Temperate Mediterranean Badlands: A (pre-) Holocene or Anthropocene phenomenon?

Project: PhD

Project Details


Badlands are extensively eroded landscapes, typically recognised with surface features such as deeply incising gullies, steep slopes, cracks and piping structures affecting weakly consolidated deposits. The origin of semi-arid Mediterranean badlands is associated with a range of forming processes and controlling factors that are not always well-understood. These controlling factors vary and are often categorised within short-term effects such as land-use and high population densities, and long-term natural causes such as tectonic activity and climate conditions (Mather et al., 2002). Due to the existence of fine grain sediments and poor preservation of material in rapidly incising gullies in short travelling distances, assessing badland landscapes is a challenge (van Gorp et al., 2013). To address the short-term and long-term effects and natural causes, and understand spatio-temporal landscape evolution, a systematic assessment of badlands with geological mapping, morphometric analysis, age control and dynamic landscape evolution modelling is essential. This study focuses on understanding the development of Kula badlands (Manisa, Turkey), recognised with eroded surface features and deepened gullies incising into Miocene and Quaternary sand-clay sediments within the extensional tectonic regime of western Turkey. Our multidisciplinary approach involves geomorphological assessment of the badland topography by combining geological and structural mapping with morphometric analysis using SLk indexes. Furthermore, age control of the Quaternary badland gully erosion, and consequent gully sedimentation will be provided using primarily pIRIR feldspar, OSL quartz and 14C dating methods, particularly within the context of establishing a framework with short- and long-term (natural) causes as climate or tectonics. Dynamic numerical modelling will be performed within given time scales with supporting geological evidence to understand net erosion-deposition, incision rates and landscape evolution of this badland topography.
Effective start/end date19/06/17 → …


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