Denudation chronology from cave and river terrace levels: the case of the Buchan Karst, southeastern Australia Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • AbstractDetailed mapping of surface and underground karst features at Buchan, in eastern Victoria, has shown that the three river terraces along the Buchan River can be correlated with three levels of epiphreatic development in the nearby caves. Each level represents a stillstand in the denudational history of the area. Uranium series dating of speleothems and palaeomagnetic studies of cave sediments indicate that all three stilistands are more than 730 ka old. The periods of incision separating the stillstands were probably the result of active tectonic uplift. This contrasts with some northern parts of the Southeastern Highlands, which have been stable since the Eocene. The overall amount of incision and uplift at Buchan is small, indicating that the majority of scarp retreat in this section of the highlands must have occurred earlier. The denudation history of the Buchan area over the last 730 ka has seen only 2–3 m of incision, despite the major climatic and sea-level changes that have occurred in that time. Whereas most karst landscapes in the Northern Hemisphere have been extensively modified during the late Pleistocene, the Buchan karst was little affected, and its geomorphology has an older origin.

authors

  • Webb, JA
  • Fabel, D
  • Finlayson, BL
  • Ellaway, M
  • Shu, Li
  • Spiertz, H-P

publication date

  • May 1992

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