Paleoclimatic Signature in Terrestrial Flood Deposits

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Science  26 Jun 1992:
Vol. 256, Issue 5065, pp. 1775-1782
DOI: 10.1126/science.256.5065.1775


Large-scale process simulation was used to reconstruct the geologic evolution during the past 600,000 years of an alluvial fan in northern California. In order to reproduce the sedimentary record, the simulation accounted for the dynamics of river flooding, sedimentation, subsidence, land movement that resulted from faulting, and sea level changes. Paleoclimatic trends induced fluctuations in stream flows and dominated the development of the sedimentary deposits. The process simulation approach serves as a quantitative means to explore the genesis of sedimentary architecture and its link to past climatic conditions and fault motion.