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Catchment response to lava damming: integrating field observation, geochronology and landscape evolution modelling

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Darrel Maddy


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Combining field reconstruction and landscape evolution modelling can be useful to investigate the relative role of different drivers on catchment response. The Geren Catchment (~45 km2) in western Turkey is suitable for such a study, as it has been influenced by uplift, climate change and lava damming. Four Middle Pleistocene lava flows (40Ar/39Ar- dated from 310 to 175 ka) filled and dammed the Gediz River at the Gediz–Geren confluence, resulting in base-level fluctuations of the otherwise uplift-driven incising river. Field reconstruction and luminescence dating suggest fluvial terraces in the Geren Catchment are capped by Middle Pleistocene aggradational fills. This showed that incision of the Geren trunk stream has been delayed until the end of MIS 5. Subsequently, the catchment has responded to base-level lowering since MIS 4 by 30 m of stepped net incision. Field reconstruction left us with uncertainty on the main drivers of terrace formation. Therefore, we used landscape evolution modelling to investigate catchment response to three scenarios of base-level change: (i) uplift with climate change (rainfall and vegetation based on arboreal pollen); (ii) uplift, climate change and short-lived damming events; (iii) uplift, climate and long-lived damming events. Outputs were evaluated for erosion–aggradation evolution in trunk streams at two different distances from the catchment outlet. Climate influences erosion–aggradation activity in the catchment, although internal feedbacks influence timing and magnitude. Furthermore, lava damming events partly control if and where these climate-driven aggradations occur. Damming thus leaves a legacy on current landscape evolution. Catchment response to long-duration damming events corresponds best with field reconstruction and dating. The combination of climate and base level explains a significant part of the landscape evolution history of the Geren Catchment. By combining model results with fieldwork, additional conclusions on landscape evolution could be drawn. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Publication metadata

Author(s): van Gorp W, Schoorl JM, Temme AJAM, Reimann T, Wijbrans JR, Maddy D, Demir T, Veldkamp T

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Earth Surface Processes and Landforms

Year: 2016

Volume: 41

Issue: 11

Pages: 1629-1644

Print publication date: 15/09/2016

Online publication date: 26/05/2016

Acceptance date: 23/05/2016

ISSN (print): 0197-9337

ISSN (electronic): 1096-9837

Publisher: Wiley


DOI: 10.1002/esp.3981


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Funder referenceFunder name
834.03.003Netherlands organization for scientific research (NWO-ALW)