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The Thames Valley Sediment Conveyor: Fluvial system development over the last two interglacial-glacial cycles

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Darrel Maddy


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The fluvial archive of the River Thames over the last two interglacial-glacial cycles is examined in terms of the spatial distribution of fluvial sediments across the basin and the temporal patterns of aggradation and incision. The spatial distribution of fluvial sediments can be interpreted as a series of sedimentation zones and intervening sediment transfer zones. The factors that control the distribution of fluvial sediments are considered. The notion of a "jerky conveyor" is utilised to develop a conceptual model of the Thames Valley Sediment Conveyor and the operation of this conveyor over the last two interglacial-glacial cycles is discussed. The model incorporates the sedimentation zones identified here and also the effects of the formation of a coastal prism during interglacial high-stands in sea level. The model is compared with the sedimentary record for the last interglacial-glacial cycle in the Lower Thames and its implications for understanding fluvial behaviour and the stratigraphic record are discussed.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Lewis S, Maddy D, Glenday S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Quaternaire

Year: 2004

Volume: 15

Issue: 1-2

Pages: 17-28

Print publication date: 01/01/2004

ISSN (print): 1142-2904

ISSN (electronic):