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The role of geomorphology in the Quaternary


Abstract: The advances in understanding of Quaternary geomorphology in the latter half of the twentieth century were closely linked with the improved knowledge of Quaternary climatic fluctuation, principally derived from isotopic evidence from ocean and ice cores. An important goal was finding terrestrial sedimentary records that can be correlated with the globally applicable isotopic sequence. From a geomorphological viewpoint, river terraces are paramount, particularly since they can provide semi-continuous sequences that record palaeoclimate and landscape evolution throughout the Quaternary, as well as the interaction of rivers with glaciation, sea-level change and notable geomorphological events. In coastal areas, shoreline terraces and raised beaches can provide similar sequences. The chapter discusses the progress made in understanding these archives and, in particular, the various mechanisms for dating and correlation, as well as touching upon contributions from other environments, namely slopes and karstic systems, as well as the role of soils in deciphering geomorphological evidence.
Keywords: Quaternary / evolution / geomorphology / rivers / isotopic / geomorphological / terraces / evidence / understanding / role

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