Alluvial fans: geomorphology, sedimentology, dynamics – introduction. A review of alluvial-fan research
Adrian M. Harvey, Anne E. Mather, Martin Stokes, 2005. "Alluvial fans: geomorphology, sedimentology, dynamics – introduction. A review of alluvial-fan research", Alluvial Fans: Geomorphology, Sedimentology, Dynamics, A. M. Harvey, A. E. Mather, M. Stokes
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This volume presents a series of papers on the geomorphology, sedimentology and dynamics of alluvial fans, selected from those presented at the 'Alluvial Fans' Conference held in Sorbas, SE Spain in June 2003. The conference was sponsored primarily by the British Geomorphological Research Group and the British Sedimentological Research Group, both organizations affiliated to the Geological Society of London.
It is some time since an international conference has been held that was exclusively devoted to the geomorphology and sedimentology of alluvial fans. The previous such conference was that organized by Terry Blair and John McPherson in 1995, and held in Death Valley, a classic setting for alluvial fans (Denny 1965; Blair & McPherson 1994 a). Although many of the papers presented there have since been published, no dedicated volume on alluvial fans as a whole resulted from that meeting, so even longer has elapsed since there has been a specific publication devoted wholly to a series of papers on the geomorphology and sedimentology of alluvial fans (Rachocki & Church 1990).
South-east Spain was chosen as the venue for this conference, partly for logistic reasons and partly because it is a tectonically active dry region within which there is a wide range of Quaternary alluvial fans. These fans exhibit differing relationships between tectonic, climatic
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Alluvial fans are important sedimentary environments. They trap sediment delivered from mountain source areas, and exert an important control on the delivery of sediment to downstream environments, to axial drainages and to sedimentary basins. They preserve a sensitive record of environmental change within the mountain source areas. Alluvial fan geomorphology and sedimentology reflect not only drainage basin size and geology, but change in response to tectonic, climatic and base-level controls. One of the challenges facing alluvial fan research is to resolve how these gross controls are reflected in alluvial fan dynamics and to apply the results of studies of modern fan processes and Quaternary fans to the understanding of sedimentary sequences in the rock record. This volume includes papers based on up-to-date research, and focuses on three themes: alluvial fan processes, dynamics of Quaternary alluvial fans and fan sedimentary sequences. Linking the papers is an emphasis on the controls of fan geomorphology, sedimentology and dynamics. This provides a basis for integration between geomorphological and sedimentological approaches, and an understanding how fluvial systems respond to tectonic, climatic and base-level changes.