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Geomorphology and Geoarchaeology of Musashino upland

Musashino upland is my main field of research. Here I show basics of geomorphology and geoarchaeology of Musashino upland with some illustrations.

1)Musashino upland: location and geography
 Musashino upland is at southwest of Kanto Plain, central of Honshu I. (The main Island of Japan). It covers most of Tokyo Metropolis and southwestern part of Saitama Pref. It is connected with eastern foot of Kanto Range in west, separated from other part of Kanto Plain by Iruma-gawa R., Arakawa R., Tokyo Lowland and Tokyo Bay, Tamagawa R.. (see google map: new window)
a0186568_9552430.jpg
 This map is generated by Kashmir3D with 50mDEM distributed by GSI-JAPAN.


2)Geomorphology of Musashino upland
Present landform of almost part of Musashino upland is based on alluvial fan, flood plain and delta of extended palaeo-Tamagawa R. during MIS-5.
a0186568_1021779.jpg
This map shows 10m contour lines by 50m DEM of GSI-JAPAN and river valley and lowlands from 1:25 000 land use map (xml datum by JPGIS1.0).
Contour lines in western part represent fan form. Meandering pattern of valleys in central and eastern part indicate area of flood plain.
However almost meandering valleys in central part are just as depression without any stream, only occasional flood after heavy rain at present. It means, the hydrological setting of central part of Musashino upland is very poor.


3)Land utilization history: view from archaeological sites distribution
Overlying archaeological sites distribution according to Tokyo Metropolitan Archaeological Sites Map (only in Japanese). *Notice: blank area at northern part is... not worked yet. Now I'm generating sites distribution map of Saitama Prefecture.
a0186568_1020126.jpg
There are so many clusters of sites along small valleys within Musashino upland. Most clusters are stratified, from Upper Palaeolithic, Jomon to Ancient and Medieval Age. Continuity of settlement area indicate particular trend to demand water resources from streams. However in south-central part of the upland, there are less sites, settlements because of poor hydrological setting. There are only sparse distribution of small sites, no settlements. This settlement pattern had continued from Jomon Age till construction of Tamagawa-josui canal in 1772. Musashi Denen Bo, book of geography edited under Tokugawa Shogunate in 1649-50 said 'There is no village, only grassland for 24km after Tanashi station...' After construction of Tamagawa-josui and its branches, widely development (so-called 'Shin'den-kaihatsu') had started and this are was transformed into farming village, from uninhabited land.
In north of blank area, there are another clusters of sites and settlements. These are along Yanase-gawa R. and Kurome-gawa R. Valley of these two rivers are clearly shown in the first map. It indicates that these two river valleys had deep incised after sea level reducing during MIS-3. Both sides of valley are steep cliff lines. Underflow water of alluvial fan are reappeared here. So along these two rivers, settlements concentrated and continued.

4)Profile of Musashino upland
This is a profile of Musashino upland of A-B line in above map, generated byKashmir 3D, with 50mDEM by GSI-JAPAN.
a0186568_10441640.jpg
The watershed is around 4.5km post. It is close to Kokubunji cliff line which dissects the upper Musahino terrace and the lower Tachikawa terrace. The basement of Musashino upland is inclined to north. Shallow valley, such as Sengawa R. is remnant of relatively high sea-level period of MIS-5. Deeper incised Kurome-gawa River valley was formed during MIS-3. Very steep Kokubunji cliff line was formed by the largest see-level down in LGM.
Another important fact is the location of Tamagawa-josui canal. It is constructed along the highest point in the upland. So it could redistribute its water resources for both north and south of watershed. It is really incredible carrying out great construction without areal survey in the Late Feudal Age.

On these background, now I'm working on detail geomorphology and its concerning with long-term continuity or changing on settlement pattern. My another project 'Jomon regional' is of course a part of this working.
[PR]
by asiansophia | 2011-08-19 11:27 | Archaeology(English)