HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Volcanic soils yield new clues about the emergence of powerful chiefdoms in Hawaii

and they were the greatest navigators of their era," said Peter Vitousek, a professor of biological sciences at Stanford University and lead author of the Science study. "But another way they were equally great was that they were fantastic farmers. They were able to develop and sustain intensive agricultural systems in tropical environments that are very difficult to farm."

Volcanic history

The idea that volcanoes played a crucial role in early Hawaiian agriculture should come as no surprise. After all, the Hawaiian archipelago is actually a chain of volcanoes that has been forming for more than 30 million years.

The volcanic islands are created when the Pacific tectonic plate slowly passes over a region of hot magma located deep in the Earth's mantle. As a result, the islands get progressively younger as you move from west to east. Kauai, in the western end of the chain, emerged some 4.7 million years ago, followed by O'ahu, Moloka'i, Maui and the newest island, Hawai'i, where the magma hotspot continues to produce lava from Kilauea Volcano.

Spectacular rainfall

In the Science study, Vitousek and his co-authors focused on Kohala a comparatively young volcano on the northwest tip of the island of Hawaii. Early Polynesians created a vast agricultural complex on the volcano's southwest flank, where they raised sweet potatoes and other dryland crops. Remnants of long-abandoned fields including rows of earthen walls once used as windbreaks are still visible on the 25-square-mile site, most of which is now on private ranchland.

Kohalas last eruption occurred about 150,000 years ago long before the Polynesians arrived. "Human settlement and farming in the region began [around] 1200 to 1300 A.D, and the most intensive farming probably took place in 1400 to 1800 A.D," the authors wrote. Standing nearly 5,400 feet above sea level, Kohala Volcano is a place of extremes, experiencing "what may be the most
'"/>

Contact: Mark Shwartz
mshwartz@stanford.edu
650-723-9296
Stanford University
10-Jun-2004


Page: 1 2 3 4 5

Related biology news :

1. Volcanic ash detector boosts air safety
2. Ancient Volcanic Cataclysms Discovered In The Indian Ocean
3. Ancient Antarctic Environment Rocked By Volcanic Eruptions
4. Ancient Volcanic Winter Tied To Rapid Genetic Divergence In Humans
5. Potential for enhanced sequestration of carbon in soils supports evaluations
6. Using soils as filters to prevent crypto from moving to the groundwater
7. A new hope for heavy metal contaminated soils
8. Accelerated global warming from nutrient shortages for trees and soils
9. Study shows prions stick around in certain soils
10. Increasing nitrogen in Earths soils may signal global changes, say U. of Colorado researchers
11. Duke experiment hints that not much extra carbon dioxide will be locked up in future forests wood or soils

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:11/21/2016)... , Nov. 21, 2016   Neurotechnology , ... recognition technologies, today announced that the MegaMatcher On ... was submitted for the NIST Minutiae Interoperability ... all the mandatory steps of the evaluation protocol. ... a continuing test of fingerprint templates used to ...
(Date:11/16/2016)... , Nov. 16, 2016 Sensory Inc ... and security for consumer electronics, and VeriTran ... and retail industry, today announced a global partnership ... way to authenticate users of mobile banking and ... TrulySecure™ software which requires no specialized biometric ...
(Date:11/14/2016)... , Nov. 14, 2016  Based ... identification market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes FST ... Sullivan Award for Visionary Innovation Leadership. FST ... the biometric identification market by pioneering In ... solution for instant, seamless, and non-invasive verification. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)...  Renova™ Therapeutics, a biotechnology company developing gene ... 2 diabetes, announced that it has obtained a ... vector developed in the laboratory of Professor ... The company plans to use this vector in ... "Early research has shown promise ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Opal Kelly, a ... device-to-computer interconnect using USB or PCI Express, announced the FOMD-ACV-A4, the company's first ... a small, thin, SODIMM-style module that fits a standard 204-pin SODIMM socket for ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , Dec. 8, 2016  Anaconda BioMed S.L., ... development of the next generation neuro-thrombectomy system for the ... of Tudor G. Jovin, MD to join its Scientific ... as a strategic network of scientific and clinical experts ... development of the ANCD BRAIN ® to its ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Microbial genomics ... Awards. uBiome is one of just six company finalists in the Health & ... to uBiome, companies nominated as finalists in this year’s awards include Google, SpaceX, ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: