V Sediment Fluxes and Basin Stratigraphy

Principal aim: To resolve how signals of erosion get transmitted, integrated, altered, and shredded in sediment transport and deposition systems, and to provide a rationale for inversion of basin stratigraphy for insights into the compound impacts of environmental change in uplands over longer time scales.

Sediments in geological basins record the conditions of sediment production and deposition. Therefore, basins can contain long and relatively complete records of environmental change. Sedimentary archives have been used very successfully for reconstruction of Earth’s climate history, but they can also contain information about erosion of the continents under past climates and climate changes. The decoding of these paired records can add significantly to our ability to understand today’s Earth surface dynamics and to anticipate the geomorphic response to ongoing and future climate change. Robust use of sedimentary archives for study of continental erosion and its response to tectonic and climatic changes requires a quantitative understanding of the downslope transmission of erosion signals. The group uses hydrometric, geophysical and geochemical techniques combined with numerical modeling to quantify and track sediment fluxes through sediment routing systems from upland sources to terrestrial and oceanic depocentres. Emphasis is placed on transfer of sediment between distinct process domains, and mechanisms of temporary sediment storage and remobilisation.