The paleoecology and depositional environments of the McClelland sandpit site, Douglas, Georgia

Tracy Zayac, Fredrick J. Rich, Lee Ann Newsom

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26 Scopus citations


Evidence from the Atlantic Coastal Plain of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina shows that, beginning about 25,000 years ago and extending up until about 4,000 years BP, alternating periods of wet and dry climate typified the Southeast. Palynological evidence from a number of sites in several southeastern states suggests that prairie-like vegetation was dominant in this region during the mid-Holocene, particularly; this is believed to be indicative of arid conditions during that time. Differences in the paleoclimate and vegetation would have had significant impacts on the landscape morphology of the Southeast. Evidence of these physical, environmental, and biological changes has been preserved at the McClelland sandpit site in southeastern Georgia. The depositional events recorded at the site were active during the mid-Holocene dry period known as the Hypsithermal. The flora of the site was characterized by prairie, or southern pine savannah. Two generations of pine trees are preserved at the McClelland site. These were inundated with coarse, angular quartz sand beginning around 7000 years ago. We hypothesize that this may have been the result of a stream channel that became avulsed, spilling its coarse bedload across the landscape. The site was finally covered by an essentially structureless aeolian dune deposit, the accumulation of which is consistent with coeval dune activity across the Southeast during the Hypsithermal. The most recent period of landscape evolution, which resulted in the burial of worked flint flakes, might have been approximately 2000-3000 years ago.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-272
Number of pages14
JournalSoutheastern Geology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geology


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