Quaternary coastal environments, including estuaries, are significant to archaeologists, geologists, and palaeoecologists because dramatic changes in geographic settings have strongly affected human land use and adaptation. Estuaries are mainly affected by climate and geologic agents like tectonism, subsidence, and isostatic and eustatic sea level changes. This study of Ballona Lagoon, California, located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, presents the paleoenvironmental reconstruction of an estuary. Estuaries are characterized by diverse assemblages of fishes, ostracodes, molluscs, foraminifers, siliceous organisms (diatoms and silicoflagellates), and traces of vegetation represented by palynomorphs. Ostracode and pollen analyses were conducted in combination with stratigraphic and geochronometric analyses. A central goal of this study was to delineate the lagoon edge and to document how it migrated through time. The location of the lagoon edge was important in determining how and why prehistoric land-use patterns shifted through time.
- Environmental change and human adaptation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aquatic Science