Prehistoric Lake Cahuilla Shorelines Identified Using a Systematic Satellite Photograph and Ground Truth Methodology, Salton Sea Region, Imperial County, California
Lake Cahuilla is the archaeological representation of the modern Salton Sea and represents one of the largest rift lakes in the Western Hemisphere. Formed in the Salton Basin by western-trending Colorado River runoff, in-fillings and outflows from the Colorado to the Lake and thence into the Gulf of California were episodic yet constrained by the vast Colorado River Delta. Because modern agricultural development has buried many of the ancient shorelines, the Lake’s Holocene oscillation history is difficult to identify and interpret. Recent improvements in satellite-based photographic quality have made it possible to use the desktop to hunt for prehistoric resources located on the margins of Lake Cahuilla. In this paper, we describe the discovery of a prehistoric cultural landscape made up of thousands of distinctive stone features known to local archaeologists as "fish-traps" using a systematic desk-top analysis and ground-truth process. Our research shows that at some period in the recent prehistoric past, the western shore of Lake Cahuilla can be identified in at least three stable strandlines between 40 and 90 feet below sea level and that these episodes may be datable.
Cite this Record
Prehistoric Lake Cahuilla Shorelines Identified Using a Systematic Satellite Photograph and Ground Truth Methodology, Salton Sea Region, Imperial County, California. Michael Dice, David Barrackman, Rebekka Knierim, Darren Schubert. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444350)
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min long: -114.346; min lat: 26.352 ; max long: -98.789; max lat: 38.411 ;
Abstract Id(s): 21534