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    Architecture of channel-belt deposits in an aggrading shallow sandbed braided river: the lower Niobrara River, northeast Nebraska

    Skelly, R.L. and Bristow, Charles and Ethridge, F.G. (2003) Architecture of channel-belt deposits in an aggrading shallow sandbed braided river: the lower Niobrara River, northeast Nebraska. Sedimentary Geology 158 (3-4), pp. 249-270. ISSN 0037-0738.

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    Abstract

    Architecture of recent channel-belt deposits of the Niobrara River, northeast Nebraska, USA, records the response of a sandy braided river to rapid base-level rise. Up to 3 m of aggradation has occurred within the lower 14 km of the Niobrara River since the mid-1950s as a result of base-level rise at the confluence of the Niobrara and Missouri Rivers. Aerial photographs and channel surveys indicate that the lower Niobrara has evolved from a relatively deep, stable channel with large, bank-attached braid bars to a relatively shallow, aggrading channel with braid bars and smaller secondary channels. Architecture of channel-belt deposits associated with the recent aggradation has been defined using ground-penetrating radar (GPR) and vibracores. The channel-belt deposits exhibit a series of amalgamated channel fills and braid bar complexes (i.e., macroforms). Radar facies identified in the GPR data represent architectural elements of the braid bar complexes, large and small bedforms [two-dimensional (2-D) and three-dimensional (3-D) dunes], and channels. Individual braid bars appear to consist of basal high-flow and upper low-flow components. Preservation of the complete, high-flow bar geometry is generally incomplete due to frequent migration of smaller scale, secondary channels within the channel belt (i.e., braided channel network) at low discharges. The large-scale stratification of the braid bar deposits is dominated by cross-channel and upstream accretion. Elements of downstream accretion are also recognized. These accretion geometries have not been documented previously in similar sandy braided rivers. Braid bar deposits with low-flow modification (e.g., incision by secondary channels) are recognized in the deeper portions of the deposits imaged by GPR. Preservation of braid bars, with both high- and low-flow components, is a result of the rapid base-level rise and channel-bed aggradation experienced by the Niobrara River over the past 45 years. Recent avulsion of the river channel allowed preservation of the upper, low-flow component of the braid bar deposits (i.e., bar-top sequences). The relative abundance and stratigraphic position of the amalgamated channels and braid bar complexes within the channel-belt deposits constitute a “signature” of the recent base-level rise.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Science > Earth and Planetary Sciences
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2019 10:50
    Last Modified: 25 Jun 2019 10:50
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/27925

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