Sediment transfer and transformation of an alluvial valley floor: the river South Tyne, Northumbria, U.K.

Macklin, Mark G. and Lewin, John (1989) Sediment transfer and transformation of an alluvial valley floor: the river South Tyne, Northumbria, U.K. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 14 (3). pp. 233-246. ISSN 0197-9337

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Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

The amounts of alluvial storage and the mechanisms responsible for the dispersal of sediment associated with historic metal mining are examined for a 115 year timespan on a 22 km reach of the River South Tyne, northern England. Analysis of lateral and vertical channel change over this period, the extent of actively reworked gravels, and identification of metals in alluvial units, show five ‘sedimentation zones’ separated by more stable reaches. Aggradation in the late nineteenth century was followed by a period of storage and local reworking, and then incision. Some reaches show short-term storage of sediment injected from tributaries which may be dispersed by floods. There is some evidence of transfer of sediment bodies downvalley within sedimentation zones, and of a sediment ‘wave’ movement between zones in lower parts of the South Tyne investigated. Present-day incision, the variation in the area of actively reworked gravel spreads, and the widespread dispersal of fine-grained toxic metal mining wastes all have practical implications. The intricate response of the channel system to historic changes in sediment supply is not readily described by either a complex response model or a simple translatory wave.

Keywords:aggradation, alluviation, incision, metal mining, sediment transfer, UK, England, Northumbria, South Tyne River
Subjects:F Physical Sciences > F840 Physical Geography
Divisions:College of Science > School of Geography
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ID Code:25165
Deposited On:26 Nov 2016 17:03

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