An Early Anthropocene Analog: The Geomorphology and Hydrology of the Rio Bravo Watershed in the Belize Tropics

  • Tim BeachEmail author
  • Sheryl Luzzadder-Beach
  • Samantha Krause
  • Colin Doyle
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Science, Technology & Innovation book series (ASTI)


The fluviokarst Rio Bravo watershed of Belize Central America is about 400 km2. More importantly, it has global implications for the long-term human alteration of a tropical forest. We have studied this watershed’s geomorphology and archaeology since 1995. We have documented many ancient Maya modifications like terraces, wetland canals and fields, and reservoirs. We have recently been able to quantify canals and wetland field complexes. We have found four main agricultural zones that date back as early as 2000 BP but came to fruition from 1300 to 1000 BP, at the end of Maya Classic and the beginnings of the Post Classic. These canal complexes extended the known area of wetlands and altered river and karst geomorphology in this watershed.


Anthropogenic geomorphology Early anthropocene Soils Geoarchaeology 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tim Beach
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sheryl Luzzadder-Beach
    • 1
  • Samantha Krause
    • 1
  • Colin Doyle
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geography and the EnvironmentThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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