Towards a budget approach to Pleistocene terraces: preliminary studies using the River Exe in South West England, UK

A. G. Brown, L. S. Basell, P. S. Toms, R. C. Scrivener

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    15 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This paper presents a first approach to using a sediment budget methodology for paired terrace staircase sediments in SW England. Although a budget approach has become firmly established in Holocene fluvial studies, it has not been used in Pleistocene sequences due to the problems of temporal resolution, catchment changes and downstream loss from the system. However, this paper uses a budget approach in a paired non-glaciated basin, primarily as a method of interrogating the terrace record concerning the degree of reworking and new sediment input required to produce the reconstructed terrace sequences. In order to apply a budget approach a number of assumptions have to be made and these are justified in the paper. The results suggest that the Exe system can most parsimoniously be explained principally by the reworking of a Middle Pleistocene floodplain system with relatively little input of new resistant clasts required and a cascade-type model in geomorphological terms. Whilst this maybe partially a result of the specific geology of the catchment, it is likely to be representative of many Pleistocene terrace systems in NW Europe due to their litho-tectonic similarities. This cascade-type model of terrace formation has archaeological implications and sets the context for the Palaeolithic terrace record in the UK. Future work will involve the testing of this and similar budget models using a combination of landscape modelling and chronometric dating. ?? 2009 The Geologists' Association.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)275-281
    Number of pages7
    JournalProceedings of the Geologists' Association
    Volume120
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

    Keywords

    • Aggregates
    • Cascading systems
    • Palaeolithic archaeology
    • River terraces
    • Sediment budgets
    • Terrace staircases

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  • Activities

    • 1 Participation in workshop, seminar, course

    Quaternary of the Exe Catchment and the Blackdown Hills

    Laura Basell (Organiser), & Antony G. Brown (Organiser)

    18 Apr 201120 Apr 2011

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

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