Reconstructing late quaternary fluvial process controls in the upper aller valley (north Germany) by means of numerical modeling

A. Veldkamp, M. van den Berg, J.J. van Dijke, R.M. van den Berg van Saparoea

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The morpho-genetic evolution of the upper Aller valley (Weser basin, North Germany) was reconstructed using geological and geomorphologic data integrated within a numerical process model framework (FLUVER-2). The current relief was shaped by Pre-Elsterian fluvial processes, Elsterian and Saalian ice sheets, followed by Weichselian fluvial processes. Structural analysis based on subsurface data and morphological interpretations were used to reconstruct uplift/subsidence rates. A detailed analysis led to the hypothesis that we are dealing with either a NNW-SSE or a WSW-ENE oriented compression leading to uplift in the upper Aller valley. It is also hypothesised that the NNW-SSE compression might have caused strike-slip deformation leading to differential block movement and tilt.Two different uplift rate scenarios were reconstructed and used as a variable parameter in numerical modelling scenarios simulating the Late Quaternary longitudinal dynamics of the Aller. Each different scenario was run for 150.000 years and calibrated to the actual setting. The resulting model settings were consequently evaluated for their plausibility and validity. Subsequently, regional semi-3D simulations of valley development were made to test the two tectonic stress hypotheses. Differential tectonic uplift and regional tilt seems to have played an important role in shaping the current valley morphology in the upper Aller. Unfortunately, due to the uncertainties involved, we were unable to discriminate between the two postulated tectonic stress scenarios.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-388
JournalGeologie en Mijnbouw
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • geomorphology
  • rivers
  • geological sedimentation
  • quaternary deposits
  • tectonics
  • terraces
  • valleys
  • simulation models
  • germany
  • terrace stratigraphy
  • maas record
  • europe
  • uplift
  • system

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