Late Quaternary landform evolution in monsoon-dominated middle Satluj valley is reconstructed using the fragmentary records of fluvial terraces, alluvial fans, debris flows, paleo-flood deposits, and epigenetic gorges. Based on detailed field mapping, alluvial stratigraphy, sedimentology and optical chronology, two phases of fluvial aggradations are identified. The older aggradation event dated between ∼13 and 11 ka (early-Holocene), occurred in the pre-existing topography carved by multiple events of erosion and incision. Climatically, the event corresponds to the post-glacial strengthened Indian summer monsoon (ISM). The younger aggradation event dated between ∼5 and 0.4 ka (mid- to late-Holocene), was duringthe declining phase of ISM. The terrain witnessed high magnitude floods during transitional climate (∼6.5–7 ka). The fluvial sedimentation was punctuated by short-lived debris flows and alluvial fans during the LGM (weak ISM), early to mid-Holocene transition climate and mid- to late-Holocene decliningISM. Based on the terrace morphology, an event of relatively enhanced surface uplift is inferred after late Holocene. The present study suggests that post-glacial landforms in the middle Satluj valley owe their genesis to the interplay between the climate variability and local/regional tectonic interactions.
Volume 129, 2020
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