Anthropogenic alluvium: An evidence-based meta-analysis for the UK Holocene

M.G Macklin, J Lewin, Anna Jones

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

    43 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    An exploratory meta-analysis of 14C-dated Holocene anthropogenic alluvium (AA) in the UK is presented. AA units were categorized by grain size, catchment area and location, depositional environment, and according to diagnostic criteria linked to recorded types of anthropogenic activity. The oldest AA units date to the Early Bronze Age (c. 4400 cal. BP) and there is an apparent 1500 year lag between the adoption of agriculture (c. 6000 cal. BP) in the UK and any impact on floodplain sedimentation. The earliest influence of farming on UK rivers appears to have been hydrological rather than sedimentological. The mediaeval period was characterized by accelerated sedimentation of fine-grained AA, notably in the smallest catchments. There are some apparent regional differences in the timing of AA formation with earlier prehistoric dates in central and southern parts of the UK.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)26-38
    Number of pages13
    JournalAnthropocene
    Volume6
    Early online date8 Apr 2014
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Keywords

    • Anthropogenic alluvium
    • Human impact
    • Floodplains
    • Rivers

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