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Title: Evolution of the Sefidrud Delta (South West Caspian Sea) during the last millennium
Authors: Haghani, Safiyeh
Advisors: Leroy, S
Finlayson, D
Keywords: Rapid sea level change;Coastal evolution;Multi-proxy analyses;Sedimentology;Coastal lagoon formation
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Brunel University London
Abstract: The Sefidrud has developed a large delta in the south west of the Caspian Sea. Its delta is characterized by rapid sedimentation rate (20 mm/yr) in the delta plain and low sedimentation rate (1.67 mm/yr) in a very steep delta front. Sefidrud Delta evolution depends upon sediment supply by river and longshore current under rapid Caspian Sea Level (CSL) fluctuation and tectonic setting at the point of entry to the basin. The tectonic setting caused a very steep slope in the delta front. Sediment supply is variable and affected by river avulsion and dam construction. The CSL has undergone significant changes during the last millennium. Therefore, the Sefidrud Delta evolution during the last millennium is explained based on CSL fluctuations. This fluctuation has major impacts not only on coastal lagoons, but also more inland in wetlands when the CSL rose up to at least -21.44 m (i.e. >6 m above the present water level) during the early Little Ice Age. Although previous studies in the southern coast of the Caspian Sea have detected a high-stand during the Little Ice Age period, this study presents the first evidence that this high-stand reached so far inland and at such a high altitude. This study also examines the interdependence of different factors in the evolution of coastal lagoons as a part of delta evolution. Dam flushing operations and rapid sea–level rise (~3 m between 1977 and 1995) have accelerated the infilling of the coastal lagoon system. This rapid infilling (31 mm/yr) makes the whole system more prone to sediment encroachment in the short term. Because the lagoons are short-lived and have dynamic evolution, the impact of the Anthropocene is also visible in the delta evolution.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the award of Doctor of Philosophy and was awarded by Brunel University London
Appears in Collections:Environment
Dept of Life Sciences Theses

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