Alluvial Geoarchaeology: Floodplain Archaeology and by A. G. Brown

By A. G. Brown

This finished technical handbook is designed to provide archaeologists the required history wisdom in environmental technology required to excavate and research archaeological websites via rivers and on floodplains. Bringing jointly info at the evolution and exploitation of floodplain and river landscapes, this article attracts on examples from Britain, Europe, North the USA and Australasia. a major topic is the interplay among climatic and cultural forces and the transformation of riverine environments.

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Extra resources for Alluvial Geoarchaeology: Floodplain Archaeology and Environmental Change (Cambridge Manuals in Archaeology)

Example text

2X105 m3 s"1). This flood was three times the magnitude of the largest floods of the last hundred years and would have been catastrophic, with a water depth on the floodplain of between 4 and 2 m above the modern flood level. Records are unavailable for the New Kingdom and the Late Dynastic period (1570-332 BC) but there are records of exceptionally high floods in the ninth to seventh centuries BC, the fifth century BC, and the first centuries AD. Flood heights increased again in the period AD 600-1000.

If we return to Mackin's (1948) definition of a graded or equilibrium channel as one 'of long-term balance between aggradation and degradation' we can still identify at least three sets of factors which can affect this balance (Richards, 1982). The first is upstream controls such as increasing sediment delivery to channels causing aggradation, or conversely, bedload entrapment by a reservoir causing degradation. The second is changes in the sediment:streamflow ratio (note that this can be accomplished by a change in streamflow only).

Floodplain evolution 27 A. Meander wavelength Lr Reach length Lp River path length A c Lp — r Meander amplitude Radius of curvature „. 1 An aerial photograph of the junction of the rivers Trent and Soar, England, under flood conditions, highlighting floodplain topography associated with meander migration and avulsion. Flow from right to left. circulation patterns past the meanders that formed them. 1). Local differences in the rate of meander migration can produce neck cutoffs; a chute cutoff is produced when a flood cuts through any part of a meander loop; where a whole segment of channel is abandoned this is called avulsion.

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