Abstract

The buried Early Pleistocene river terrace record of the Gediz River, around Kula, western Turkey has previously been considered to span the time interval equivalent to Marine Isotope Stages (MIS) 58–37 (c. 1.6–1.2 Ma), with the frequency of terrace formation mirroring obliquity-driven climate change. Whereas progressive Pleistocene incision of the Gediz River is seen as a response to regional uplift, the timing of fluvial incision, leading to terrace formation and subsequent new floodplain development, is believed to be climate-controlled with incision–deposition cycles resulting from varying sediment–discharge conditions, a direct consequence of changing climate and related vegetation change. New outcrop observations downstream of the original field area, alongside recently published geochronological data and improved understanding of the volcanic sequence, all now suggest that the previously published interpretation is incorrect. Here we present a revised stratigraphy based upon terrace gradients of c. 0.004–0.005 (previously 0.001), in which 11 terraces are identified but only terraces GT11 (the oldest) to GT6 (pre-lava incursion) predate volcanism. The available geochronology suggests that terraces GT6 (post-first lava incursion) to GT1 relate to the time interval MIS38–28 (c. 1.26–1 Ma). However, despite penecontemporaneous volcanism terrace formation continues to reflect sediment–discharge changes predominantly controlled by regional climate change.

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