Current Abstract

November 13, 2018 Dinner Meeting Abstract

“Geological Assessment of Submerged Landforms off the Pacific Coast: Implications for Archaeological Resources”


Presented by: Dr. Jillian Maloney, Geological Sciences Department at San Diego State University


Off the Pacific Coast of North America, rising postglacial sea levels have submerged a vast paleolandscape on the modern continental shelf that almost certainly contains submerged prehistoric terrestrial archaeological resources. High-resolution geophysical mapping and sediment coring were conducted in two study areas to identify submerged geological landforms that may contain cultural resources. The study sites are located on the platform offshore from the Northern Channel Islands, California, and along the continental shelf off the central Oregon Coast. To date, the geophysical data interpretation has revealed submerged paleoshorelines, several paleochannels with variable morphology, and tectonic structures that influence shelf morphology and drainage patterns. This project relates to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) responsibility for monitoring and mitigating adverse impacts that might be associated with offshore energy development. The data collected for this project will be used to evaluate the survey guidelines and avoidance criteria for prehistoric archaeological and paleontological resources that may be adversely affected by conventional or renewable energy development. The data will also be used to generate a geospatial model for the continental shelf to assess the likelihood of certain regions containing cultural resources.


Jillian Maloney is an Assistant Professor in the Geological Sciences Department at San Diego State University. She received her B.S. in Geological Sciences from the University of Southern California and her Ph.D. from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She also worked in environmental consulting and as a postdoctoral researcher at Louisiana State University. Using both geologic and geophysical datasets, Dr. Maloney seeks to understand tectonic deformation and sediment processes along continental margins. Her research has focused on offshore neotectonics, paleoseismology, and landslide dynamics in both tectonically active and passive settings. She has also worked collaboratively with archaeologists and biologists to assess geologic controls on submerged cultural resources and biohabitat distributions.


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