Palaeoflood Records from Upper Kaveri River, Southern India: Evidence for Discrete Floods During Holocene
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Department of Geography, University of Pune, Pune 411 007, India
Department of Geology, Anna University, Chennai, 600 025, India
Department of Earth Sciences, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Kolkata 741 252, India
Online publication date: 2011-01-05
Publication date: 2010-01-01
Geochronometria 2010;37:49-55
A record of six discrete middle Holocene floods has been established based on sedimentological and stratigraphical studies in the upper Kaveri catchment at Siddapur. The flood events are represented by six discrete, sharp-bounded, sand-silt couplets. Texturally and geochemically the suite of couplets is quite distinct from the overlying and underlying structureless fluvial deposits. Based on OSL ages the suite of couplets cover the Holocene from ~8 to ~2 ka. Such evidence is not present or reported from any other river originating in the Western Ghat in the Indian Peninsula. We argue that the six couplets represent short-term, high discharge events or flash floods. The initiation of this phase of flash floods broadly corresponds with the southward migration of ITCZ and a gradual decline in Indian summer monsoon precipitation starting at ~7.8 ka. Comparison of the elevation of the highest couplet with the high flood level (HFL) of the 1961 extraordinary flood on Kaveri demonstrates that the 20th century flood was higher than the mid-Holocene palaeofloods.
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