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Holocene alluvial morphopedosedimentary record and environmental changes in the Bardenas Reales Natural Park (NE Spain)

AutorSancho, C.; Peña Monné, José Luis; Muñoz, Alberto ; Benito, Gerardo ; McDonald, E.; Rhodes, Edward J.; Longares, L. A.
Palabras claveAlluvial records
Climatic change
Ebro Basin
NE Spain
Fecha de publicación15-may-2008
CitaciónCatena 73 (2008) 225–238
ResumenA Holocene alluvial morphostratigraphy, based on geomorphological mapping, sedimentological analysis, soil development and radiocarbon chronology is presented for the semiarid Blanca basin in the Bardenas Reales Natural Park (NE, Spain). Four morphopedosedimentary alluvial units (MU1, MU2, MU3 and MU4) were differentiated, which may correspond to two palaeogeographical stages. The first one includes the morphopedosedimentary unit MU1 and is the most extensive in the area. It is made up of a complex aggradation (fill up) sequence comprising a braided channel system, a sand–mud flat (9200–7900 cal BP) and a playa-lake environment related to a nearly closed depression. An intensive fluvial entrenchment period is recognized, leading the opening of the Blanca basin, before the second stage that includes the units MU2, MU3 and MU4. This set of units forms a sequence of cut-and-fill and nested fill terraces recording the alluvial activity in the Blanca basin during the last 6 ka. The MU2 unit, 5900–3300 cal BP in age, represents a period of high geomorphic instability with rapid alluvial sedimentation/channel incision oscillating changes. On the other hand, the MU3 unit has an age of 1050–500 cal BP and appears as a thin extensive alluvial cover overlying previous units. Finally, the MU4 unit comprises superposition of numerous flood depositional sequences, centimetric in scale, dated from 450–10 cal BP. The established soil chronosequence supports the numerical chronology of the four units. These accumulation periods (MU1, MU2, MU3, MU4) are associated with dry phases and/or high hydrological variability (floods and droughts) at a regional scale. Changes on the North Atlantic atmospheric circulation mode over Southern Europe may provide the key to explain the nature of alluvial activity during Holocene in Bardenas Reales.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.catena.2007.09.011
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