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Title: Holocene record of gradual, catastrophic and human influenced environmental change at Moashitu wetland, D'Urville Island, New Zealand
Authors: Cope, J
Chagué-Goff, C
Mooney, SD
Goff, JR
Zawadzki, A
Wong, HKY
Kilroy, C
Jacobsen, GE
Dominey-Howes, D
Keywords: Quaternary period
Sedimentary basins
Natural disasters
Human populations
Environmental impacts
New Zealand
Sea level
Geochemical surveys
Carbon 14
Issue Date: 31-Jan-2012
Publisher: Australian Metrological & Oceanographic Society
Citation: Cope, J., Chagué-Goff, C., Mooney, S., Goff, J., Zawadzki, A. Wong, H., Kilroy, C., Jacobsen, G., & Dominey-Howes, D. (2012). Holocene record of gradual, catastrophic and human influenced environmental change at Moashitu wetland, D'Urville Island, New Zealand. Paper presented at the AMOS 18th International Conference, "Connections in the Climate Systems", University of New South Wales, Sydney, 31 Jan to 3 Feb 2012.
Abstract: Active tectonism, sea level fluctuation and human arrival have moulded the present day physical environment of New Zealand. Coastal wetlands are recognised archives of Holocene environmental changes. By applying sedimentological, geochemical and chronological techniques to coastal wetlands, natural and anthropogenic changes can be observed. Moawhitu Wetland, located on D’Urville Island, New Zealand, is home to a Maori oral tradition that describes a giant wave destroying a community in the 15th century. Little geological work has been carried out to investigate the evidence of the event and no studies have researched the palaeoenvironmental history of the area. This research was therefore aimed at reconstructing the Holocene environmental record at Moawhitu Wetland to determine if there was evidence of severe changes to the landscape as described in Maori oral traditions. Three sedimentary sequences from Moawhitu Wetland were used to reconstruct a 7500 year record that incorporated gradual, catastrophic and human influenced changes. The record was established by using multiple sedimentary proxies (grainsize, organic matter content, geochemistry and mineralogy) at three different sites that were temporally aligned with dating techniques (14C and 210Pb) . Barrier formation, lake and wetland formation, erosion, human influences and a tsunami ~3000-3300 yr BP were identified in the sedimentary record. These changes were applied to a broader spatial context from which inferences of sea level rise, regional faulting and potential climate change were drawn. The central west coast of New Zealand has undergone an array of short and long term environmental changes throughout the Holocene and can be identified as an area susceptible to potential tsunami events.
Gov't Doc #: 9659
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