Establishing rates of karst landscape evolution in the Tropics: A context for the formation of archaeological sites in western Flores, Indonesia

Westaway, KE, Sutikna, T, Morwood, MJ and Zhao, JX (2010) Establishing rates of karst landscape evolution in the Tropics: A context for the formation of archaeological sites in western Flores, Indonesia. Journal of Quaternary Science, 25 6: 1018-1037. doi:10.1002/jqs.1390


Author Westaway, KE
Sutikna, T
Morwood, MJ
Zhao, JX
Title Establishing rates of karst landscape evolution in the Tropics: A context for the formation of archaeological sites in western Flores, Indonesia
Journal name Journal of Quaternary Science   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0267-8179
1099-1417
Publication date 2010-09-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/jqs.1390
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 25
Issue 6
Start page 1018
End page 1037
Total pages 20
Place of publication Bognor Regis, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Tropical landscapes evolve at a rapid rate, creating stepped alluvial terraces, dense basin and cone topographies and multilevel cave systems. An understanding of the rate of landscape evolution is crucial for understanding how landscapes respond to tectonic instability and for reconstructing landscapes that have changed over archaeological timescales. The rate of landscape incision as a proxy for karst landscape evolution in Indonesia, a key region in the path of human dispersal, has been established using the rate of karstification - by estimating a chronology for stages of cave development using thermal ionisation mass spectrometry U-series dating on flowstones, and the rate of downcutting - by establishing a chronology for a series of alluvial terraces using red thermoluminescence dating. Using these techniques we have determined that the estimated rate of karstification (113 ± 26 mm ka-1) is slower than the average rate of downcutting (305 ± 24 mm ka-1), and the combined rate of landscape incision (217 ± 18 mm ka-1) is slower than the known rate of tectonic uplift for this region derived from raised coral terraces (450 ± 50 mm ka-1). This suggests that rivers are quicker to respond to tectonic instability, but both cave and river systems display a slower rate of incision and karstification than uplift. Correlations between these components of the landscape system reveal a strong, interacting relationship where defined phases of uplift are reflected in the pattern of karstification and cycles of downcutting. An understanding of this relationship has been pivotal in reconstructing the formation and geomorphic history of archaeological caves such as Liang Bua. Copyright
© 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Keyword Karst landscape evolution
Tectonic uplift
River incision
Karstification
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Earth Sciences Publications
Official 2011 Collection
Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis Publications
 
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Created: Sun, 24 Oct 2010, 10:09:03 EST