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NARCIS; Research@WUR
Article . 2018
License: CC BY NC
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Research@WUR; The Holocene
Article . 2018 . Peer-reviewed
License: SAGE TDM
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The Holocene
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License: CC BY NC
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Controls on late-Holocene drift-sand dynamics: The dominant role of human pressure in the Netherlands

Authors: Pierik, H.J.; Van Lanen, Rowin; Gouw-Bouman, M.T.I.J.; Groenewoudt, Bert; Wallinga, Jakob; Hoek, W.Z.; Biogeomorphology of Rivers and Estuaries; +2 Authors

Controls on late-Holocene drift-sand dynamics: The dominant role of human pressure in the Netherlands

Abstract

Holocene drift-sand activity in the northwest European sand belt is commonly directly linked to population pressure (agricultural activity) or to climate change (e.g. storminess). In the Pleistocene sand areas of the Netherlands, small-scale Holocene drift-sand activity began in the Mesolithic, whereas large-scale sand drifting started during the Middle Ages. This last phase not only coincides with the intensification of farming and demographic pressure but also is commonly associated with a colder climate and enhanced storminess. This raises the question to what extent drift-sand activity can be attributed to either human activities or natural forcing factors. In this study, we compare the spatial and temporal patterns of drift-sand occurrence for the four characteristic Pleistocene sand regions in the Netherlands for the period between 1000 BC and AD 1700. To this end, we compiled a new supra-regional overview of drift-sand activity based on age estimates (14C, optically stimulated luminescence (OSL), archaeological and historical ages). The occurrence of sand drifting was then compared in time and space with historical-route networks, relative vegetation openness and climate. Results indicate a constant but low drift-sand activity between 1000 BC and AD 1000, interrupted by a remarkable decrease in activity around the BC/AD transition. It is evident that human pressure on the landscape was most influential on initiating sand drifting: this is supported by more frequent occurrences close to routes and the uninterrupted increase of drift-sand activity from AD 900 onwards, a period of high population density and large-scale deforestation. Once triggered by human activities, this drift-sand development was probably further intensified several centuries later during the cold and stormier ‘Little Ice Age’ (LIA; AD 1570–1850).

Country
Netherlands
Subjects by Vocabulary

Microsoft Academic Graph classification: Pleistocene Climate change Deforestation Holocene Mesolithic Vegetation Geography Period (geology) Physical geography Chronology

Keywords

Archeology, human impact, drift-sand activity, vegetation development, climate, Earth-Surface Processes, Global and Planetary Change, Holocene, Ecology, Paleontology, PE&RC, chronology, Research Papers, Bodemgeografie en Landschap, Soil Geography and Landscape

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  • citations
    This is an alternative to the "Influence" indicator, which also reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
    27
    popularity
    This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
    Top 10%
    influence
    This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
    Average
    impulse
    This indicator reflects the initial momentum of an article directly after its publication, based on the underlying citation network.
    Top 10%
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citations
This is an alternative to the "Influence" indicator, which also reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
BIP!Citations provided by BIP!
popularity
This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
BIP!Popularity provided by BIP!
influence
This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
BIP!Influence provided by BIP!
impulse
This indicator reflects the initial momentum of an article directly after its publication, based on the underlying citation network.
BIP!Impulse provided by BIP!
27
Top 10%
Average
Top 10%
Green
hybrid