Stratigraphic Evidence for Large Floods in Canal System 2, Phoenix, Arizona

Author(s): Gary Huckleberry

Year: 2015


Recent excavations conducted downstream from Park of Four Waters have provided new evidence of damaging floods within System 2 between AD 1050-1400. Two main canals contain stratigraphic evidence of uncontrolled Salt River. One canal (Hagenstad) contains evidence for two floods, the last one causing the alignment to be abandoned. The other canal (Woodbury's North), contains a flood deposit that filled the channel and led to its abandonment. A combination of ceramic, 14C, and luminescence ages indicate that the two Hagenstad Canal floods occurred AD 1050-1300; the Woodbury North Canal flood occurred AD 1300-1400. These floods correspond in time to an overall period of low discharge variability on the Salt River based on tree-ring reconstructions. An exception is the possibility that the flood terminating Woodbury North Canal may correlate to high annual discharge in the Salt River during the AD 1380s. Tree-ring reconstructions of annual discharge do not adequately capture individual floods of cultural significance. Combined geological and dendrohydrological methods are needed to better understand the timing and impact of large floods on Hohokam canal settlements.

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Cite this Record

Stratigraphic Evidence for Large Floods in Canal System 2, Phoenix, Arizona. Gary Huckleberry. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396099)


Geographic Keywords
North America - Southwest

Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;