Abstract

The history of Holocene fluvial terraces was investigated by stratigraphic, morphological, and palaeohydrologic methods. The terraces were formed in glaciofluvial and glaciolacustrine sediments by the Fraser River: degradation alternated with episodes of stability and aggradation. The uppermost terraces, four nonpaired surfaces, were occupied by a braided river. Vertical stability was controlled either by the water and sediment discharge of the river or by backwater effects from downstream landslides. The lower terraces, two paired surfaces, and associated fluvial sediments provide evidence for at least two cycles of aggradation and downcutting. These can be attributed to the effects of landslides that occurred a short distance downstream. Climatic variations may also have influenced terrace formation, but direct evidence is lacking. Palaeohydraulic investigations based on gravel texture, terrace gradients, and geometry of palaeochannels provide results that although approximate, conform with conclusions based upon terrace morphology and stratigraphy.

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