2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (1-4 November 2015)

Paper No. 204-6
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


ULMER, Austin Michael, Plant and Wildlife Science, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602, aulmer89@hotmail.com

We analyzed catenas of soil sequences along multiple hillslopes under old growth tropical forest in northwestern Belize to understand soil formation and slope movement over time. We conducted research near and away from ancient Maya sites to study how Maya civilization influenced slope movement in areas with evidence for about 1000 years of tropical forest cover. We characterized soil chemistry and physical characteristics at crest, shoulder, back, and foot slopes with typical field descriptions, laser texture, SOM, elemental chemistry, carbon isotopes, AMS dating, and 210Pb dating. Three of the footslope sites showed buried paleosols and evidence for increased δ 13C through Maya Classic period levels. Most back and shoulder slopes had no evidence for increased δ 13C, though some crests and mid slope sinks preserve evidence of ancient Maya impacts.