Anthroweathering: Theoretical Framework and Case Study for Human-Impacted Weathering

Greg Pope, Ruth Rubenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Anthropogenic organic compounds and pollutants are routinely used to indicate human presence in anthrosols, but little is understood about human impact on pedogenic processes. This article addresses human impacts on pedogenic rock and mineral weathering. Relatively unexplored from the soil perspective, human impacts on the weathering system can be locally significant and relevant to studies in geoarchaeology, geomorphology, and ecology. The article provides a theoretical framework for human-impacted weathering, and presents a case study of "anthroweathering" at a Hohokam pit house excavated in central Arizona. Mineral grains, sampled from within and outside the pit house, were observed using backscatter electron microscopy. A statistically significant difference was found between impacted and less-impacted samples, with more weathering under areas of greater human impact. Accordingly, soil profile descriptions suggest increased chemical activity within and under the pit house anthrosol. These observations attest to the potential application of anthroweathering toward the identification and analysis of cultural remains and toward an assessment of environmental degradation

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-264
Number of pages18
JournalGeoarchaeology - An International Journal
Volume14
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1999

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anthropogenic effect
weathering
mineral
environmental damage
environmental degradation
electron microscopy
pollutant
organic pollutant
backscatter
geomorphology
agricultural product
soil profile
ecology
organic compound
Human Impact
Theoretical Framework
Weathering
rock
soil
Minerals

Cite this

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abstract = "Anthropogenic organic compounds and pollutants are routinely used to indicate human presence in anthrosols, but little is understood about human impact on pedogenic processes. This article addresses human impacts on pedogenic rock and mineral weathering. Relatively unexplored from the soil perspective, human impacts on the weathering system can be locally significant and relevant to studies in geoarchaeology, geomorphology, and ecology. The article provides a theoretical framework for human-impacted weathering, and presents a case study of {"}anthroweathering{"} at a Hohokam pit house excavated in central Arizona. Mineral grains, sampled from within and outside the pit house, were observed using backscatter electron microscopy. A statistically significant difference was found between impacted and less-impacted samples, with more weathering under areas of greater human impact. Accordingly, soil profile descriptions suggest increased chemical activity within and under the pit house anthrosol. These observations attest to the potential application of anthroweathering toward the identification and analysis of cultural remains and toward an assessment of environmental degradation",
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Anthroweathering : Theoretical Framework and Case Study for Human-Impacted Weathering. / Pope, Greg; Rubenstein, Ruth.

In: Geoarchaeology - An International Journal, Vol. 14, No. 3, 01.01.1999, p. 247-264.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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