To increase our understanding of the relative control of antecedent topography, sediment supply and sea-level change on grain size and organic content in the Humber Estuary, the composition of its Holocene fill over space and time has been evaluated. A model based-upon bed-by-bed description of over 3500 boreholes was sub-horizontally ‘sliced’ to analyse the composition of sediments in different parts of the estuary across the entire fill, as well as solely within estuary marginal sequences. Results demonstrate that different physiographic parts of the estuary are characterized by distinctive vertical sediment profiles that reflect the relative control of antecedent topography as well as sea-level upon them. The results raise questions about the processes controlling sand and gravel abundance in marginal sequences, where the estuary is physiographically most constrained. This semi-quantitative evaluation, the first of its kind on an estuarine fill, provides a technique for interpreting the relative importance of controls on an estuarine system, but highlights the need for improved modelling of estuarine channel form and dynamics over centurial to millennial time-scales.
One contribution of 20 to a Theme Issue ‘Sea level science’.
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