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Type: Thesis
Title: Environmental history of the Willunga Basin 1830s to 1990s
Author: Newman, Lareen A.
Issue Date: 1994
School/Discipline: School of Social Sciences
Abstract: Environmental History is a relatively new field of study which seeks to establish historic trends relative to environmental change and to use the insight gained to assist future management. As yet there are few such Australian studies on a detailed regional basis. The Willunga Basin is an important region within South Australia in physical, economic and social terms, but it currently experiences a variety of environmental problems, including a minimal amount of native vegetation, winter flooding and gully erosion. It was perceived that these problems could benefit from some knowledge of the area's environmental history. Therefore , using a range of sources and methods, historical trends were established in the key aspects of rainfall, surface and groundwater drainage, gully erosion, vegetation , population, settlement and land use, and these trends were t hen compiled to provide this Environmental History of the Willunga Basin from t he 1830s to the 1990s. It was ascertained that the Willunga Basin environment had changed significantly in some respects since -the first Europeans moved into the area in the 1830s. The nature, timing and magnitude of various changes were compared to provide some explanation of the contemporary environmental problems. These were found to have resulted from both human and non- human forces. Although one significant non-human change was a long-term decline in average annual rainfall over the 155 years from 1839 to 1993, European land use activities introduced since settlement in 1840 had often combined with natural processes and events to produce change. Extensive and intensive land use changes had made the environment more susceptible to change or had accelerated natural change in a particular direction.
Dissertation Note: Thesis (B.A.(Hons.)) -- University of Adelaide, Dept. of Geography, 1994
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