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    Limits to resolving catastrophic events in the Quaternary fluvial record: a case study from the Nene valley, Northamptonshire, UK

    Briant, Rebecca M. and Gibbard, P.L. and Boreham, S. and Coope, G.R. and Preece, R.C. (2008) Limits to resolving catastrophic events in the Quaternary fluvial record: a case study from the Nene valley, Northamptonshire, UK. Geological Society, London, Special Publication 296 (1), pp. 79-104. ISSN 0305-8719.

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    Abstract

    Flood events within rivers are responsible for much erosion and deposition. Thus, deposits laid down during floods could potentially comprise the bulk of the Quaternary fluvial record. However, it is difficult to detect individual flood events, as effectively illustrated by the Middle Devensian (Weichselian) to Holocene fluvial sequence from the Nene Valley, Northamptonshire, described in this paper. This is due to limits in the resolution of sedimentological, palaeontological and geochronological techniques. Geochronological techniques have the highest resolution, but error bars of c. 50 years (radiocarbon) and up to 2 ka (optically stimulated luminescence) in the Late-glacial do not allow detection of floods lasting only a few weeks or less. Geochronology is, however, essential for linking periods of fluvial deposition to climatic phases at the marine isotope substage scale. Thus, multiple age determinations show remnant Middle Devensian deposits within a facies association mainly of Younger Dryas age, showing similar fluvial response to climate during both time periods. Palaeontological assemblages suggest that climate was also similar, although with some subtle differences. Determining ‘average’ fluvial activity in response to broad climate phases improves understanding of how rivers behave over long time periods, even though determination of the role of flood events in the Quaternary fluvial record remains elusive.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Geography, Environment and Development Studies
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2012 09:37
    Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:23
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/4986

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