Sources for a historical geography of forest fires. Some methodological considerations

Virginia Carracedo Martín, Raquel Cunill Artigas, Juan Carlos García Codron, Albert Pèlachs Mañosa, Ramon Pérez Obiol, Joan Manuel Soriano López

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


© 2017, University of Granada. All rights reserved. Fire plays an essential role in the configuration of the mountain landscapes. However, our knowledge of its incidence over time is very fragmentary and often based on a small number of sources. In order to explore their limitations and complementarity, we discuss the results of some analytical techniques (study of sedimentary charcoal, pollen, pedoanthracology, levoglucosan and isotopes of lead and heavy metals collected in peatlands for periods ranging up to Lateglacial) with information from historical archives, newspapers and climate and forest fires databases (which provide information up to the fifteenth, nineteenth and mid-twentieth respectively).The results prove the complementarity of the different techniques and their combination mitigates some of their individual limitations. The most recent, accurate and reliable data facilitate the interpretation of the former which, in turn, are necessary for the understanding of long-term processes, generating useful feedbacks for the reconstruction of the historical geography of the fire sand to understand the role they have played in the installation of the current vegetation cover.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-89
JournalCuadernos Geograficos
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Geohistorical and palaeoenvironmental sources
  • History of forest fires
  • Holocene

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