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Durham University

Department of Geography

Departmental Research Projects

Publication details

Bridgland, D. R., Demir, T., Seyrek, A., Daoud, M., Abou Romieh, M. & Westaway, R. River terrace development in the NE Mediterranean region (Syria and Turkey): Patterns in relation to crustal type. Quaternary Science Reviews. 2017;166:307-323.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

It is widely recognized that the optimal development of river terraces globally has been in the temperate latitudes, with NW and Central Europe being areas of particular importance for the preservation of such archives of Quaternary environmental change. There is also a growing consensus that the principal drivers of terrace formation have been climatic fluctuation against a background of progressive (but variable) uplift. Nonetheless river terraces are widely preserved in the Mediterranean region, where they have often been attributed to the effects of neotectonic activity, with a continuing debate about the relative significance of fluctuating temperature (glacials–interglacials) and precipitation (pluvials–interpluvials). Research in Syria and southern–central Turkey (specifically in the valleys of the Tigris and Ceyhan in Turkey, the Kebir in Syria and the trans-border rivers Orontes and Euphrates) has underlined the importance of uplift rates in dictating the preservation pattern of fluvial archives and has revealed different patterns that can be related to crustal type. The NE Mediterranean coastal region has experienced unusually rapid uplift in the Late Quaternary. The relation between the Kebir terraces and the staircase of interglacial raised beaches preserved along the Mediterranean coastline of NW Syria reinforces previous conclusions that the emplacement of the fluvial terrace deposits in the Mediterranean has occurred during colder climatic episodes.

Department of Geography