Special Issue "Special External Effects on Fluvial System Evolution"

A special issue of Quaternary (ISSN 2571-550X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 July 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Jef Vandenberghe

Associate Editor
Dept. of Earth Sciences, VU University, De Boelelaan 1085, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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Interests: geomorphology; sedimentology of river and wind deposits; palaeoclimatological reconstructions; palaeo-ecology; (former) periglacial (permafrost) and monsoonal environments
Guest Editor
Prof. David R. Bridgland

Department of Geography, Durham University, Lower Mountjoy, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Quaternary stratigraphy and envionments, especially of fluvial affinity; Lower and Middle Palaeolithic archaeology; Earth science conservation
Guest Editor
Dr. Xianyan Wang

School of Geographic and Oceanographic Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China
Website | E-Mail
Interests: climatic and tectonic impact on fluvial morphology and fluvial environments

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Rivers are excellent witnesses of the dynamics affecting the Earth’s surface environments. They are highly sensitive to climate change, base-level change, tectonic movements and human influence. In addition, the complexity of this external forcing to fluvial dynamics has to be supplemented with internal mechanisms. Fortunately, rivers are reliable recorders of these dynamics via their sedimentary products and morphological expression, which may be considered as fluvial archives.

Until now there was a focus on evaluating the general impacts of individual external factors. However, specific environmental characteristics of these factors have been shown to be increasingly important by recent case studies. For example, the effects of regional climate, differentiated topography and vegetation, and frozen ground appears to play an essential role in the evolution of the fluvial system. Integration of such environmental conditions in the processes that were active within the complex fluvial system will open new perspectives in the progressive understanding of the evolution of landscape form, ecology, sediment fluxes and hydrology of the system, within the framework of external drivers, such as tectonics, general climate and human activity. This is an appealing challenge that we want to address in the present Special Issue under the aegis of the Fluvial Archives Group (FLAG) under the title “Special External Effects on Fluvial System Evolution”.

Prof. Jef Vandenberghe
Prof. David R. Bridgland
Dr. Xianyan Wang
Guest Editors

 

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • fluvial archive
  • fluvial evolution
  • fluvial system

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Specific Exogenetic (External) and Endogenetic (Internal) Effects on Fluvial System Evolution
Quaternary 2018, 1(3), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/quat1030027
Received: 18 November 2018 / Accepted: 21 November 2018 / Published: 26 November 2018
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Abstract
A collection of papers appears under the title “Special External Effects on Fluvial System Evolution” in the journal, Quaternary. This is a new Special Issue under the aegis of the Fluvial Archives Group (FLAG), illustrating the recent progress made in paleo-fluvial research.
[...] Read more.
A collection of papers appears under the title “Special External Effects on Fluvial System Evolution” in the journal, Quaternary. This is a new Special Issue under the aegis of the Fluvial Archives Group (FLAG), illustrating the recent progress made in paleo-fluvial research. These papers highlight the high complexity of the external forcing of fluvial dynamics, and especially, the combined results of several interfering variables. In addition, it appears that the study of fluvial archives cannot be limited to the general and direct effects of external variables, but it also has to include the indirect influences that are regionally variable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Special External Effects on Fluvial System Evolution)

