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The role of geomorphology in the Quaternary

Bridgland, David (2021) 'The role of geomorphology in the Quaternary.', Geological Society, London, Memoirs, 58 .


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.

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Publisher statement:© 2021 The Author(s). Published by The Geological Society of London This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (
Date accepted:11 September 2021
Date deposited:20 May 2022
Date of first online publication:15 November 2021
Date first made open access:20 May 2022

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