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Geomorphology of the Anthropocene: time-transgressive discontinuities of human-induced alluviation

Geomorphology of the Anthropocene: time-transgressive discontinuities of human-induced alluviation
Geomorphology of the Anthropocene: time-transgressive discontinuities of human-induced alluviation
Alluvial sediments are an integral and environmentally sensitive component of the geological record and may be preserved both in subsiding basins and by uplift. This paper examines the Holocene alluvial record of a high-order fluvial discontinuity within the mid to late Holocene thatis evident on all continents except Antarctica. The time-transgressive nature of this discontinuity, even over short distances, is revealed by two similar small-catchments in the UK which have a similar response to arable cultivation but separated in time by approximately 3000 years. It is argued that this anthropogenic discontinuity is likely to be an enduring signal as it exists well outside potentially future-glaciated areas and will be preserved in Holocene river terraces due to recent and future channel incision. This will make a marked lithological and sedimentological difference between this Middle-Late Holocene terrace and Pleistocene terraces which will also include a biological turnover with the appearance of new taxa, largely domesticates and synanthropes. Discussions of the Anthropocene as a geological period will have to accommodate this data and this may have important implications for the status and demarcation of the Anthropocene as a period in Earth System history.
alluviation, floodplain formation, stratigraphy, earth sediment transport, erosion, chronology
2213-3054
3-13
Brown, Antony G.
c51f9d3e-02b0-47da-a483-41c354e78fab
Toms, Phil
a2df4b86-b506-48dd-a40d-7b636c91f71d
Carey, Chris
b2c59a20-d550-4062-88df-9881a3df0aa3
Rhodes, Eddie
faa23248-f211-4446-9b06-66ad9428ba50
Brown, Antony G.
c51f9d3e-02b0-47da-a483-41c354e78fab
Toms, Phil
a2df4b86-b506-48dd-a40d-7b636c91f71d
Carey, Chris
b2c59a20-d550-4062-88df-9881a3df0aa3
Rhodes, Eddie
faa23248-f211-4446-9b06-66ad9428ba50

Brown, Antony G., Toms, Phil and Carey, Chris et al. (2013) Geomorphology of the Anthropocene: time-transgressive discontinuities of human-induced alluviation Anthropocene, 1, pp. 3-13. (doi:10.1016/j.ancene.2013.06.002).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Alluvial sediments are an integral and environmentally sensitive component of the geological record and may be preserved both in subsiding basins and by uplift. This paper examines the Holocene alluvial record of a high-order fluvial discontinuity within the mid to late Holocene thatis evident on all continents except Antarctica. The time-transgressive nature of this discontinuity, even over short distances, is revealed by two similar small-catchments in the UK which have a similar response to arable cultivation but separated in time by approximately 3000 years. It is argued that this anthropogenic discontinuity is likely to be an enduring signal as it exists well outside potentially future-glaciated areas and will be preserved in Holocene river terraces due to recent and future channel incision. This will make a marked lithological and sedimentological difference between this Middle-Late Holocene terrace and Pleistocene terraces which will also include a biological turnover with the appearance of new taxa, largely domesticates and synanthropes. Discussions of the Anthropocene as a geological period will have to accommodate this data and this may have important implications for the status and demarcation of the Anthropocene as a period in Earth System history.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 3 July 2013
Keywords: alluviation, floodplain formation, stratigraphy, earth sediment transport, erosion, chronology
Organisations: Geography & Environment

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Local EPrints ID: 354826
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/354826
ISSN: 2213-3054
PURE UUID: 11bde429-e6be-4820-8b39-cc05e27bdafa

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Date deposited: 29 Jul 2013 09:06
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 03:52

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Author: Antony G. Brown
Author: Phil Toms
Author: Chris Carey
Author: Eddie Rhodes

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