Advertisement

Journal of Coastal Conservation

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 187–197 | Cite as

Our disappearing past: a GIS analysis of the vulnerability of coastal archaeological resources in California’s Santa Barbara Channel region

  • Leslie A. Reeder
  • Torben C. Rick
  • Jon M. Erlandson
Article

Abstract

Coastal archaeological resources around the world often coincide with dense contemporary human populations and a rapidly changing physical environment. Projected sea level rise and urban expansion during the 21st century threaten to destroy much of our global coastal archaeological heritage. In this study, we adapt an environmental vulnerability analysis to quantify the threats of modern development and sea level rise on archaeological sites in California’s Santa Barbara Channel region. Using spatial and statistical techniques, we create a Cultural Resource Vulnerability Index that combines environmental factors, current and projected urban footprints, and archaeological site positioning. We illustrate the importance of this method for targeting threatened archaeological sites for mitigation and salvage research. In the process, we highlight the significance of coastal archaeological sites for helping better understand contemporary environmental and cultural issues, underscoring the need to preserve or salvage these sites for their significant research value.

Keywords

Sea level rise Coastal erosion Urban development Cultural resource vulnerability GIS 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Amy Gusick and the staff at the Central Coast Information Center, University of California, Santa Barbara for the archaeological GIS data from both the Santa Barbara mainland and the Northern Channel Islands. We also thank Stuart Murchison, of the Department of Geography and Geospatial Science at the University of Texas, Dallas, for helpful suggestions on an early version of this manuscript. Finally, we thank anonymous reviewers and the editors of the Journal of Coastal Conservation for help in the revision and production of this manuscript.

