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Book Chapter

Inferring bedload transport from stratigraphic successions: examples from Cenozoic and Pleistocene rivers, south central Pyrenees, Spain

By
Stuart J. Jones
Stuart J. Jones
1
Department of Earth Sciences, South Road
,
Durham University
,
Durham DH1 3LE
,
UK
(e-mail: stuart.jones@durham.ac.uk)
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Lynne E. Frostick
Lynne E. Frostick
2
Department of Geography and Hull Environment Research Institute
,
University of Hull
,
Hull HU6 7RX
,
UK
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Published:
January 01, 2008

Abstract

Geologists and geomorphologists have long been concerned with rates of sediment transfer as bedload in gravel-bed rivers, especially as rates of sediment transfer are important factors controlling river aggradation and incision. Bedload transport equations, originally derived for Holocene streams, have been used widely in modern gravel-bed river systems. However, palaeohydraulic reconstructions have received less attention and are generally dismissed as inaccurate since most are estimated to be at least an order of magnitude out. This study focuses on deriving stream power, bedload transport rates and efficiency estimates for Oligo–Miocene and Plio–Pleistocene gravel-bed river deposits from the south central Pyrenees, Spain. The basic data used in the palaeohydraulic calculations are estimates of palaeoslope, palaeovelocity, palaeodepth and the volume of sediment accreted in yearly flood events on gravel bars. Analyses of data from these ancient river systems yield more accurate estimates of relative stream power, bedload transport rates and efficiency parameters. This study illustrates the need for understanding the palaeohydraulics of river systems in order to characterize ancient rivers. Gravel-bed rivers with low sediment supply and high bedload transport rates incise. Conversely, when sediment supply is abundant, bedload transport rates and efficiency are low and the river system aggrades.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Landscape Evolution: Denudation, Climate and Tectonics over Different Time and Space Scales

K. Gallagher
K. Gallagher
Université de Rennes
,
France
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S. J. Jones
S. J. Jones
University of Durham
,
UK
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J. Wainwright
J. Wainwright
University of Sheffield
,
UK
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Geological Society of London
Volume
296
ISBN electronic:
9781862395442
Publication date:
January 01, 2008

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