Volcanic Activity and Human Ecology

Volcanic Activity and Human Ecology

1st Edition - December 28, 1979

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  • Editors: Payson D. Sheets, Donald K. Grayson
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483263182

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Volcanic Activity and Human Ecology deals with dating, chronology, stratigraphy, volcanic activity, and with the impacts of volcanism on animals, plants, human populations, and the environment. Some of the chapters explain how such findings must be weighed against other causes that influence human behavior and survival, such as factors of social customs, climatic change, shifting biogeographic patterns, disease, and the ability to adapt. Each of the chapters that assess the possible human response to volcanism does so by searching for multiple explanations of the archaeological record, avoiding the simple argument that people were dramatically and inevitably overcome by catastrophic geologic events. The book begins with discussions of volcanism as seen by geologists and pedologists. These include s a general overview of volcanoes and volcanism; a review of the production, dispersal, and properties of tephra and of the geologic methods used to study tephra; and the nature of volcanic soils and their economic impact. Subsequent chapters use the geologic and modern records to examine volcanoes as hazards to people. The final series of papers deals with the interrelationships between volcanism and human occupations as seen through the archaeological, paleobotanical, and paleozoological records.

Table of Contents

  • List of Contributors


    1 Introduction

    The Study of Natural Disasters

    Volcanic Phenomena

    The Study of Modern Volcanic Hazards and Disasters

    An Overview of the Contributions


    2 Volcanoes and Their Activity


    What is a Volcano?

    Products of Volcanoes

    Cones, Craters, and Caldera

    Types of Volcanic Eruptions

    Distribution and Geologic Relationships of Volcanoes


    3 Geologic Methods in Studies of Quaternary Tephra


    Production and Dispersal of Tephra

    Properties of Tephra

    Discrimination among Tephras



    4 Soils Derived from Tephra


    Geographical Distribution


    Chemical and Physical Properties

    Soil Genesis and Weathering

    Soil Classification

    Soil Fertility

    Land Use


    5 On the Damage Caused by Volcanic Eruptions with Special Reference to Tephra and Gases

    The Ranges of Volcanic Damage

    Tephra Fall

    Volcanic Gases

    The Lakagigar Eruption of 1783


    6 Volcanoes as Hazard: an Overview


    Three Volcanic Hazard Situations in the United States

    Risk Assessment of Volcanic Hazard

    Volcanic Hazard Identification

    Risk Estimation

    Social Evaluation

    Summary and Conclusion: Toward a More Balanced Approach to Volcanic Hazard


    7 Volcanic-Hazards Studies in the Cascade Range of the Western United States


    Method of Volcanic-Hazards Assessments

    Recent Eruptive Histories of Five Cascade Volcanoes

    Exan1ples of Volcanic-Hazards Assessments



    8 Contemporary Responses to Volcanism: Case Studies from the Cascades and Hawaii

    Mount Baker Experience

    Hawaiian Experience

    Summary Comment


    9 Effects of the Eruption of Parícutin Volcano on Landforms, Vegetation, and Human Occupancy


    Summary History of the Parícutin Eruption

    Review of Literature Dealing with Parícutin

    Pre-Eruption Settlement and Economy

    Impact of Airborne and Water-Transported Ash on the Rural Economy from 1943 to 1945

    Changes in Human Settlement Caused by Ashfall and Lava Invasion

    Changes in Drainage and Groundwater Caused by the Lava Field

    Ash Deposition and Removal up to 1965

    Pre-Eruption Vegetation

    Vegetation Destruction and Recovery

    Recovery of Grazing following Return of Vegetation

    Recovery of Agriculture

    Posteruption Forestry Activities

    Summary and Conclusion


    10 Impact of Parícutin on Five Communities

    Community Life before the Volcano

    The Time of the Eruptions

    Community Life after the Eruptions

    The Parícutin Eruption as a Hazard Event

    Discussion and Conclusions


    11 The Significance of Volcanism in the Prehistory of Subarctic Northwest North America


    History of Research

    General Characteristics and Consequences of Alaskan Volcanism

    Volcanism in the Boreal Interior: the White River Ash

    Volcanism in a Mixed Terrestrial and Marine Economic Setting: the Western Alaska Peninsula

    Volcanism in a Maritime Zone: the Eastern Aleutians


    Suggestions for Further Work in the Subarctic


    12 People and Pumice on the Alaska Peninsula

    The Ashes and Their Recognition

    The Human Impact of the Eruptions

    Summary Conclusions


    13 Pollen Influx and the Deposition of Mazama and Glacier Peak Tephra


    Pollen Influx


    Glacier Peak Ashfalls

    Mazama Ashfalls

    Discussion and Conclusion


    14 Mount Mazama, Climatic Change, and Fort Rock Basin Archaeofaunas

    The Fort Rock Basin

    The Connley Caves Archaeofaunas

    Paleoenvironmental Overview



    15 Sunset Crater and the Sinagua: a New Interpretation


    The Pre-Eruptive Cultural Pattern

    The Eruptions of Sunset Crater

    Influx of Migrant Populations

    Population Increase



    16 Comparative Effects of Climatic Change, Cultural Impact, and Volcanism in the Paleoecology of Flagstaff, Arizona, A.D. 900-1300

    Materials and Methods

    Results and Discussion

    Summary and Conclusions


    17 Environmental and Cultural Effects of the Ilopango Eruption in Central America


    Climate and Flora of El Salvador

    Pre-Columbian Subsistence and Export Agriculture

    The Ilopango Eruption and the Southeast Maya Highlands

    Possible Regional Repercussions of the Ilopango Eruption



    18 The Eruption of Thera and Minoan Crete




    The Chronological Problem

    The Effects in Crete and beyond

    Lost Atlantis?



    19 Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius, A.D. 79

    Pompeii before A.D. 79

    The Eruption of A.D. 79

    After the Eruption of A.D. 79

    Ancient Authors


    20 Volcanic Disasters and the Archaeological Record

    Human Ecology, Hazards, and Disasters

    Results of Hazard Research

    Past Volcanism and the Archaeological Record


    Subject Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 662
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 1979
  • Published: December 28, 1979
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483263182

About the Editors

Payson D. Sheets

Donald K. Grayson

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