Document type: DU ETD
Collection: Geology Theses  
Title A 10,000 Year Record of Pre-Columbian Environmental Change From Highland Guatemala
Author(s) Caffrey, Maria A.
School/Department Department of Geography
Institution University of Denver
Degree Type Master's
Degree Name M.A.
Type of Resource text
Degree Date 2007 June
Digital Origin reformatted digital
Rights Statement All Rights Reserved
Reason for Restrictions No restrictions
Type of Restriction No restrictions
Keyword(s) Geography
Genre Dissertations, Academic
Abstract The Huehuetenango region of the Guatemalan Sierra de Los Cuchumantanes is a landscape characterized by extensive human modification surrounded by mountainous terrain that has been significantly deforested in recent centuries for agriculture. The paleoclimatic history of the Guatemalan lowlands has been extensively studied along with the impacts that the Maya had on their environment. This research looks at the impact of climatic change on the highlands environment and how naturally occurring changes agree or differ from lowland records that include potential influences humans. A partial sediment core was taken from a high elevation site in the Huehuetenango region. Radiocarbon dates show that the record extends for most of the Holocene period from 10,240 14C BP until 2850 14C BP. Pollen and macroscopic charcoal analyses in addition to standard geochemical analyses were carried out at close intervals throughout the core in order to determine how vegetation and fire frequencies within the region have changed over time. Data shows that the area underwent a number of periods alternating between warm, dry and cold, wet conditions through the early Holocene until the Middle Preclassic. The outcomes of this research are a record of the impacts of climate change on a landscape that was unmodified by humans that can be used to distinguish between natural and human signals in the lowland data.
Attached Files
Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Caffrey_Maria_A.doc   Caffrey_Maria_A.doc text/rtf 4.30KB 0
du_mas_2007_Caffrey.pdf   du_mas_2007_Caffrey.pdf application/pdf 10.46MB 0

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Created: Mon, 20 Sep 2010, 10:33:44 UTC by Emily Susanin . Detailed History