Characterisation of the Rota Wewa tank cascade system in the vicinity of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

  • Brigitta Schütt Freie Universität Berlin, Department of Earth Sciences, Physical Geography, Malteserstr. 74-100, 12249 Berlin
  • Wiebke Bebermeier Freie Universität Berlin, Department of Earth Sciences, Physical Geography, Malteserstr. 74-100, 12249 Berlin
  • Julia Meister Freie Universität Berlin, Department of Earth Sciences, Physical Geography, Malteserstr. 74-100, 12249 Berlin
  • Chandana Rohana Withanachchi Department of Humanities, Archaeology and Heritage Management, Rajarata University, Mihintale

Abstract

A complex and sustainable watershed management strategy was implemented in Sri Lanka during the ancient Anuradhapura
period, from the 5th century BC to the 11th century AD. Like modern watershed management strategies, it focused on flood prevention, soil erosion control, water quality control and water storage for irrigation. Tank cascade systems were the key element of these ancient watershed management installations. The wewas investigated were constructed in valleys characterised by fluvial accumulation. Sedimentological analyses of these tank cascade systems show that a precise age determination and the reconstruction of sediment and water f luxes as triggered by human-environment interactions are difficult. This is caused by the
shallow character of the wewas leading to the steady redeposition of the tank sediments by wave motions during the wet season and agricultural use of the desiccated wewas during the dry season. Beyond, the sediments analysed allow to distinguish between the weathered parent bedrock and the overlying sediments. A differentiation between wewa deposits and the underlying fluvial deposits remains challenging.
How to Cite
Schütt, B., Bebermeier, W., Meister, J., & Withanachchi, C. R. (1). Characterisation of the Rota Wewa tank cascade system in the vicinity of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. DIE ERDE – Journal of the Geographical Society of Berlin, 144(1), 51-68. https://doi.org/10.12854/erde-144-4
Section
Research articles