Oceanic spectroscopy. The last frontier in LIBS analysis
The UMA Laser Laboratory is pioneering the development of one of the most demanding applications of LIBS in Cultural Heritage: establishing the atomic composition of underwater archaeological materials. This is an exclusive capacity of LIBS, that has no precedented inspection technologies. LIBS allows a fast identification of materials based on its elemental composition. Furthermore, the technique is capable of distinguishing between organic and inorganic materials in a essentially heterogeneous and complex environment such as the sea bottom. Submarine LIBS inspection offers the possibility of material recognition and of establishing the chemical composition of solids without extracting the artwork from the submersed archaeological site. The possibility of performing in-situ measurements, its high spatial resolution and the speed of analysis are additional advantages of LIBS. Several field trials have been already carried out in the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts of Andalucía to explore the large submersed heritage existing in this privileged region of Spain.