Inverted clast stratigraphy in an eolian archaeological environment

TitleInverted clast stratigraphy in an eolian archaeological environment
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsBuck B.J, Kipp J., H. Monger C
Date Published2002
Accession NumberJRN00360
Keywordsarticle, articles, eolian, journal, journals, stratigraphy, clast

Understanding the geomorphic history of eolian basins is important in interpreting the archaeological record and human responses to past environments. One hundred forty soil profiles were excavated and described in southern New Mexico and West Texas. Seven major late Quaternary stratigraphic units were found: La Mesa, eolian Jornada (I, II), eolian Isaacks' Ranch, eolian Organ (I, II, and III), Historical Blowsand, and the playa deposits of Petts Tank and Lake Tank. Each unit represents a period of landscape instability, eolian erosion, and concurrent deposition, followed by landscape stability and soil formation. Eolian erosion can form local surficial lag deposits if materials larger than the competence of the wind are present. However, erosional processes alone cannot explain the presence of older clasts at the surface with intact, younger deposits underneath. We propose a combination of processes: deflation in eolian windows, followed by lateral movement of clasts over areas that have not been deflated. The effects of these processes on artifact stratigraphy and archaeological interpretations could be significant.

Reprint EditionNot in File (updated 7/29/2005)