Paper No. 2
Presentation Time: 8:20 AM
USING SOILS AS ARCHIVES, AN EXAMPLE OF PREHISTORIC AND MODERN IMPACTS ON EROSION AND GULLY FORMATION DURING THE HOLOCENE IN NORTHERN MISSISSIPPI
The Upland Hills of central northern Mississippi are underlain primarily by marine and fluvial sediments which were deposited during the Upper Cretaceous through the mid-Eocene. The Owl Creek (OC) Indian Mound site consists of a watershed dominated by a Cuestas-like structure with a record of human occupation for at least the last 3,000 years. The Holocene would not have varied greatly from the previous period were it not for humans. Landuse practices, hunting, and animal husbandry have often had severe effects upon the Floral & Faun as well as geomorphic processes in the Uplands.The uplands were at one time unevenly covered by loess (presumably under a mixed forest), which has been subsequently highly eroded. Eroded Bt horizons, remnant loess, or colluvium dominate these reforested areas. Currently active gullies were triggered by the construction of drainage channels in the early 1900's and the channelization of the Goodfood Creek. These provide us with the opportunity to study a rich soil archive consisting of the resulting sedimentation from erosion which consists exclusively of Holocene (oldest C14 date ~10,000 B.P.) deposits to a depth of 8 meters. The basement of the flood plain is a black marine clay, which provides a clear delineation between Cretaceous Marine Sediments and Holocene material and the Soil Archive.The Owl Creek Indian Mound site presents us with an extensive soil archive of sedimentation and erosion within the watershed. By incorporating methods from a wide variety of fields of scientific knowledge we are beginning to resolve a clear picture of man's influences on the environment during the Holocene in the upland hills of central northern Mississippi. The data will be incorporated into a collection of global data which is used to model & reconstruct long term soil erosion processes. This will add to our understanding of man's past and future influence in the emergence of fluvial systems.