And now for something a little different. In June and July this year, I found myself at a conference on paleoclimate, landscapes, vegetation, humans and ended up bumping along dirt roads in a mini bus visiting many curious locations with a very interesting bunch of researchers. How old our our rivers and landscapes? How did climate change affect that landscape? Where did all the dust and water come from and where did it go? Below are some photos of two locations where researchers such as Page, Nanson and Price (1996) gathered dates showing five phases of paleochannel activity along the Murrumbidgee area of the Riverine Plain of southeastern Australia. The first two phases suggest greater fluvial activity and reduced dust activity followed by seasonal snow melts and increased peak flows after the last Glacial Maximum and the build up of source bordering aeolian dunes. Finally the present flow regime was established around 12,000 years ago. Researchers continue to gather dates and look for environmental proxies (such as pollen and fossils) to help create a more detailed picture of what was happening and this information helps inform how we manage our water systems and groundwater, helps create a context for the movement of humans and other species across the landscape and other intriguing things.
Read more about it from here:
PAGE, K., NANSON, G. and PRICE, D. (1996), Chronology of Murrumbidgee River palaeochannels on the Riverine Plain, southeastern Australia. J. Quaternary Sci., 11: 311–326
Paleochannel of the Murrumbidgee River