pinpoint the item generating the signal.

This simple metal detector also works underwater.  We had a relative that lost his wedding band 14 years ago in a lake.  It took us about 2.5 hours of searching with the majority of time time spent on sifting the sand and silt for the artifact generating the signal.  The IDX Pro very clearly told us when we would find a penny, a nickel, a quarter, a pull tab from a can and a gold ring.

Overall, with several handheld detectors we will very quickly be able to look for metal.

We also took a pin detector with us to Hudson Bay.  You can see it in the pictures.  It is the yellow “stick” Mackenzie is carrying.  It also worked but overall metal detecting is a slow process with a pin detector.


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