Formation of paleovalleys in the Central Himalaya during valley aggradation

Chaudhary, Shipra and Shukla, U.K and Y.P, Sundriyal and Srivastava, Pradeep and Jalal, Poonam (2015) Formation of paleovalleys in the Central Himalaya during valley aggradation. Quaternary International, 371. pp. 254-267.

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The formation of paleovalleys in mountainous regions is considered to result from extreme events such as landslides and glacial or landslide lake outburst floods. According to IPCC (2012) the extreme events are rarest of the rare weather/climatic events when the climate/weather variable is significantly above or below the defined threshold value. The present study suggests that paleovalleys can also form during years long periods of valley aggradation. A series of paleovalleys thus formed runs parallel to the present river course. In this study, we suggest that paleovalleys in the Alaknanda valley of the Central Himalaya have formed in two ways: 1) major valley aggradation and 2) local events of landsliding and lake breaching. Most of the paleovalleys in the Alaknanda valley formed during a major valley aggradation phase (between 15 and 8 ka). Paleovalleys formed due to local landsliding also formed around 8 ka. Local landslides were triggered due to high rainfall in lower valley reaches during unstable climatic conditions. Therefore, the formation of paleovalleys both by regional and local mode within 15e8 ka indicates that the valley was receiving excess sediment from upper catchment as well as from lower reaches during this period. This phase of excess sediment supply and valley aggradation coincides well with post glacial climatic amelioration. Therefore the study underlines the role of climate in the time scales of 103 years in shaping the landscape of an active mountain like the Himalaya. The role of other landscape changing agencies such as tectonics and erosion is not accounted in the present study.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Departments at MU > Manipal Centre for Natural Sciences
Depositing User: MCNS Editor
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2016 11:54
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2016 11:54

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