Fluvial development and the sediment regime of the lower Calder, Ribble catchment, northwest England

Foster, G.C., Chiverrell, R.C., Thomas, G.S.P., Marshall, P. and Hamilton, D. (2009) Fluvial development and the sediment regime of the lower Calder, Ribble catchment, northwest England. CATENA, 77(2), pp. 81-95. (doi:10.1016/j.catena.2008.09.006)

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In the lower reaches of the Calder (Lancashire) tributary of the Ribble catchment (northwest England), five river terraces set into the surrounding glacial terrain have been mapped and their underlying sediments radiocarbon dated. The earliest terrace (T1) reflects sandur-style deposition during deglaciation and it aggraded in a reach cut into glacial diamict and glaciolacustrine muds. Incision below T1 spanned the start of the Holocene, driven by a combination of reduced sediment supply under a stabilising landscape and lower base-levels. T2 had aggraded and was being abandoned by 4000 BC; its formation latterly involving a period of comparative stability in terms of channel migration, perhaps a function of extensive forest cover and sea levels reaching above present day levels. The last 3000 years were marked by substantial changes in the sedimentary regime, with increased and varying sediment supply driving cycles of cut-and-fill and greater lateral channel migration. These changes coincided with the first widespread and substantial reductions in forest cover and a progression towards an agricultural landscape. Between the aggradation of terraces T3 and T4 there was a substantial increase in sediment supply, which is broadly in keeping with the erosion history in the surrounding uplands. This sediment slug appears to have induced a switch from highly sinuous meandering to lower sinuosity channels characterised by lateral scroll-style migration. Late Holocene vegetation changes, particularly woodland removal, driven by anthropogenic land-pressure appear to have rendered the floodplain prone to channel migration and the landscape more susceptible to erosion.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hamilton, Dr Derek
Authors: Foster, G.C., Chiverrell, R.C., Thomas, G.S.P., Marshall, P., and Hamilton, D.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:CATENA

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