Ft. Union Viewshed Analysis (ND)

Project Type: Well Pad

Client: Statoil

Location: North Dakota

Project Synopsis

Beaver Creek Archaeology (BCA) was asked to perform a viewshed analysis on a prominent historic site in North Dakota: Fort Union State Park. BCA was tasked to find out if oil production, with its traffic, wells, & storage facilities would detract from the natural beauty of the park.

BCA performed a visual impact survey using GIS in a 3D environment to ascertain if certain proposed well sites outside the park would be visible from key vantage points that maintain a high visitor presence within the parks boundaries.

BCA uses ground truthing methods taking photos from the vantage point of where the well pad will be located from a distance of 33 feet in the air using telescoping camera technology. Photographs and points were taken at strategic locations from within the park looking towards the proposed well site.

BCA accounts for landforms on the proposed site, heights of storage tanks, wells, derricks, trees, & how much the site will be built up in the creation of the pad. Analysis for the points taken in the field begins with creating vision fans of how a person line of sight would be in real life, and that will ultimately leads to a classified skyline that will show the viewshed for this individual project. With this data, the oil industry, along with the agencies affected, can come to an agreement that is beneficial to all parties.

It’s our job to provide consistent, reliable, and accurate data that can be used to move our state into the future, but also to preserve the integrity of our states cultural resources.