The Late Quaternary geomorphology and stratigraphy of the Big Fork River valley, within the Rainy River basin of northern Minnesota, reveals evidence of prehistoric human interaction with late Holocene riverine environments. By 11000 14C B.P., deglaciation made the region inhabitable by human groups using Clovis artifacts. Human habitation would also have been possible during the Moorhead low water stage of glacial Lake Agassiz, starting at 10500 14C B.P. Near its confluence with the Rainy River, the valley floor of the Big Fork valley consists of a floodplain complex and two terraces. The multi-component stratified Hannaford site is situated within the active floodplain. Overbank deposits contain artifacts in primary context, while artifacts within the point bar deposits are in secondary archaeological context; these deposits are associated with changing alluvial settings as the river moved eastward. Aggradation of the valley fill beneath the lowest surface (T0, floodplain complex) began by 3000 years ago and is associated with human activities focused on seasonal fishing and the use of riparian resources from 1300 to 650 14C B.P.
This is an author-produced, peer-reviewed version of this article. The final, definitive version of this document can be found online at Geological Society Special Publication(GEOBASE), published by Geological Society (UK). Copyright restrictions may apply. DOI: 10.1144/SP352.9
Hill, Christopher; Rapp, George (Rip); and Jing, Zhichun. (2011). "Alluvial Stratigraphy and Geoarchaeology in the Big Fork River Valley, Minnesota: Human Response to Late Holocene Environmental Change". Geological Society Special Publication(GEOBASE), 352109-124.