Event Title

Analyzing Geomorphic Impact of Early Agriculture on the Tibetan Plateau

Presenter Information

Dominic Fiallo, Oberlin College

Location

King Building 327

Start Date

4-29-2016 4:00 PM

End Date

4-29-2016 5:15 PM

Abtract

Loess hillslope terraces, interpreted alternately as anthropogenic or geologic, are a pervasive feature in Jiuzhaigou National Nature Reserve (JNNR) in northern China. Archeological research indicates the presence of a human settlement in JNNR as early as 1400 BCE with a period of abandonment between 700 and 500 BCE. Optical luminescence dating on terrace scarps indicates scarp formation to coincide with the date of abandonment. I interpret the abandonment as early settlers’ response to self-induced natural disaster. I am using mathematical models of hill-slope failure to determine the intensity of land use required to force slope failure. This project seeks a more concrete understanding on the efficacy of humans as geomorphic agents. I approach a difficult question for the future: is our footprint growing so large as to render geologic processes irrelevant?

Notes

Session III, Panel 14 - Codifying Nature, Understanding History: Geological Translations of Water and Soil
Moderator: Bruce Simonson, Professor of Geology

Major

Geology

Advisor(s)

Bruce Simonson, Geology

Project Mentor(s)

Amanda Schmidt, Geology

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Apr 29th, 4:00 PM Apr 29th, 5:15 PM

Analyzing Geomorphic Impact of Early Agriculture on the Tibetan Plateau

King Building 327

Loess hillslope terraces, interpreted alternately as anthropogenic or geologic, are a pervasive feature in Jiuzhaigou National Nature Reserve (JNNR) in northern China. Archeological research indicates the presence of a human settlement in JNNR as early as 1400 BCE with a period of abandonment between 700 and 500 BCE. Optical luminescence dating on terrace scarps indicates scarp formation to coincide with the date of abandonment. I interpret the abandonment as early settlers’ response to self-induced natural disaster. I am using mathematical models of hill-slope failure to determine the intensity of land use required to force slope failure. This project seeks a more concrete understanding on the efficacy of humans as geomorphic agents. I approach a difficult question for the future: is our footprint growing so large as to render geologic processes irrelevant?