Research

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Open AccessArticle Climatically-Controlled River Terraces in Eastern Australia
Quaternary 2018, 1(3), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/quat1030023
Received: 23 August 2018 / Revised: 12 October 2018 / Accepted: 13 October 2018 / Published: 16 October 2018
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Abstract
In the tectonically stable rivers of eastern Australia, changes in response to sediment supply and flow regime are likely driven by both regional climatic (allogenic) factors and intrinsic (autogenic) geomorphic controls. Contentious debate has ensued as to which is the dominant factor in
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In the tectonically stable rivers of eastern Australia, changes in response to sediment supply and flow regime are likely driven by both regional climatic (allogenic) factors and intrinsic (autogenic) geomorphic controls. Contentious debate has ensued as to which is the dominant factor in the evolution of valley floors and the formation of late Quaternary terraces preserved along many coastal streams. Preliminary chronostratigraphic data from river terraces along four streams in subtropical Southeast Queensland (SEQ), Australia, indicate regionally synchronous terrace abandonment between 7.5–10.8 ka. All optically stimulated luminescence ages are within 1σ error and yield a mean age of incision at 9.24 ± 0.93 ka. Limited samples of the upper parts of the inset floodplains from three of the four streams yield near-surface ages of 600–500 years. Terrace sediments consist of vertically accreted fine sandy silts to cohesive clays, while top stratum of the floodplains are comprised of clay loams to fine-medium sands. The inundation frequency of these alluvial surfaces depends on their specific valley setting. In narrow valley settings, where floodplains comprise <5% of the valley floor, terraces are inundated between the 20 and 50-year annual exceedance probability (AEP) flood, while in wide settings (floodplains >20%), the terraces are no longer inundated. Floodplain inundation frequencies also vary between these settings by an order of magnitude between 5- to 50-year AEP, respectively. The correlation of terrace abandonment within SEQ with fluvial and palaeoenvironmental records elsewhere in the subtropics, and more broadly across eastern Australia, are an indication that terrace abandonment has primarily been driven by climatic forcing. Contemporaneous channel incision in the early Holocene may have been driven by an increasingly warmer and wetter environment in SEQ, with a climate commensurate with the delivery of more extreme weather events. Following channel incision, many streams in SEQ have been largely confined to their entrenched “macrochannel” form that remains preserved within the valley floor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Special External Effects on Fluvial System Evolution)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle River Systems and the Anthropocene: A Late Pleistocene and Holocene Timeline for Human Influence
Quaternary 2018, 1(3), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/quat1030021
Received: 15 June 2018 / Revised: 18 September 2018 / Accepted: 28 September 2018 / Published: 4 October 2018
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Abstract
Rivers are central to debate about the Anthropocene because many human activities from antiquity focused on channels and floodplains. A literature compilation for the onset of human modification of rivers identifies six stages that represent key innovations focused in the Near East and
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Rivers are central to debate about the Anthropocene because many human activities from antiquity focused on channels and floodplains. A literature compilation for the onset of human modification of rivers identifies six stages that represent key innovations focused in the Near East and adjoining areas: (1) minimal effects before about 15,000 cal yr BP, with the use of fire and gathering of plants and aquatic resources; (2) minor effects from increased cultivation after about 15,000 cal yr BP, with plant and animal domestication after about 10,700 cal yr BP; (3) agricultural era after about 9800 cal yr BP, with legacy sediments, widespread fire use, the first dams and irrigation, and mud-brick manufacture; (4) irrigation era from about 6500 cal yr BP, with large-scale irrigation, major cities, the first large dam, urban water supplies, expanded groundwater use, river fleets, and alluvial mining; (5) engineering era with embankments, dams, and watermills after about 3000 cal yr BP, especially in the Chinese and Roman empires; and (6) technological era after about 1800 CE. Anthropogenic river effects were more varied and intense than commonly has been recognised, and they should be considered routinely in interpreting Late Pleistocene and Holocene fluvial archives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Special External Effects on Fluvial System Evolution)
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Open AccessArticle Episodic Sedimentary Evolution of an Alluvial Fan (Huangshui Catchment, NE Tibetan Plateau)
Quaternary 2018, 1(2), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/quat1020016
Received: 5 July 2018 / Revised: 23 August 2018 / Accepted: 23 August 2018 / Published: 3 September 2018
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Abstract
Alluvial-fan successions record changes in hydrological processes and environments that may reflect tectonic activity, climate conditions and changes, intrinsic geomorphic changes, or combinations of these factors. Here, we focus on the evolution of a stream-dominated fan in a tectonic depression of the Xining
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Alluvial-fan successions record changes in hydrological processes and environments that may reflect tectonic activity, climate conditions and changes, intrinsic geomorphic changes, or combinations of these factors. Here, we focus on the evolution of a stream-dominated fan in a tectonic depression of the Xining basin of China, laid down under a semi-arid climate in the northeastern Tibetan Plateau (NETP). The fan succession is composed of three facies associations, from bottom to top: (1) matrix to clast-supported, poorly sorted, planar cross-stratified to crudely stratified sheets of coarse-grained sediments; (2) horizontal laminated sand, laminated layers of reddish fine silt and yellow coarse silt with stacked mounds of sand; and (3) clay-rich deposits with incipient paleosols. The succession shows rapid sediment aggradation from high-energy to low-energy alluvial fans and finally to a floodplain. The dating results using optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) method show that a gravelly, high-energy fan was deposited during MIS 6, after which a low-energy fan, mainly composed of sand and silt, was deposited and finally covered by flood loam during the MIS 6–5 transition and the warmer last interglacial. Stacked sand mounds are interpreted from their sediment structure and grain-size distribution as shrub-coppice dunes in low-energy fan deposits. They may be considered as a response to the interaction of alluvial and aeolian processes in a semi-arid environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Special External Effects on Fluvial System Evolution)
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Open AccessArticle Anatomy, Age and Origin of an Intramontane Top Basin Surface (Sorbas Basin, Betic Cordillera, SE Spain)
Quaternary 2018, 1(2), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/quat1020015
Received: 29 June 2018 / Revised: 17 August 2018 / Accepted: 22 August 2018 / Published: 24 August 2018
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Abstract
Collisional mountain belts commonly develop intramontane basins from mechanical and isostatic subsidence during orogenic development. These frequently display a relict top surface, evidencing a change interval from basin infilling to erosion often via capture or overspill. Such surfaces provide markers that inform on
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Collisional mountain belts commonly develop intramontane basins from mechanical and isostatic subsidence during orogenic development. These frequently display a relict top surface, evidencing a change interval from basin infilling to erosion often via capture or overspill. Such surfaces provide markers that inform on orogenic growth patterns via climate and base level interplay. Here, we describe the top surface from the Sorbas Basin, a key intramontane basin within the Betic Cordillera (SE Spain). The surface is fragmentary comprising high elevation hilltops and discontinuous ridges developed onto the variably deformed final basin infill outcrop (Gochar Formation). We reconstruct surface configuration using DEM interpolation and apply 10Be/26Al cosmonuclides to assess surface formation timing. The surface is a degraded Early Pleistocene erosional pediment developed via autogenic switching of alluvial fan streams under stable dryland climate and base level conditions. Base-level lowering since the Middle Pleistocene focused headwards incision up interfan drainages, culminating in fan head capture and fan morphological preservation within the abandoned surface. Post abandonment erosion has lowered the basin surface by 31 m (average) and removed ~5.95 km3 of fill. Regional basin comparisons reveal a phase of Early Pleistocene surface formation, marking landscape stability following the most recent Pliocene-Early Pleistocene mountain building. Post-surface erosion rate quantification is low and in accordance with 10Be denudation rates typical of the low uplift Betic Cordillera. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Special External Effects on Fluvial System Evolution)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Specifying the External Impact on Fluvial Lowland Evolution: The Last Glacial Tisza (Tisa) Catchment in Hungary and Serbia
Quaternary 2018, 1(2), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/quat1020014
Received: 26 June 2018 / Revised: 8 August 2018 / Accepted: 9 August 2018 / Published: 16 August 2018
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Abstract
External impact on the development of fluvial systems is generally exerted by changes in sea level, climate and tectonic movements. In this study, it is shown that a regional to local differentiation of fluvial response may be caused by semi-direct effects of climate
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External impact on the development of fluvial systems is generally exerted by changes in sea level, climate and tectonic movements. In this study, it is shown that a regional to local differentiation of fluvial response may be caused by semi-direct effects of climate change and tectonic movement; for example, vegetation cover, frozen soil, snow cover and longitudinal gradient. Such semi-direct effects may be responsible for specific fluvial activity resulting in specific drainage patterns, sedimentation series and erosion–accumulation rates. These conclusions are exemplified by the study of the fluvial archives of the Tis(z)a catchment in the Pannonian Basin in Hungary and Serbia from the middle of the last glacial to the Pleistocene–Holocene transition. Previous investigations in that catchment are supplemented here by new geomorphological–sedimentological data and OSL-dating. Specific characteristics of this catchment in comparison with other regions are the preponderance of meandering systems during the last glacial and the presence of very large meanders in given time intervals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Special External Effects on Fluvial System Evolution)
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Review

