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Biotic response to late Holocene floodplain evolution in the River Irthing catchment, Cumbria

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Andy Large, Dr David Passmore


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This paper presents some results of a geomorphological and palaeoecological evaluation of late Holocene floodplain evolution at a site in the middle reaches of the River Irthing, a tributary of the River Eden, near Brampton, Cumbria, UK. Geomorphological mapping and survey have identified a minimum of seven Holocene alluvial terraces in this reach, each with well-defined palaeochannels developed on their surfaces. Sediment coring and radiocarbon dating of selected channel fills indicate that a large proportion of thr Holocene valley floor has been deposited during and after the 3rd millennium Be. Detailed sedimentological and macrofossil analyses undertaken on late Holocene channel fill sediments reveal spatial and temporal variability in patterns of local vegetation development within palaeochannel environments, These reflect local changes in hydrology, the character and rates of sedimentation, and levels of disturbance. Results are interpreted in the context of regional records of Holocene climate and land-use change, as well as existing models of floodplain vegetation succession, The advantages of takings a holistic approach to palaeoenvironmental reconstruction and the utilization of macrofossils are discussed.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Cotton JC, Heritage G, Large ARG, Passmore DG

Editor(s): Alexander J; Marriott S

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Floodplains: interdisciplinary approaches

Year of Conference: 1999

Pages: 163-178

Publisher: Geological Society

Notes: "The Floodplains '98 meeting held at the University of East Anglia...led to this book...[which] includes papers on many of the projects presented at the meeting and additional...contributions"--Pref.

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

Series Title: Geological Society Special Publications, 163

ISBN: 1862390509