Quantification of river-capture-induced base-level changes and landscape development, Sorbas Basin, SE Spain
M. Stokes, A. E. Mather, A. M. Harvey, 2002. "Quantification of river-capture-induced base-level changes and landscape development, Sorbas Basin, SE Spain", Sediment Flux to Basins: Causes, Controls and Consequences, S.J. Jones, L.E. Frostick
Download citation file:
The Aguas/Feos river system of the Sorbas Basin, SE Spain was captured by an aggressive subsequent stream c. 100 ka. The consequence of the capture event was twofold: (1) basin-scale drainage reorganization via beheading of the southward flowing Aguas/Feos system and re-routing the drainage eastwards into the Vera Basin; and (2) the creation of a new, lower base level and associated upstream propagation of a wave of incision.
The sequence of pre- and post-capture events are well established from previous studies of the Quaternary terrace record. Using these studies, this paper makes the first attempt to quantify the impact of river capture in terms of spatial and temporal variations in rates of incision, sediment flux and surface lowering. This was carried out through construction of 43 valley cross-sections from the‘captured’(Upper Aguas),‘beheaded’(Feos) and‘capturing’streams (Lower Aguas) within the central-southern parts of the Sorbas Basin. Dated pre- and post-capture terrace and corresponding strath levels were plotted on to the valley cross-sections enabling incision amounts, rates and valley cross-sectional areas to be calculated. Sediment fluxes were calculated using a mean valley section method. Surface lowering calculations were made through reconstruction of the top basinfill surface and subtraction from the modern contour values.
The lowering of base level has resulted in a dramatic increase in incision upstream of the capture site by a factor of 4 to 20. This in turn has been associated with significant pre- and post-capture changes in valley shape. The increased incision resulted in dramatic post-capture increases in valley erosion