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Open AccessReview The Influence of Crustal Properties on Patterns of Quaternary Fluvial Stratigraphy in Eurasia
Quaternary 2018, 1(3), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/quat1030028
Received: 3 August 2018 / Revised: 15 November 2018 / Accepted: 19 November 2018 / Published: 5 December 2018
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Abstract
Compilation of empirical data on river-terrace sequences from across Eurasia during successive International Geoscience Programme (IGCP) projects revealed marked contrasts between the records from different crustal provinces, notably between the East European Platform (EEP) and the Caledonian/Variscan/Alpine provinces of western/central Europe. Well-developed terrace
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Compilation of empirical data on river-terrace sequences from across Eurasia during successive International Geoscience Programme (IGCP) projects revealed marked contrasts between the records from different crustal provinces, notably between the East European Platform (EEP) and the Caledonian/Variscan/Alpine provinces of western/central Europe. Well-developed terrace staircases, often indicative of hundreds of metres of Late Cenozoic uplift/fluvial incision, are preserved in many parts of the European continent, especially westward of the EEP. In contrast, rivers within the EEP have extensive sedimentary archives that are not preserved as terrace staircases; instead, they form sets of laterally accreted sediment packages, never more than a few tens of metres above or below modern river level. There are parallels in Asia, albeit that the crust of the Asian continent has a greater proportion of tectonically active zones, at one extreme, and stable platforms/cratons at the other. The observed patterns point strongly to the mobility of lower-crustal material within younger provinces, where the continental crust is significantly hotter, as a key part of the mechanism driving the progressive uplift that has led to valley incision and the formation of river terraces: a process of erosional isostasy with lower-crustal flow as a positive-feedback driver. The contrast between these different styles of fluvial-archive preservation is of considerable significance for Quaternary stratigraphy, as such archives provide important templates for the understanding of the terrestrial record. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Special External Effects on Fluvial System Evolution)
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