Evidence of Sea-level Rise Shown From Analysis of Marine Sediment at Five Underwater Sites at The Paynes Creek Salt Works, Belize
Master of Arts (MA)
Geography and Anthropology
Access to Thesis Restricted to LSU Campus
Research in Paynes Creek National Park, Belize provides insights about the ancient Maya and environmental changes over time. Sea-level rise has impacted coastal settlements worldwide. I study the marine sediment from five underwater salt works with large shell deposits. Marine sediment samples were exported under permit to the Archaeology Lab at Louisiana State University. The marine sediment samples were analyzed using loss-on ignition to tell the amount of organic matter. The samples also underwent microscopic analysis to identify the organic composition of the marine sediment. Using loss-on ignition and microscopic sorting, sea-level rise can be analyzed. A high percent of organic matter in conjunction with red mangrove (R. mangle) roots is indicative of mangrove peat. Mangrove peat is an indicator of actual sea-level rise because R. mangle has been shown to keep pace with the rise of sea level. By analyzing the marine sediment samples from these five sites, actual, as opposed to relative/ subsidence, sea-level rise can be assessed.
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Dilores, Kurt Daniel, "Evidence of Sea-level Rise Shown From Analysis of Marine Sediment at Five Underwater Sites at The Paynes Creek Salt Works, Belize" (2017). LSU Master's Theses. 4487.