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Author Topic: ?Erosion or accretion?  (Read 2060 times)

Offline OokieWonderslug

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?Erosion or accretion?
« on: 22/09/2011 18:10:57 »
I read that miles of dirt have been eroded off the top of the soil here in the piedmont. Yet when archeologists dig artifacts they are always buried. 10,000 years is about a foot of accumulation. So if dirt is accumulating, how is it eroding at the same time?

Wouldn't artifacts begin by being exposed? How do they get buried if erosion is happening? I am sorta confused by this.

Things that are thousands of years old being buried is not what happens when you're shaving miles of sediments off a continent.

How do geologists conquer the paradox? Hopefully not by ignoring it. 


 

Offline damocles

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?Erosion or accretion?
« Reply #1 on: 22/09/2011 19:15:07 »
I read that miles of dirt have been eroded off the top of the soil here in the piedmont. Yet when archeologists dig artifacts they are always buried. 10,000 years is about a foot of accumulation. So if dirt is accumulating, how is it eroding at the same time?

Wouldn't artifacts begin by being exposed? How do they get buried if erosion is happening? I am sorta confused by this.

Things that are thousands of years old being buried is not what happens when you're shaving miles of sediments off a continent.

How do geologists conquer the paradox? Hopefully not by ignoring it. 

I think some crucial words in your post have been overlooked: ... at the same time ...

Simple logic tells us that artifacts that are dropped on ground that is eroding do not usually get buried: they either weather to the point of destruction or get scavenged, Just a few possibly do get buried in landslides and the like. On the whole, artifacts will only be preserved in places where they do get buried.

Archaeologists and palaeontologists mostly work at "digs" -- that is, where soil has been accumulating over the remains, and they have to be dug up. The few special places where artifacts are continually being exposed at the surface must therefore be places where soil was being deposited then, but is being eroded now.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

?Erosion or accretion?
« Reply #1 on: 22/09/2011 19:15:07 »

 

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