Modelling the impact of regional uplift and local tectonics on fluvial terrace preservation.

W. Viveen, J.M. Schoorl, A. Veldkamp, R.T. van Balen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


A terrace formation model (TERRACE) combined with a longitudinal river profile model (FLUVER) was used to simulate fluvial terrace formation and preservation in the northwest Iberian lower Miño River basin under the influence of three tectonic conditions; namely regional vertical uplift, local basin subsidence, and localised differential uplift. The simulation results were compared against mapped terrace altitudes and deposit thicknesses. The best results were achieved by combining all three tectonic factors, indicating that specific terrace formation is a complex interplay of regional and local tectonics. The best fit regional uplift rate of 0.10 m ka- 1 over the past 600 ka is higher than the 0.08 m ka- 1 previously estimated for a section farther to the west, which can be attributed to an increase in tectonic uplift from the NW Iberian Atlantic margin toward the east. Local relative subsidence causes sediment accumulation in the local basin and less sedimentation in the fluvial terraces on the surrounding uplifting blocks. Different uplift rates on both sides of the valley caused preservation of unpaired terraces, which are fill terraces on one side of the valley and strath terraces on the other side. Usually, the formation of fill or strath terraces is considered to be only climate-dependent. Our results indicate that local tectonics can be important in the terrace formation and preservation. This suggests that terrace correlations in other river systems, based on deposit thicknesses only, might be over-simplified.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-135
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • mino river terraces
  • sea-ice correlation
  • climatic variability
  • multiproxy analysis
  • external controls
  • drainage-basin
  • level change
  • maas record
  • margin
  • evolution

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