Microstratigraphic protocol to assess the impact of wildland fires on subsurface archaeological sites

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-10-30
Identifier: 
etd20577
Keywords: 
Wildland fire
Archaeology
Soil and sediment
Infrared spectroscopy
FTIR
Soil micromorphology
Abstract: 

Wildland fires around the globe have been increasing in their severity and frequency, leaving natural and heritage resource managers to cope with their irreversible effects. Here, I review the literature on wildland fire environments and behavior and I investigate their influence on buried archaeological materials. To better understand this process, I propose and test a protocol which utilizes soil micromorphology and Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopy to quantify the impact of thermal energy on the sub-surface environment and the transformations that occur within the chemistry and mineralogy of common organic soils. An initial application of this protocol was carried out within the perimeter of a wildland fire near Logan Lake, British Columbia, which successfully measured on a millimetre-scale the heat diffusion pattern through the soil column. This analytical protocol can now be used in post-burn investigations to assess the effects of wildland fires on sub-surface archaeological materials of different regions.

Document type: 
Thesis
Rights: 
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Francesco Berna
Department: 
Environment: Department of Archaeology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.
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