The Silt Beneath Us -- cave sediments as archives of environmental change


Aquatic cave sediments have been studied by few scientists. The highly specialized dive training required to conduct this research has left the cave environment unexplored relative to other parts of the earth. Our recent research in Yucatan caves explores the utility of cave sediments as archives for environmental change, and examines how physical, biological and chemical indicators found within the sediments can be used to provide information regarding groundwater and its potability through time. The decline of the Classic Maya is thought to have been influenced by severe droughts and understanding how groundwater was influenced during these times is important. New microfossil (foraminifera and thecamoebians) research in Ox Bel Ha cave system and Casa Cenote will be presented along with recent environmental monitoring data that shows salinity changes over the last 3500 yrs and its implications for groundwater potability.

Cite this Record

The Silt Beneath Us -- cave sediments as archives of environmental change. Eduard Reinhardt, Shawn Collins, Brady Gregory, Shawn Kovacs, Peter van Hengstum. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436553)

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Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-1,10