Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Assessing site resilience using repeat photography: Photographic analysis of landscape change in Glen Canyon, Arizona
by Martinez, Daniel J., M.A., Northern Arizona University, 2016, 200; 10125340
Abstract (Summary)

Cultural resources downstream of Glen Canyon Dam in Glen Canyon, AZ represent relics of a larger cultural landscape, most of which is now inundated by Lake Powell. These cultural resources have significant value to many stakeholders, including archaeologists and Native American tribes, making their preservation of utmost importance. Since 1963, operation of the dam has eroded alluvial terraces downstream resulting in the loss of natural and cultural resources. Concern over resource loss led to the implementation of high-flow experiments (HFEs), also known as controlled floods, which provide critical sediment for restoring pre-dam habitat.

Experimental flows, however, have the potential to adversely affect buried archaeological sites located on alluvial terraces in Glen Canyon. This thesis assesses the impacts of three HFEs (1996, 2004, and 2012) at one such archaeological site, AZ C:2:32, using photographic data collected over a twenty-year time span. Repeat photographs are analyzed using photogrammetric methods and a variation of Hall’s (2002) grid intersect analysis to assess site impacts within a heritage management and resilience theoretical framework. The results demonstrated direct erosion caused by HFEs has decreased since 1996, likely resulting from changes in vegetation cover and management practices over the past two decades. These observations indicate repeat photography is a suitable monitoring technique for documenting long-term changes to archaeological sites and cultural landscapes, which can help resource managers assess whether their decisions promote or decrease site resilience.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Smiley, Francis E.
Commitee: Thompson, Kerry F., Vasquez, Miguel
School: Northern Arizona University
Department: Department of Anthropology
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: MAI 55/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Archaeology, Geographic information science, Cultural Resources Management
Keywords: Cultural landscape, Cultural resource management, Glen canyon dam, High-flow experiments, Repeat photography, Resilience
Publication Number: 10125340
ISBN: 978-1-339-83421-4
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