Production and Pollution: Geoarchaeological and Paleoenvironmental Potential of a Northwest Belize Laguana

Authors: Jedidiah Dale*, University of Texas at Austin, Samantha Krause, University of Texas at Austin, Sheryl Luzzadder-Beach, University of Texas at Austin, Timothy Beach, University of Texas at Austin
Topics: Paleoenvironmental Change, Anthropocene
Keywords: wetlands, geomorphology
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Marshall North, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
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Many great strides have been made in the identification and characterization of wetland agricultural systems in the Maya lowlands. But the full scope of environmental impacts of these systems requires further study. Influences on biogeochemical cycles is one of the most significant ways in which humans have modified their environments. Among these nutrient loading from agricultural, and the resultant changes such as eutrophication, are a common challenge of agriculturalists. These effects have implications for both the potential productivity of these systems and their long term environmental legacies. We explore the potential utility of a laguna within the Rio Bravo watershed to contribute to addressing these questions. Its location at the heart of the Birds of Paradise site provides an ideal opportunity for isolating the environmental impact of Maya wetland agriculture. A coring study is planned for this coming summer. Methodological considerations and potential implications of this study will be discussed in the context of previous investigations of the Birds of Paradise site and Northwestern Belize more broadly.

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