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A Late Holocene palaeoflood record from slackwater flood deposits of the Llobregat river, NE Spain

AuthorsThorndycraft, V. R.; Benito, Gerardo CSIC ORCID ; Rico, María Teresa CSIC ORCID; Sopeña, Alfonso CSIC ORCID; Sánchez Moya, Yolanda ; Casas Planes, M. A.
KeywordsPalaeoflood hydrology
Slackwater flood deposits
Late holocene
N.E. Spain
Issue Date2004
CitationJournal of the Geological Society of India 64: 549-559 (2004)
AbstractThe palaeofloods of the Llobregat River are the first to be reconstructed for any Spanish Mediterranean river basin. In total, 56 individual slackwater flood units were identified in eight valley side alcoves located along two study reaches, Pont de Vilomara and Monistrol de Montserrat. The majority of the deposits are fine sands or very fine sandy silts, with a variety of sedimentary structures identified, namely parallel laminations, climbing ripples (both in-phase and in-drift) and current ripples. The estimation of the palaeoflood discharges associated with these deposits, using the HEC-RAS onedimensional hydraulic model, has provided long-term data regarding flood magnitude within the catchment. Palaeofloods at Pont de Vilomara, radiocarbon dated to 2640 ± 55 BP and 2580 ± 75 BP, have minimum estimated discharges of 3700-4300 m3s-1. The largest palaeoflood at Monistrol de Montserrat, dated to 305 ± 50 BP, has an estimated minimum discharge of 4700 m3s-1. The results indicate that the instrumental discharge series is of insufficient length to have witnessed the largest magnitude flood events within the Llobregat catchment and that the use of palaeoflood hydrology is a valuable means of improving the flood record of Mediterranean catchments.
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