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The Quaternary rivers of the Jurassic Coast region: From the Neogene to the Anthropocene

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journal contribution
posted on 15.04.2020, 11:07 by AG Brown, LS Basell, PS Toms
The Jurassic Coast World Heritage Sites (JCWHS) is not only a 95 km long coastline and remarkable Mesozoic geological section, but also a slice through a Quaternary landscape. For the majority of the last two million years this landscape lay in the periglacial zone, just south of a waxing and waning ice margin and just north of an Atlantic inlet which eventually became the English Channel. This paper reviews how the previous landscape inherited from the Cenozoic, was modified through uplift, climatically driven fluvial activity and periglaciation. Much evidence of this Quaternary history can be seen today in sections along the JCWHS coast which cuts through a number of headwater valleys the largest of which are the Exe and Axe. Recent studies, largely funded from the Aggregate Levy Tax, have produced the first independent chronologies for the Exe and Axe valleys and a model of how periglaciation interacted with the layer-cake stratigraphy of the Mesozoic bedrocks of the JCWHS. The Quaternary history of the JCWHS is also preserved in raised beaches on the Isle of Portland, coastal landforms, and in Holocene alluvial sediments associated with human activity and which may constitute part of the putative Anthropocene. An appreciation of the Quaternary history of the JCWHS is also important in understanding modern geological hazards from landslides to flooding.

History

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

PROCEEDINGS OF THE GEOLOGISTS ASSOCIATION

Volume

130

Issue

3-4

Pagination

451 - 462 (12)

Publisher

ELSEVIER SCI LTD

issn

0016-7878

Acceptance date

20/02/2018

Copyright date

2018

Available date

31/03/2018

Publisher version

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0016787818300257?via=ihub

Spatial coverage

The Jurassic Coast World Heritage Sites (JCWHS)

Language

English