Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers target sea level rise to save years of archaeological evidence

Date:
January 16, 2014
Source:
Florida State University
Summary:
Prehistoric shell mounds found on some of Florida’s most pristine beaches are at risk of washing away as the sea level rises, wiping away thousands of years of archaeological evidence.

Prehistoric shell mounds found on some of Florida's most pristine beaches are at risk of washing away as the sea level rises, wiping away thousands of years of archaeological evidence.

"The largest risk for these ancient treasure troves of information is sea level rise," said Shawn Smith, a senior research associate with the Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies at Florida State University.

But a joint project between Smith and the National Park Service is drawing attention to the problem to hopefully minimize the impact on the state's cultural sites.

Smith and Margo Schwadron, an archaeologist with the National Park Service, have embarked on a project to examine past and future changes in climate and how we can adapt to those changes to save areas of shoreline and thus preserve cultural and archeological evidence.

"We're kind of the pioneers in looking at the cultural focus of this issue," Smith said, noting that most weather and ocean experts are concerned about city infrastructure for coastal areas.

To complete the project, the National Park Service awarded Smith a $30,000 grant. With that money, Smith and former Florida State University undergraduate Marcus Johnson spent hours compiling modern, colonial and paleo weather data.

The focus of their initial research is the Canaveral National Seashore and Everglades National Park, which both have prehistoric shell mounds, about 50 feet to 70 feet high. Researchers believe these shell mounds served as foundations for structures and settlements and later served as navigational landmarks during European exploration of the region.

Modern temperature and storm system information was easily available to researchers. But, to go hundreds and then thousands of years back took a slightly different approach.

Log books from old Spanish forts as well as ships that crossed the Atlantic had to be examined to find the missing information.

The result was a comprehensive data set for the region, so detailed that modern era weather conditions are now available by the hour.

Smith and Schwadron are trying to secure more funding to continue their work, but for now, they are making their data set available to the general public and other researchers in hopes of raising awareness about the unexpected effects of sea level rise.

The National Park Service has also published a brochure on climate change and the impact that sea level rise could have on the shell mounds found at Cape Canaveral.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Florida State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Florida State University. "Researchers target sea level rise to save years of archaeological evidence." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140116112714.htm>.
Florida State University. (2014, January 16). Researchers target sea level rise to save years of archaeological evidence. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140116112714.htm
Florida State University. "Researchers target sea level rise to save years of archaeological evidence." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140116112714.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

AP (July 28, 2014) AP Investigation: As the Obama administration weans the country off dirty fuels, energy companies are ramping-up overseas coal exports at a heavy price. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins