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The fluvial evolution of the Holocene Nile Delta.

Pennington, B. and Sturt, F. and Wilson, P. and Rowland, J. and Brown, A.G. (2017) 'The fluvial evolution of the Holocene Nile Delta.', Quaternary science reviews., 170 . pp. 212-231.

Abstract

The evolution of the Nile Delta, the largest delta system in the Mediterranean Sea, has both high palaeoenvironmental and archaeological significance. A dynamic model of the landscape evolution of this delta system is presented for the period c.8000–4500 cal BP. Analysis of sedimentary data and chronostratigraphic information contained within 1640 borehole records has allowed for a redefinition of the internal stratigraphy of the Holocene delta, and the construction of a four-dimensional landscape model for the delta's evolution through time. The mid-Holocene environmental evolution is characterised by a transition from an earlier set of spatially varied landscapes dominated by swampy marshland, to better-drained, more uniform floodplain environments. Archaeologically important Pleistocene inliers in the form of sandy hills protruding above the delta plain surface (known as “turtlebacks”), also became smaller as the delta plain continued to aggrade, while the shoreline and coastal zone prograded north. These changes were forced by a decrease in the rate of relative sea-level rise under high rates of sediment-supply. This dynamic environmental evolution needs to be integrated within any discussion of the contemporary developments in the social sphere, which culminated in the emergence of the Ancient Egyptian State c.5050 cal BP.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2017.06.017
Publisher statement:© 2017 This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Date accepted:16 June 2017
Date deposited:20 June 2017
Date of first online publication:10 July 2017
Date first made open access:No date available

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