Refining the late-Holocene coastline and delta development of the northern Yangtze River delta : combining historical archives and OSL dating

Wang, F, Zhang, W, Nian, X, Can, G, Zhao, X, Cheng, Q, Chen, J and Hutchinson, S ORCID: 2019, 'Refining the late-Holocene coastline and delta development of the northern Yangtze River delta : combining historical archives and OSL dating' , The Holocene, 29 (9) , pp. 1439-1449.

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Historical documents provide a general chronological overview of the environmental evolution of the Yangtze River delta (YRD) during the last ca. 2000 years; however, absolute dating of the region’s late Holocene sediment is relatively rare. Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating has been increasingly applied to the age determination of Holocene deposits in deltaic environments. In this study, three 23–27 m long drill cores running from south to north were collected from the Qihai plain of the northern YRD in order to reconstruct the history of this region’s formation since the late Holocene. A total of 24 samples from the three cores were subjected to OSL dating using coarse silt-sized (45–63 μm) quartz. The OSL ages range from approximately 190–3490 a revealing that the age of the delta front and delta plain facies in the coring sites are younger than 500 a while the sediments in the underlying prodelta facies are older than 2000 a. On the basis of the large age gap between the two set of deposits, we suspect that the coring sites remained submerged from 2000 to 500 years ago. As the central core has older and coarser sandy deposits than the neighbouring cores, we infer that the central core was located on a sandy mouth bar, while other cores sat within distributary channels within the estuary. The OSL ages are consistent with both the chronology implied by historical documents and other stratigraphic records in the area. This study enhances the chronological framework of land formation and delta evolution in the Qihai plain area of the YRD and thereby consolidates the conclusions derived from the application of a single technique alone.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences > Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: The Holocene
Publisher: Sage (Arnold Publishers)
ISSN: 0959-6836
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Dr Simon M. Hutchinson
Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2019 14:54
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 02:13

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