Fluvial Response to Environmental Change in Sub-Tropical Australia over the Past 220 Ka

Jacky Croke*, Chris Thompson, Annegret Larsen, Mark Macklin, Kate Hughes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This paper uses a 30 m record of valley alluviation in the Lockyer Creek, a major tributary of the mid-Brisbane River in Southeast Queensland, to document the timing and nature of Quaternary fluvial response. A combination of radiocarbon and optically stimulated luminescence dating reveals a sequence of major cut and fill episodes. The earliest aggradation phase is represented by a basal gravel unit, dating to ~220 ka (marine isotope sub-stage 7d), and although little evidence supports higher fluvial discharges during MIS 5, a MIS 3 fluvial episode characterised by incision and aggradation dates to ~60 ka. A penultimate phase of incision to a depth of 30 m prior to ~14 ka saw the lower Lockyer occupy its current position within the valley floor. The Lockyer Creek shows evidence of only minor fluvial activity during MIS 2, suggesting a drier LGM climate. The appearance of alternating fine- and coarse-grained units at about 2 ka is notable and may represent higher-energy flood conditions associated with a strengthening of El Niño Southern Oscillation activity as observed in the flood of 2011. The aggradation rate for this Holocene floodplain unit is ~11 times higher than the long-term rate.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 9 Feb 2024


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