Several sections of the Padre Tembleque Aqueduct have been digitalized with laser scanner technology, and the 3D images obtained will be used to integrate a revitalization project of this work of hydraulic engineering, the most important constructed in the Colonial period.
The work conducted by specialists of the National Institute of Anthropology and History
(INAH) will be used as tool to verify the conservation state of the structure after 450 years.
To present the aqueduct built thanks to friar Francisco de Tembleque only provides water to Tecajete and De Arcos haciendas, both located in Zempoala, Hidalgo, but laser scans indicate the historical duct maintains in general terms, a good conservation state.
Angel Mora Flores, part of INAH National Coordination for Historical Monuments (CNMH), declared that the idea is to reestablish the water supply to Santa Maria Tecajete, Hidalgo and Otumba, Estado de Mexico.
Mora Flores, in charge of the Technological Support to Historical Monuments Unit, mentioned that the digital register is carried on by technical staff from INAH Laboratory of Image and Dimensional Analysis, contributing jointly with the National Autonomous University of Mexico and Fundacion ICA with the initiative promoted by Padre Tembleque Trustees Board.
The Padre Tembleque Aqueduct rises in the surface at some points and at underground level at others, crossing gullies and hills. 400 indigenous persons worked under Juan Correa de Aguero, stonework expert, orders to build it, 450 years ago.
Graphic Designer Angel Mora explained that laser scanner can register 50,000 laser points per second, sending information in real time to a receptor connected to a computer that transforms data to be visualized in a three-dimensional environment with great detail.
With technology acquired by INAH more than a year ago to integrate the Laboratory of Image and Dimensional Analysis, it has been possible to do digital register in 3D of the monumental arcades of the aqueduct, and the adjoining parts to former haciendas of Tecajete and De Arcos.
Main arcade is integrated by 68 arches, all of them digitally registered, but the superior part was not scanned for security reasons. Its exact length in 904.68 meters and its height is 37.95 meters. Surveying took 33 hours and more than 100 million laser points were obtained.
Regarding the section located near former Tecajete Hacienda, the arcade is integrated by 54 arches, 26 of them inside the property. In this section, surveying took 37 hours and 96 million laser points were registered.
The most recent surveying was conducted at Los Arcos Hacienda with the support of PhD Jose Herraez and PhD Pablo Jose Navarro, from the Institute of Heritage Restoration of theUniversidad Politecnica de Valencia, Spain, institution that has provided training to INAH experts, concluded Mora Flores.