Alluvial fans as an idicator of Quaternary climate change?

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Title:Main Title: Alluvial fans as an idicator of Quaternary climate change?
Description:Abstract: Past research suggests that alluvial fans are, due to their direct coupling to the source area, sensitive to Quaternary environmental change and, thus, provide essential archives for paleoenvironmental conditions, notably climate, hydrology, and tectonics. Although they have been studied for many decades across the globe, there is no unifying scheme to view their variety in relation to the formative geomorphological regimes. The spatial and temporal approach in geomorphology indicates that the development of landforms is a function of size and time. While small-scale landforms are created by short-term events, mesoscale and macroscale landforms develop within a period of 104 to 105 years. A conceptual model for the formation of alluvial fans is developed, and their implication for Quaternary climate change is assessed, using a review of their global range and data from selected key dryland regions. We propose three main depositional regimes for alluvial fan development: i) Mountain alluvial fans, small in size and extent; ii) mesoscale pediments and bajada of (semi-) arid regions; and iii) mega fans mainly associated with Cenozoic mountain building. Mountain alluvial fans are governed by cryogenic and nival processes, closely linked to climate change, tectonic processes such as earthquake-triggered landslides, and are often also modified by anthropogenic intervention. In drylands, mesoscale pediments and bajadas are one of the most common fluvial systems and landform features, where they are frequently associated with steep mountain fronts, closely related, and often modified by active tectonics. The formation of mesoscale alluvial fans occurs in different settings characterized by distinct relationships between sediment production and transport capacity. Although governed primarily by the climatic setting, bedrock geology can be the dominating factor, especially for sediment production. Alluvial fans in the drylands of the western United States, Mongolia, Chile, and Namibia illustrate the links to climate variability by glacial-interglacial cycles or expressed in late Quaternary pulses of increased humidity. Furthermore, mesoscale alluvial fans are common in glaciofluvial and periglacial settings, where streams have high bedload and transport capacity depending on a sediment supply especially due to frost weathering and discharge by snow and ice dynamics.
Responsible Party
Creators:Frank Lehmkuhl (Author), Janek Walk (Author), Maximilian Formen (Author), Viktor Schaubert (Author), Joel Mohren (Author), Julian Krieger (Author), Lewis Owen (Author)
Funding Reference:Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG): CRC 1211: Earth - Evolution at the Dry Limit
Publisher:CRC1211 Database (CRC1211DB)
Publication Year:2023
CRC1211 Topic:Surface
Related Subproject:C2
Subjects:Keywords: Sediment, Geochronology, Climate Models , Geomorphology, Remote Sensing
Geogr. Information Topic:Environment
File Details
Data Type:Other - Presentation
File Size:4.9 MB
Date:Created: 07.07.2023
Mime Type:application/pdf
Data Format:PDF (07072023)
Download Permission:Only Project Members
General Access and Use Conditions:According to the CRC1211DB data policy agreement.
Access Limitations:According to the CRC1211DB data policy agreement.
Licence:[CRC1211DB] Data policy agreement
Specific Information - Presentation
Presenter:Frank Lehmkuhl, Lewis Owen
Presentation Date:17th of July, 2023
Presentation Type:Poster
Event:INQUA 2023
Event Type:Conference
Event Location:Rome, Italy
Event Duration:14th of July, 2023 - 20th of July, 2023
Event Website:
Metadata Details
Metadata Creator:Joel Mohren
Metadata Created:16.11.2023
Metadata Last Updated:16.11.2023
Funding Phase:2
Metadata Language:English
Metadata Version:V50
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