Physical sedimentary controls on subtropical coastal and shelf sedimentary systems: Initial application in conceptual models and computer visualizations to support archaeology

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Abstract

Abstract Advances in digital spatial analysis and 3D photorealistic modeling offer the potential to create virtual interpretations of the now inundated landscapes of NW Australia. While this provides a useful template for potential late Pleistocene and early Holocene coastal occupation on the shelf, we stress the importance of understanding sediment dynamics as a primary control for terrain modelling, particularly at the scale of human ecosystem dynamics. We briefly review six major drivers of change upon tropical and semi-tropical continental shelves and coastlines, and some of the typical coastal geomorphologies associated with each. We then hypothesize how these drivers might have varied on the NW Shelf of Australia since 65 ka, and then apply the logic to the Barrow Island region, to form some ?end-member? visualizations of coastal change in the early Holocene. The visualizations indicate a high degree of variability in coastal morphology, particularly through the post-glacial period, which is likely to have radically changed the capacity of the coastline to provide resources for human use during that period. Hence, rather than considering any single visualization as being absolute, end-member visualizations should be used to generate testable hypotheses that are reviewed repeatedly in the light of new physical, environmental, and archaeological information.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)661-679
Number of pages19
JournalGeoarchaeology
Volume33
Issue number6
Early online date4 Jun 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018

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archaeology
visualization
driver
Holocene
coastal morphology
ecosystem dynamics
coast
spatial analysis
Postglacial
geomorphology
modeling
occupation
continental shelf
Pleistocene
interpretation
Coast
Physical
Conceptual Model
Archaeology
Visualization

Cite this

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title = "Physical sedimentary controls on subtropical coastal and shelf sedimentary systems: Initial application in conceptual models and computer visualizations to support archaeology",
abstract = "Abstract Advances in digital spatial analysis and 3D photorealistic modeling offer the potential to create virtual interpretations of the now inundated landscapes of NW Australia. While this provides a useful template for potential late Pleistocene and early Holocene coastal occupation on the shelf, we stress the importance of understanding sediment dynamics as a primary control for terrain modelling, particularly at the scale of human ecosystem dynamics. We briefly review six major drivers of change upon tropical and semi-tropical continental shelves and coastlines, and some of the typical coastal geomorphologies associated with each. We then hypothesize how these drivers might have varied on the NW Shelf of Australia since 65 ka, and then apply the logic to the Barrow Island region, to form some ?end-member? visualizations of coastal change in the early Holocene. The visualizations indicate a high degree of variability in coastal morphology, particularly through the post-glacial period, which is likely to have radically changed the capacity of the coastline to provide resources for human use during that period. Hence, rather than considering any single visualization as being absolute, end-member visualizations should be used to generate testable hypotheses that are reviewed repeatedly in the light of new physical, environmental, and archaeological information.",
keywords = "Australia, sea-level change, sediments, underwater archaeology, visualization",
author = "P. Larcombe and Ward, {I. A. K.} and T. Whitley",
year = "2018",
month = "11",
doi = "10.1002/gea.21681",
language = "English",
volume = "33",
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TY - JOUR

T1 - Physical sedimentary controls on subtropical coastal and shelf sedimentary systems: Initial application in conceptual models and computer visualizations to support archaeology

AU - Larcombe, P.

AU - Ward, I. A. K.

AU - Whitley, T.

PY - 2018/11

Y1 - 2018/11

N2 - Abstract Advances in digital spatial analysis and 3D photorealistic modeling offer the potential to create virtual interpretations of the now inundated landscapes of NW Australia. While this provides a useful template for potential late Pleistocene and early Holocene coastal occupation on the shelf, we stress the importance of understanding sediment dynamics as a primary control for terrain modelling, particularly at the scale of human ecosystem dynamics. We briefly review six major drivers of change upon tropical and semi-tropical continental shelves and coastlines, and some of the typical coastal geomorphologies associated with each. We then hypothesize how these drivers might have varied on the NW Shelf of Australia since 65 ka, and then apply the logic to the Barrow Island region, to form some ?end-member? visualizations of coastal change in the early Holocene. The visualizations indicate a high degree of variability in coastal morphology, particularly through the post-glacial period, which is likely to have radically changed the capacity of the coastline to provide resources for human use during that period. Hence, rather than considering any single visualization as being absolute, end-member visualizations should be used to generate testable hypotheses that are reviewed repeatedly in the light of new physical, environmental, and archaeological information.

AB - Abstract Advances in digital spatial analysis and 3D photorealistic modeling offer the potential to create virtual interpretations of the now inundated landscapes of NW Australia. While this provides a useful template for potential late Pleistocene and early Holocene coastal occupation on the shelf, we stress the importance of understanding sediment dynamics as a primary control for terrain modelling, particularly at the scale of human ecosystem dynamics. We briefly review six major drivers of change upon tropical and semi-tropical continental shelves and coastlines, and some of the typical coastal geomorphologies associated with each. We then hypothesize how these drivers might have varied on the NW Shelf of Australia since 65 ka, and then apply the logic to the Barrow Island region, to form some ?end-member? visualizations of coastal change in the early Holocene. The visualizations indicate a high degree of variability in coastal morphology, particularly through the post-glacial period, which is likely to have radically changed the capacity of the coastline to provide resources for human use during that period. Hence, rather than considering any single visualization as being absolute, end-member visualizations should be used to generate testable hypotheses that are reviewed repeatedly in the light of new physical, environmental, and archaeological information.

KW - Australia

KW - sea-level change

KW - sediments

KW - underwater archaeology

KW - visualization

U2 - 10.1002/gea.21681

DO - 10.1002/gea.21681

M3 - Article

VL - 33

SP - 661

EP - 679

JO - Geoarchaeology

JF - Geoarchaeology

SN - 0883-6353

IS - 6

ER -