References

  1. Anfuso G, Martinez Del Pozo JA (2009) Assessment of coastal vulnerability through the use of GIS tools in South Sicily (Italy). Environ Manage 43(3):533–545CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arnold JE (1996) The archaeology of complex hunter-gatherers. J Archaeol Meth Theory 3:77–126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Arnold JE (2001a) The Chumash in world and regional perspectives. In: Arnold J (ed) The origins of a pacific coast chiefdom: the Chumash of the Channel Islands. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, pp 1–19Google Scholar
  4. Arnold JE (2001b) The origins of a pacific coast chiefdom: the Chumash of the Channel Islands. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake CityGoogle Scholar
  5. Arnold JE, Walsh MR, Hollimon SE (2004) The archaeology of California. J Archaeol Res 12:1–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bailey G (2004) World prehistory from the margins: the role of coastlines in human evolution. J Interdiscip Stud Hist Archaeol 1(1):39–50Google Scholar
  7. Barnett J, Lambert S, Fry I (2008) The hazards of indicators: insights from the environmental vulnerability index. Ann Assoc Am Geogr 98(1):102–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Boruff BJ, Emrich C, Cutter SL (2005) Erosion hazard vulnerability of US Coastal Counties. J Coast Res 21(5):932–942CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Braje TJ (2010) Modern oceans, ancient sites: archaeology and marine conservation on San Miguel Island, California. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake CityGoogle Scholar
  10. Bruun P (1962) Sea-level rise as a cause of shoreline erosion. J Waterw Harb Div 88:117–130Google Scholar
  11. Bruun P (1983) Review of conditions for uses of the Bruun rule of erosion. Coastal Eng 7:77–89CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Church JA, White NJ, Aarup T, Wilson WS, Woodworth PL, Domingues CM, Hunter JR, Lambeck K (2008) Understanding global sea levels: past, present and future. Sustain Sci 3:9–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cooper JAG, Pilkey OH (2004) Sea-level rise and shoreline retreat: time to abandon the Bruun Rule. Glob Planet Change 43(3–4):157–171CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Costanza R, Graumlich L, Steffen W, Crumley C, Dearing J, Hibbard K, Leemans R, Redman C, Schimel D (2007) Sustainability or collapse: what can we learn from integrating the history of humans with the rest of Nature? AMBIO J Hum Environ 36:522–527CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Diez PG, Perillo GME, Piccolo MC (2007) Vulnerability to sea-level rise on the coast of the Buenos Aires Province. J Coast Res 23(1):119–126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Domínguez L, Anfuso G, Gracia FJ (2005) Vulnerability assessment of a retreating coast in SW Spain. Environ Geol 47(8):1037–1044CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Erlandson JM (2001) The archaeology of aquatic adaptations: paradigms for a new millennium. J Archaeol Res 9(4):287–350CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Erlandson JM (2008) Racing a rising tide: global warming, rising seas, and the erosion of human history. J Island Coast Archaeol 3:167–169CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Erlandson JM, Fitzpatrick SM (2006) Oceans, islands, and coasts: current perspectives on the role of the sea in human prehistory. J Island Coast Archaeol 1(1):5–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Erlandson JM, Moss ML (1999) The systematic use of radiocarbon dating in archaeological surveys in coastal and other erosional environments. Am Antiq 64:431–443CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Erlandson JM, Rick T (2010) Archaeology meets marine ecology: the antiquity of maritime cultures and human impacts on marine fisheries and ecosystems. Annu Rev Mar Sci 2:231–251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Erlandson JM, Moss ML, Des Lauriers MR (2008) Life on the edge: early maritime cultures of the Pacific Coast of North America. Quatern Sci Rev 27:2232–2245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Fitzpatrick SM, Kappers M, Kaye Q (2006) Field reports: excavation and survey—coastal erosion and site destruction on Carriacou, West Indies. J Field Archaeology 31(3):251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gamble LH (2008) The Chumash World at European contact: power, trade, and feasting among complex hunter-gatherers. University of California Press, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  25. Gornitz VM, Beaty TW, Daniels RC (1997) A coastal hazards data base for the U.S. West CoastGoogle Scholar
  26. Green C, McFadden L (2007) Coastal vulnerability as discourse about meanings and values. J Risk Res 10(8):1027–1045CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hansen J, Sato M, Ruedy R, Lo K, Lea DW, Medina-Elizade M (2006) Global temperature change. Proc Natl Acad Sci 103:14288–14293CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hapke CJ, Reid D (2007) National Assessment of Shoreline Change, Part 4: Historical Coastal Cliff Retreat along the California Coast. U.S. Geological Survey Open-file Report 2007-1133Google Scholar
  29. Hapke CJ, Reid D, Richmond BM, Ruggiero P, List J (2006) National Assessment of shoreline change: Part 3: Historical shoreline changes and associated coastal land loss along the sandy shorelines of the California Coast: U.S. Geological Survey Open-file Report 2006-1219Google Scholar
  30. Hedge AV, Reju VR (2007) Development of coastal vulnerability index for Mangalore Coast, India. J Coast Res 23(5):1106–1111Google Scholar
  31. Hong H, Cui S, Zhang L (2006) A coastal vulnerability index and its application in Xiamen, China. Aquat Ecosyst Health Manage 9(3):333–337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Jackson JBC, Kirby MX, Berger WH, Bjorndal KA, Botsford LW, Bourque BJ, Bradbury RH, Cooke R, Erlandson J, Estes JA, Hughes TP, Kidwell S, Lange CB, Lenihan HS, Pandolfi JM, Peterson CH, Steneck RS, Tegner MJ, Warner RR (2001) Historical overfishing and the recent collapse of coastal ecosystems. Science 293:629–638CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kennett DJ (2005) The Island Chumash: behavioral ecology of a maritime society. University of California Press, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  34. Landis JD, Reilly M (2003) How we will grow: baseline projections of the growth of California’s urban footprint through the year 2100. In: Guhathakurta S (ed) Integrated land use and environmental models: a survey of current applications and research. Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg, pp 55–98Google Scholar
  35. Meehl GA, Washington WM, Collins WD, Arblaster JM, Hu A, Buja LE, Strand WG, Teng H (2005) How much more global warming and sea level rise?(Reports). Science 307:1769–1772Google Scholar
  36. Meehl GA, Stocker TF, Collins WD, Friedlingstein P, Gaye AT, Gregory JM, Kitoh A, Knutti R, Murphy JM, Noda A, Raper SCB, Watterson IG, Weaver AJ, Zhao ZC (2007) Global climate projections. In: Solomon S, Qin D, Manning M, Chen Z, Marquis M, Averyt KB, Tignor M, Miller HL (eds) Climate change 2007: the physical science basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  37. Meltzer DJ (2009) First peoples in a new world: colonizing ice age America. University of California Press, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  38. Nageswara Rao K, Subraelu P, Venkateswara Rao T, Hema Malini B, Ratheesh R, Bhattacharya S, Rajawat AS, Ajai (2008) Sea-level rise and coastal vulnerability: an assessment of Andhra Pradesh coast, India through remote sensing and GIS. J Coast Conserv 12(4):195–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Overpeck JT, Otto-Bliesner BL, Miller GH, Muhs DR, Alley RB, Kiehl JT (2006) Paleoclimatic evidence for future ice-sheet instability and rapid sea-level rise.(REPORTS). Science 311(5768):1747(1744)Google Scholar
  40. Pendleton EAE, Thieler R, Williams SJ (2005) Coastal Vulnerability Assessment of Channel Islands National Park (CHIS) to Sea-Level RiseGoogle Scholar
  41. Rick TC, Erlandson JM (eds) (2008) Human impacts on ancient marine ecosystems: a global perspective. University of California Press, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  42. Rick TC, Erlandson JM, Vellanoweth RL, Braje TJ (2005) From Pleistocene mariners to complex hunter-gatherers: the archaeology of the California Channel Islands. J World Prehist 19:160–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Robinson MH, Alexander CR, Jackson CW, McCabe CP, and Crass D (2010) Threatened archaeological, historic, and cultural resources of the Georgia Coast: Identification, prioritization and management using GIS technology. Geoarchaeology 25:312-326Google Scholar
  44. Sabloff JA (2008) Archaeology matters: action archaeology in the modern world. Left Coast, Walnut CreekGoogle Scholar
  45. Sassaman KE (2004) Complex hunter–gatherers in evolution and history: a North American perspective. J Archaeol Res 12(3):227–280CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Shuang-Ye W, Brent Y, Ann F (2002) Vulnerability of coastal communities to sea-level rise: a case study of Cape May County, New Jersey, USA. Clim Res 22(3):255–270Google Scholar
  47. Singh A, Pathirana S, Shi H, P. United Nations Environment (2006) Assessing coastal vulnerability: developing a global index for measuring risk. United Nations Environment Programme, NairobiGoogle Scholar
  48. Thieler RE, Hammar-Klose ES (2000) National assessment of coastal vulnerability to sea-level rise: preliminary results for the U.S. Pacific Coast. U.S. Geological SurveyGoogle Scholar
  49. Thieler ER, Pilkey OH, Young RS, Bush DM, Chai F (2000) The use of mathematical models to predict beach behavior for US coastal engineering: a critical review. J Coast Res 16:48–70Google Scholar
  50. Zhang K, Douglas BC, Leatherman SP (2004) Global warming and coastal erosion. Clim Change 64:41–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leslie A. Reeder
    • 1
  • Torben C. Rick
    • 2
  • Jon M. Erlandson
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologySouthern Methodist UniversityDallasUSA
  2. 2.Archaeobiology Program, Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural HistorySmithsonian InstitutionWashingtonUSA
  3. 3.Museum of Natural and Cultural History and Department of AnthropologyUniversity of OregonEugeneUSA

Personalised recommendations