Abstract

Radiocarbon analyses of charcoal from basal colluvium in 11 California hollows show a clustering of dates between 9000 and 15,000 B.P., an indication that changes in the storage and discharge of colluvium from hillslopes accompanied the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. Hollows are sites of topographically induced convergence and deposition of colluvial debris, and evacuation of this debris was apparently more thorough and possibly more frequent in the latest Pleistocene, perhaps due to a combination of changes in vegetation and rainfall characteristics. One hypothesis is that greater storm intensities occurred in the latest Pleistocene and induced a higher frequency of landslides in hollows and a regional extension of channel heads upslope relative to the Holocene. During the latest Pleistocene, California hollows apparently contained smaller volumes of colluvium in storage. The increased storage of debris during the Holocene may have resulted in a diminished supply of sediment to stream channels.

You do not currently have access to this article.