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Article: Sedimentary evidence of Late Holocene human activity in the Pearl River delta, China

TitleSedimentary evidence of Late Holocene human activity in the Pearl River delta, China
Authors
KeywordsDeltaic landform
Human activity
Late Holocene
Organic carbon isotopes
Pearl River delta
Sedimentary record
Issue Date2010
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons Ltd. The Journal's web site is located at http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/2388
Citation
Earth Surface Processes And Landforms, 2010, v. 35 n. 9, p. 1095-1102 How to Cite?
AbstractThis study examines the sedimentary evidence of human activities during the last 4000 years in the Pearl River deltaic area. The analyses are focused on indentifying agricultural signatures present in the sedimentary record and establishing the timing of a change from a simple, rice-based agriculture to a more advanced, diverse agriculture. The examination is based on modern sediment and plant samples and a sediment core collected from the deltaic area. The analyses include particle size and diatom analysis to determine the environmental conditions that were associated with the period of human activities. Organic carbon isotope ratios and major metal elements reveal an expansion in commercial crop production and metal smelting in the Pearl River delta area about 2000 years ago. The input of organic matter from introduced sugarcane, a C4 plant, elevates the bulk organic carbon isotope values in the estuarine sediments above that represented by other common agricultural crops in the study area, including rice, banana and lotus, which are all C3 plants. The increase in bulk organic isotopic value coincides with the rise in the concentration of copper, iron and lead in the sedimentary sequence, suggesting a wider use of metal tools. These results indicate that advanced agriculture started about 2000 years ago as an expansion in human population took place in the area. This record also provides sedimentary evidence that help ascertain the timing and type of human activities that are linked to subsequent land reclamation on the deltaic plain, resulting in rapid shoreline advancement in the last 2000 years. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/124657
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 3.505
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 1.574
ISI Accession Number ID
Funding AgencyGrant Number
University of Durham
National Science Foundation of China40771218
Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong SAR, ChinaHKU7058/06P
HKU7052/08P
NERC/EPSRC05-08
Natural Environment Research Council (UK) Radiocarbon Laboratory Steering Committee1150.1005
Natural Environment Research Council (UK) Isotope Geosciences Facilities Steering CommitteeIP/883/1105
Funding Information:

This research is supported by the University of Durham through a special research grant to Zong, a research grant from the National Science Foundation of China (No. 40771218) to Huang and Zong, two research grants from the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong SAR, China (No. HKU7058/06P and HKU7052/08P) to Yim and a NERC/EPSRC 05-08 (UK) PhD studentship from the Dorothy Hodgkin Postgraduate Award to Yu. This research is also partly supported by radiocarbon dates and organic isotope analyses awarded to Zong by the Natural Environment Research Council (UK) Radiocarbon Laboratory Steering Committee (No. 1150.1005) and the Natural Environment Research Council (UK) Isotope Geosciences Facilities Steering Committee (IP/883/1105). The authors thank the director of the Environmental Protection Department, Hong Kong SAR for the collection of surface sediment samples and water salinity in the Hong Kong area. This manuscript is improved by the detailed, constructive comments from the reviewers.

References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorZong, Yen_HK
dc.contributor.authorYu, Fen_HK
dc.contributor.authorHuang, Gen_HK
dc.contributor.authorLloyd, JMen_HK
dc.contributor.authorYim, WWSen_HK
dc.date.accessioned2010-10-31T10:46:49Z-
dc.date.available2010-10-31T10:46:49Z-
dc.date.issued2010en_HK
dc.identifier.citationEarth Surface Processes And Landforms, 2010, v. 35 n. 9, p. 1095-1102en_HK
dc.identifier.issn0197-9337en_HK
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/124657-
dc.description.abstractThis study examines the sedimentary evidence of human activities during the last 4000 years in the Pearl River deltaic area. The analyses are focused on indentifying agricultural signatures present in the sedimentary record and establishing the timing of a change from a simple, rice-based agriculture to a more advanced, diverse agriculture. The examination is based on modern sediment and plant samples and a sediment core collected from the deltaic area. The analyses include particle size and diatom analysis to determine the environmental conditions that were associated with the period of human activities. Organic carbon isotope ratios and major metal elements reveal an expansion in commercial crop production and metal smelting in the Pearl River delta area about 2000 years ago. The input of organic matter from introduced sugarcane, a C4 plant, elevates the bulk organic carbon isotope values in the estuarine sediments above that represented by other common agricultural crops in the study area, including rice, banana and lotus, which are all C3 plants. The increase in bulk organic isotopic value coincides with the rise in the concentration of copper, iron and lead in the sedimentary sequence, suggesting a wider use of metal tools. These results indicate that advanced agriculture started about 2000 years ago as an expansion in human population took place in the area. This record also provides sedimentary evidence that help ascertain the timing and type of human activities that are linked to subsequent land reclamation on the deltaic plain, resulting in rapid shoreline advancement in the last 2000 years. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.en_HK
dc.languageengen_HK
dc.publisherJohn Wiley & Sons Ltd. The Journal's web site is located at http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/2388en_HK
dc.relation.ispartofEarth Surface Processes and Landformsen_HK
dc.subjectDeltaic landformen_HK
dc.subjectHuman activityen_HK
dc.subjectLate Holoceneen_HK
dc.subjectOrganic carbon isotopesen_HK
dc.subjectPearl River deltaen_HK
dc.subjectSedimentary recorden_HK
dc.titleSedimentary evidence of Late Holocene human activity in the Pearl River delta, Chinaen_HK
dc.typeArticleen_HK
dc.identifier.openurlhttp://library.hku.hk:4550/resserv?sid=HKU:IR&issn=0197-9337&volume=35&spage=1095&epage=1102&date=2010&atitle=Sedimentary+evidence+of+Late+Holocene+human+activity+in+the+Pearl+River+delta,+Chinaen_HK
dc.identifier.emailZong, Y: yqzong@hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.emailYim, WWS: wwsyim@hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.authorityZong, Y=rp00846en_HK
dc.identifier.authorityYim, WWS=rp01746en_HK
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltext-
dc.identifier.doi10.1002/esp.1970en_HK
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-77954557676en_HK
dc.identifier.hkuros174679en_HK
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-77954557676&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_HK
dc.identifier.volume35en_HK
dc.identifier.issue9en_HK
dc.identifier.spage1095en_HK
dc.identifier.epage1102en_HK
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000280330800008-
dc.publisher.placeUnited Kingdomen_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridZong, Y=7005203454en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridYu, F=35747418400en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridHuang, G=7403425099en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridLloyd, JM=7402365382en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridYim, WWS=7007024728en_HK

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