Global Late Quaternary Fluvial Paleohydrology: With Special Emphasis on Paleofloods and Megafloods

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Fluvial paleohydrology was initiated in the 1950s with a study of late Quaternary river terraces. It evolved to include regime studies of paleochannels, paleocompetence analysis, and alluvial chronology. More recent global studies have emphasized the paleostage estimation of Holocene paleofloods. Extensive paleoflood hydrological work in western North America, Europe, Israel, India, South Africa, Australia, and China is providing relatively accurate estimates of magnitude and frequency for the most extreme, hazardous floods. Even more spectacular discoveries have been made in regard to megafloods, which are paleofloods where peak discharges have equaled or exceeded 1 million cubic meters per second. Most of the known megafloods and related catastrophic flooding phenomena are associated with large-scale glaciation, notably that which occurred in the terminal phases of the Pleistocene, associated with the Laurentide and Cordilleran Ice Sheets in North America, the Patagonian Ice Sheet of South America, the Fennoscandian Ice Sheet in Europe, and various mountain and lowland ice sheets of central Asia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTreatise on Geomorphology
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Pages511-527
Number of pages17
Volume9
ISBN (Print)9780080885223
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2013

Keywords

  • Alluvial chronology
  • Fluvial paleohydrology
  • Glaciation
  • Ice sheets
  • Megafloods
  • Paleofloods
  • Quaternary
  • Rivers
  • Slackwater deposits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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