Focus 4 - Soil and Sediment


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This group emerged out of a meeting in London in July 2008 (link), where representatives met and discussed the structure of PAGES' Focus 4 and its place in PAGES new science structure. Further, at this meeting they decided which themes would be pursued under Focus 4, with Soil and Sediment being one of them. Soil and Sediment ran until 2014, when the GloSS working group replaced it.

Sediment archives (alluvial, colluvial, limnic) provide records of changing soil erosion and the transport/deposition of sediment by fluvial processes. The degree of soil erosion and the extent and volume of sedimentary deposits provide information on the nature and timing of past human impacts, and the impact of environmental variability (particularly climate) on human society (e.g., Brown, 2002; Dearing and Jones, 2003; Gregory et al., 2006; Wasson, 1994).

This theme began work to integrate soil/sediment records to provide spatially distributed patterns through time and across different regions. The results can be used for interpreting past levels of landscape disturbance, past human-environment interactions, describing trajectories of soil/sediment movements up to the present, defining baselines, reconstructing past sediment budgets, and developing and validating process models.

Following on from the work undertaken by the former PAGES working group LUCIFS in regards to the interpretation of catchment behavior (hydrological and sediment cycles), this theme contributed to other Focus 4 themes, PAGES Foci (e.g., Focus 2), IHOPE and the Global Land Project (GLP).