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Fluvial system response to external forcing and human impact – Late Pleistocene and Holocene fluvial dynamics of the lower Guadalete River in western Andalucía (Spain)

Författare och institution:
Daniel Wolf (-); Andrea Seim (Institutionen för geovetenskaper); Dominik Faust (-)
Publicerad i:
Boreas, 43 ( 2 ) s. 422-449
Artikel, forskningsöversikt
Sammanfattning (abstract):
The 170 km long river course of the Guadalete River (western Andalucía) provides an excellent record of Late Pleistocene and Holocene fluvial sedimentation dynamics. Furthermore, its floodplain sediments are very well suited to describe geomorphic changes forced by climate fluctuations, sea-level changes, tectonic influences and human activity. Multiproxy investigations were based on field mapping and the study of 18 profile sections, mainly including sedimentological characterisation, soil-chemical analyses and radiocarbon dating of 34 samples. Findings were complemented by drillings and electrical resistivity tomography. The lowermost 50 km of the river section are divided into an upper and lower part (each 25 km long), based on different sediment preservation conditions. The boundary corresponds to the disappearance of the Late Pleistocene river terrace. Significant floodplain aggradation occurred at around 10 000 cal. years BP, while dynamics were strongly affected by sea-level fluctuations until the early Holocene. Furthermore, sedimentation starting at 8000, 6100, 4600, 2200, 900 and 400 cal. years BP is related to enhanced fluvial dynamics due to environmental stress that presumably was triggered by climate fluctuations, that is, aridification. However, the strongest intensity of sedimentation at 400 cal. years BP points to climate anomalies in the course of the Little Ice Age. In contrast, several periods of stability associated with alluvial soil formation took place during the Bølling and Allerød interstadials, prior to 8000, 6100 and 5100, and after 4300 and 2000 cal. years BP. The anthropogenic signal in floodplain evolution is not clearly distinguishable from that of climate. However, human land use had the potential to amplify geomorphic processes, especially during periods of climate deteriorations that caused increasing stress on the environment.
Ämne (baseras på Högskoleverkets indelning av forskningsämnen):
Geovetenskap och miljövetenskap
Postens nummer:
Posten skapad:
2013-11-13 16:08
Posten ändrad:
2014-06-26 11:19

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