Abstract

Palynological data are presented for a basaltic soil from an archaeological site in northern New Zealand. The profile encompasses two successive soils at the base of Pouerua crater where the initial soil was buried during an erosion and depositional event. The soils have not been disturbed directly by people, and mixing by bioturbating invertebrates has been minimal resulting in a crude stratification of percolated pollen and microscopic charcoal. Forest in the base of the crater escaped the large-scale anthropogenic burning on the outer slopes of the cone and its surrounds indicated by earlier studies. Despite high soil porosity in a humid climate at Pouerua, the rate of pollen percolation in the crater soils is low, occurring at < 1 cm in 17.86 years (< 0.056 cm per year). These preliminary results show that soils with high infiltration rates in humid climates are potentially stratified and thus useful in providing records of local environments.

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